Between the Ears

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

What is the gist of the stories we tell ourselves, 24/7? Are they like these…?

“That’s just the way it is.” “I/you/they/we/those things suck.” “It’s their/my fault.” “Life is hard.” “It’s just business.”

Or like these…?

“This is good.” “I appreciate me/you/them/us/those things.” “I know things will work out well; they always do.” “Life is good.” “This is exciting.” “More of this, please.”

Why does it matter? Because the story running between our ears dictates the results we will see with our eyes.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, we can tell the gist of the stories by the results. And by how, generally, we feel.

The One Thing We Forget About Getting Stuff Done

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

We spend much of our energy on getting everything done either by ourselves or through others. But there never seems to be enough time. So we stress and steam and push and plead to get everyone into action and producing.

But we regularly leave out one thing that would simplify things and speed the results we seek: trust.

When we trust that everything works out for us, that others are fundamentally good, and that we can handle anything that comes up, we pave the way. People gain confidence, we are not bogged down in stress, and results come shockingly quickly and well.

Most of us have seen how this trust works. But in the tension of the day and against the backdrop of the what the world generally believes, we forget. The sooner we remember that the key is, “believing is seeing”–not the other way around–the easier it will be.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: This version of trust means that we feel good about the desired results–as if they have already occurred–before they actually show up. If we feel bad, we aren’t trusting and will fall back into the slower, more stressful way: doing stuff to make things happen.

PPS: What does it look like to feel good before the results show up? It will be different for each person. To get started, try doing a ladder exercise with “how it is now” at the bottom of the ladder and the desired results at the top. Once you get to the feeling at the top, it will be very easy to see how to trust, feel good, and jump into inspired action.

PPPS: And it will become easy for others to pick up on your excitement and get inspired themselves.

PPPPS: Trust does not supplant action. As we trust, we will see the next best thing to do: make that call, write that note, work that spreadsheet. But we won’t be acting to feel better and cause a result. That’s so important.

 

Today’s photo credit: Ulf Bodin Uppsala, March 21, 2015 via photopin (license)

The First Law of Emotion

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Newton had his Laws of Motion. We have the Laws of Emotion. Our First Law is like his first law: Our Moods Tend to Keep Going.

We can’t help but broadcast our attitudes, have them influence others, and then react to them afresh when others reflect them back to us. So when we are up, we tend to stay up. When we are down, we tend to stay down. Unless, that is, we apply a concerted force of discipline.

Why a discipline? We have been so practiced at low-buzz emotions that we all hover lower than any of us would like. This is why raising our buzz and staying there can be so difficult and discouraging. It takes some time and dedication to catch ourselves and use one of the many buzz-raising tools to get up and stay up.

But not much time. And the results are so worth it.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: aldoaldoz Sir Isaac Newton via photopin (license)

Choose the Story

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

The story we tell drives our results. Tell a story of how rough it is, how terrible they are, how blah blah blah and our results will match. How could they not? Tell a story of how good it is, how capable they are, how la la la and our results will match our story again.

Here’s the kicker: if we tell a story of how good it is but subtly repeat to ourselves some trope about how it won’t last, how we’re not that worthy, how okay is good enough, etc. then our results will match even that story.

Though they are not as easy to notice, we can tell that these old limiting stories are there because they feel bad and because our results prove them out. As soon as we notice bad feelings or results, we get to choose a new story then and there.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Practice this noticing and choosing until the new stories replace the old ones.

 

Today’s photo credit: docoverachiever Back to the house at Pooh Corner via photopin (license)

Swayed By Reality

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

The sages tell us that the formula for creating any outcome is belief->actions->results. This is a leverage formula. We leverage action into results because we know that taking concerted action generates more results than our default, reactive action.

We usually forget the first, more powerful part of the formula. Focused belief generates better actions (and therefore much better results) than our default, habitual beliefs.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that we want to convince someone to change a behavior and that this person has resisted changing in the past. In our habitual beliefs, we may think of this person as hard to deal with, lazy, obstructive, or untalented.

But what if we changed our belief?

Which belief would better support our goal of getting them to change: that they are hard to deal with, for instance, or easy to deal with?

“Ah,” you argue, “you are ignoring reality. What if they really are hard to deal with?”

But that’s the power of this formula. Thinking that they are what we have thought they are leaves little room for something to shift. Choosing to believe something new about them (despite what we have been believing and calling reality) blasts open the door to different actions and results.

The trick is not to be swayed by “reality.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, this trick works for anything we want, not just in getting others to change.

PPS: A great way to know when an old belief is getting in the way is that it feels bad. Let a bad feeling tell you it’s time to choose a new belief.

 

Today’s photo credit: Andrew Stawarz Nymans Garden View via photopin (license)

How to Break Out of the Activity Over Results Trap

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 2 min.

It’s very easy for us to fall into the “Activity Over Results” trap. In this trap, we unconsciously judge ourselves and others by how much activity we generate. But, deep down, we much more value achieving desired results. We spend a large amount of our time on lots of low-value activities including most of our email, Slacks, and meetings. We see every day how volumes of these activities fail to deliver the results we want.

Here is one good method to shift things.

First, we commit to weekly and daily review times. We use this time to get atop any messages or notes that may have potential tasks within. We put all those potential tasks into our Not To Do list. Next, we scan our calendar and survey our lists of on-going projects and longer-term goals. Then, if this is our weekly review, we select and write down four big things from our projects, goals, and Not To Do list that we want to accomplish this week. We next select and write down four things we want to accomplish today. Then we start doing those four things.

Will this Review-Plus-Fours approach eliminate the messages and meetings? No. But it returns to us the focus we need. And we will be much more likely to achieve what we want.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Claudio Jofré Larenas cc

Are You Tapping the Fear or the Spark?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1 min.

There is a fear within each of us. Tap it and you’ll get hurried, harried, and short-lived results. Further attempts to mine this source become ever more costly, unpredictable, and ultimately doomed.

There is a spark within each of us. Tap it and you’ll get long-lasting, wonderful results.

Of course, mining sparks is not a panacea. It requires hard work. We must throw out all the leadership tools used to tap fear. In their place we need a compelling clarity of purpose, a commitment to win-win collaboration with all involved, high-buzz thinking, and systems and approaches that support us delivering together that purpose well.

Worth it.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Seth Youngblood cc

Control Yields Crappy Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

To get things done consistently well with a team, the correct flow or equation is Trust → Honest Discussion → Real Commitment → True Accountability → Desired Results.

If we don’t trust that they will do the work, we will try to get results by demanding, controlling, conniving, or micromanaging. Then the flow will always become Crappy Results ← Excuses ← Grudging Compliance ← Saying Whatever ← Distrust.

We must find a way to start with trust, not control. The good news is that it takes just one person to open up. One trust-building interaction leads to all the rest. Be that one person.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Seabamirum cc