Insight and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference
What's your attitude and process toward decision-making?
Actually, making the case to be a decision-maker might be the place to start.
You don't have to decide, of course. But if you're going to make change happen or make progress in your endeavor, you must become a decision-maker.
And for many of us, embracing the mindset and posture of a decision-maker can be terrifying.
Why is that?
I think part of it is our default programming as human beings. We love knowing where we stand and what's expected of us. We're comforted by and feel safe with the status quo, aka the way things are and the way we are.
However, if you've already adopted the posture and mindset of a difference-maker, you're already at peace with the idea that the status quo, external and internal, is not enough.
Another dynamic that conspires against our desire to be decision-makers is that we get really hung up with the outcomes...
My wife, Lisa, and I had the privilege of recently attending a session of The Making of a Modern Elder program at Chip Conley's Modern Elder Academy.
Lisa and I arrived full of curiosity and eager to level up in our quest to gain clarity and skill in creating and contributing as modern elders.
Toward this end, the session was expertly led by Jeff Hamaoui and Janis Nakano Spivack and augmented by the contributions of mindfulness and yoga facilitator Teddi Dean Bennett, resident shaman, Saul Kup, and the culinary wizardry of chef Tony Peralta.
But the real magic came from the being a part of our student cohort, AKA the Dancing Howlers. Wisdom, it turns out, is easier to come by and apply when it is pursued with and for fellow travelers.
Here are the top five lessons I learned during our week at the Modern Elder Academy.
Taking stock of your current situation is a necessary and sometimes challenging requirement for stepping into...
I often catch myself confusing or conflating speed and velocity. I mistake my going fast for making progress toward an intended target.
Here's the deal.
Speed is the rate at which an object covers distance. It's the distance traveled over a specified amount of time. Speed is ignorant of direction.
On the other hand, velocity is a vector quantity. It's the speed of something moving toward a destination. Velocity is direction-aware.
How fast are you going? Do you have a specific destination in mind? Wouldn't it make sense if you did?
Let's keep flying higher together with intention!
It seems as if the ‘right’ ideas, beliefs, or causes ‘win.’ Those in positions of authority or positioned as successful seem to earn that status through certainty and audacity.
But appearances are deceiving. They don't tell the whole story. And they don't have to define the culture.
What if we championed uncertainty and consideration instead?
It's seductive to pretend we're rational agents applying ourselves intelligently and deliberately to endeavors when things work out as we intended. When things don't work out, it's tempting to tell ourselves that it's because events conspired against us or, worse, tell ourselves that we're unworthy, lazy, or stupid.
The truth is, neither impression is correct. Most of the time, we're on autopilot. The subconscious is making decisions based on instinct and intuition informed by our habits and experience. Things happen as they happen, and the rest is all just storytelling after-the-fact.
What do you do when you don't know what to do?
Discussing this question with friends led me to contemplate the virtues of both stillness and motion.
What do you do when you don't know what to do?
One perspective is that uncertainty about what to do next is an invitation to adopt a posture of stillness. Resting with the tension of uncertainty is, after all, an exercise in acceptance, acknowledgment, and presence.
This approach can be effective for staving off the usual reactions to indecision, such as distraction and over-analysis.
An opposing perspective is that indecisiveness is a call to action. A challenge to put yourself in motion. Doing something coupled with the trust that you'll be able to thrash your way to clarity is often my default attitude.
But I wonder if stillness and motion aren't mutually exclusive?
Some of the greatest moments in history exemplify the capacity to practice stillness in motion. President John Fitzgerald...
Miners extract. They take and take until there's no more to take.
Farmers grow. They cultivate in pursuit of abundance and excess.
Hunter gatherers forage. They harvest what they need, taking care that what's taken will be replenished.
Historically, miners and farmers put in long days doing hard work that is often dangerous.
Hunter gatherers on the other hand work enough to sustain themselves and thrive while letting everything around them do the same.
How do you approach the time, effort, and energy you invest in your endeavor?
Let's keep flying higher together!
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"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
Books are my go-to source for inspiration and information in my endeavors. Here are four books that currently inform my journey in developing Creative On Purpose and help me enhances the lives of those who collide with it.
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, by Jonathan Haidt
Psychologist Jonathan Haidt, shares how philosophical wisdom and its enduring maxims - like "do unto others as you would have others do unto you", or "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - can enrich and even transform our lives.
Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant,...
"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become." - Carl Jung
Pain and suffering are real. Each is difficult to navigate. Either can break us temporarily or permanently.
But pain and suffering are not the same. Understanding the distinction can make all the difference.
Pain is different than suffering.
Physical, psychological, or spiritual pain is a human response to injury, loss, or absence. Suffering is attachment to pain, desire, or outcome.
Pain is an affliction. Suffering is a choice.
Experiences Vs. Identity
You are not defined by your pain or suffering unless you decide to be.
How you respond to pain is both a reflection of character and an opportunity to cultivate it.
Refusing pain's invitation to suffer affords the opportunity to be taught by it; to not become broken but instead broken open.
Meet pain with acceptance and you become more committed, connected, and compassionate with yourself and...
The Catastrophe of Self
It happens over and over, again and again. I see it in the lives and work of those I serve and in my own endeavors. In our efforts to be and do better, what obstacle impedes our progress? What foe trips us up at the finish line? What force conspires against us?
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Walt Kelly, Pogo
Yes, we are the primary impediment to our own progress. Yet we continue to name it as if it exists outside of ourselves. Resistance, imposter syndrome, and all the other ways we personify fear, doubt, anxiety, and self-loathing.
Is there a way through, over, or around this self-sabotage? I've certainly tried. I've crafted all manner of maps and compasses to help myself and others learn how to change your mind and how to get out of your own way.
And yet, I continue to insert myself between the me I am and the me I want and need to be every day. I bet you do too. Why?
In part, that's the gig. Work that's worth it, any meaningful enterprise,...
As we step into a new year and a new decade, many of us are considering stepping into new possibilities.
What are you starting today? Healthier habits? Better relationships? Meaningful work?
What I learned in 2019 is that I experience the greatest sense of wellbeing when I'm engaged in efforts done with and for the right people. Endeavors that enhance the lives and prospects for us all.
I experienced less anger, frustration, and exhaustion last year and more prosperity, purpose, and flourishing than any of my other fifty-five spins around the sun.
And last year was just the beginning of my journey to live my legacy daily.
Last year I cultivated the mindset and posture of a real difference maker. This year I'm going to leverage both to lean in and level up and help at least one-hundred of you start experiencing less stress and more joy in work that matters.
I start today with thirty of you who are already in the Difference Maker Community as current or...