A key to effective action is to be settled down rather than reactive. The great things is that settling down happens naturally. It begins as soon as we recognize that we have gotten ramped up. When we notice that and stay out of the way, we naturally begin to settle. Just as children forget about their tantrums within minutes, we can allow our moods to pass.
There’s a huge difference between being activated/reactive and being awake and effective. You don’t need to fan the flames of righteous indignation or fear in order to stay awake. Becoming over reactive, winging yourself up, may create a temporary feeling of power, but it reduces your effectiveness. This is as true in civil discourse and political action as it is across the breakfast table.
You can use your awareness of the difference between being activated and being grounded to help you stay the course over the long term rather than riling yourself up, spinning out, and burning out.
Human beings are inherently resilient. We wobble, sometimes we wobble a lot. But there is something at our foundation that steadies us even in the midst of great upheaval. Wobbling doesn’t always feel good, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t okay.
Now and throughout the year, as you consider the impact you are having and want to have in the world, consider not just the apparent importance of your role (the size of your game) but look also at the quality of your yes. We can never know when the most important conversation in the world is taking place!
You are creative, resourceful, and whole—no, seriously, you are!
Coaches are trained—at least those who work under the umbrella of the International Coach Federation (ICF)—to hold that clients are creative, resourceful, and whole. The thing is, there’s a huge difference between holding that as an article of faith or useful framework and seeing it as an accurate statement about our essential natures. But don’t take my word for it. Look around. Experiment. Wonder. Then let me know what you find.
Too often we try to improve our human experience by managing it. We celebrate our highs and try to maximize them. We critique our lows and try to root them out. Though we do it in all innocence, all that managing and editorializing actually interferes with our inborn ability to learn, grown, and adapt. In this video I share a story about the time I tried to sail a boat with my buns by way of illustrating the futility of managing our experience with our thinking.