This morning a post on a very eclectic list serve populated by keen observers read:
…the BIF project we are working on with Babson in our Entrepreneur Experience Lab. We’re doing a deep dive into the experience of intrapreneurs and keep observing that they seem to assess risk in terms of personal affordable loss measured by reputational capital.
I thought about this idea of reputation, or personal investments in keeping up appearances and realized that in new situations and settings where I need be on top of my game, I’m often initially uncomfortable about engaging people. Especially when my perceptions of the crowd or group intimidate me, I prefer a little distance and project a quiet intensity.
In the company of friends and family, where I am open and comfortable, I will laugh quite heartily, encourage stories and take risks to be playful or funny though it doesn’t come very naturally. When I’m feeling confident in new situations , the courage I muster allows me to openly approach strangers. Surprised, I suddenly find it easier to make new friends.
The trick to both my playfulness and open engagement? Suspending critical judgment, reminding myself how much I enjoy chewing on surprising ideas and then remembering how I feel in those moments gets me past my natural comfort zone. My creativity quickly comes to the top and allows me to share and learn. I learn to make this style work, while continuing to notice what I’ve seen work for others and then try it on. The result I never say or do the same thing twice, my style keeps evolving and others learn I always something new when they see me. Using these principles makes it easy.
Give to Get
Choice is part of our daily process, but most of the choosing we do is not very conscious. From the moment you wake up you begin to make choices but most of them are not very memorable, are they? Naturally, we associate actions we value with benefits. We study for better grades, work to get paid, we drive to save time, we eat to satisfy our hunger etc. How actively did you value the ability to wake up? Or the ability to feel, hear, see, smell, taste, move, or speak? Actions that require no conscious effort are often the things we value least.
The expression no pain, no gain sound familiar? Trying generally means we put more into the process, tapping abilities beyond those that kick in when the brain’s autopilot signals them. Cheering on all of our senses’ contributions is similar to cheering on another team member’s effort, honoring the additional participation. Honor is a conscious act. It helps us repeat those active choices by protecting both what we value and the memory of the experience.
Very small children don’t think before choosing their actions, they just do. In time, the reactions of others begin to redirect their attention and the consciousness leads them to change. Increasingly, other factors, additional information such as the situation, the setting, the behavior or responses of others splinter the choices. The first positive experience buries a set of conditions that often stop us from repeating. Our actions no longer being cheered or honored. The collective opportunities to openly share, experiment and indulge the full use of our senses become rare. It’s why we can do things in kindergarten and then stop. Denying these urges shut down the natural balance in our system, we express fewer of our feelings and controlling those urges raises our stress levels. The medical data demonstrates how much stress is killing us.
Make value not Cents
Its time to put an end to segregating our emotions and actions, and restrict creative releases to distinct settings and environments. Doing things that bring smiles or makes it possible for us to be in the company of other people proves very motivating.
When was the last time that you made laughter a daily priority, or set aside time to put your hands intentionally to work, or attempted to translate your thoughts into sketches to share as opposed to typing and using only words? These activities are natural outlets for energy and impulses that are great de-stressors. They act as natural balancing activities and help us bounce back, feel less overwhelmed and less reactive when stress does arise. Incorporating more of them into our daily, yes DAILY routine, is the secret to living well.(Further details about reducing the impact of bad stress in your life using these simple activities are available at about.com here.)
My renewed values and principles
Since habits are hard to break I’m committing to a new set of critical principles in my daily routine. Here and Now, I plan to be smarter not only in how I work; but also how I interact with others, in an effort to manage precious time and energy.
So here are the principles.
1. I will value people’s time.
2. I will honor people’s attention.
3. I will reward positive forward progress.
4. I will assert more sensory interactions using Laughter, playfulness and drawing in my daily routine.
What are your plans? principles or reactions? would love to learn what you are thinking. If you missed the tips I shared earlier, I urge you to check out Making the Impossible Possible.