What we put in affects what we get out.
This month’s article for Do Lectures over on Medium is about contribution.
What we put in matters. So, if you want to see the magic happen, choose to do the challenging, difficult, scary, stinky or unknown things with the same energy, willingness and enthusiasm you bring to doing the fun, easy, simple things in life.
When we give more than we expect in return, the upside is that we get lucky. To find out more, head on over to Do Contribute to read “What we put in“.
What goodness are you forgetting to add to your daily tasks and activities?
When it’s unclear how something will turn out, it’s easy to stop doing it.
We do this just in case it doesn’t work out right. Because we are afraid of failing.
But what if we keep going, to see how it actually turns out?
To be truly sure of an outcome, we need to see things through to the end.
Every day we’re faced with the choice to be one of two people.
A scared self, who wants to remain small, so that we can be safe and certain.
Or a brave self. The version of ourselves who stands tall, shows courage and steps out there.
To do something, wear something, say something, make something or stand for something. The one who embraces new opportunities, despite the unknowns.
Our small self tries to set limits to protect us.
Sometimes there’s a jolly good reason for it. But sometimes that fear is an illusion.
What if that small self – or the limits it sets – didn’t exist?
“Don’t let your mind set limits that aren’t really there.”
~ Zadie Smith (English Novelist)
What if we step out into the world every single day being our Big, Brave Self…
… because that’s the person we choose to be?
… because that’s the person we actually are?
Our opportunities become limitless when we remove our self-imposed limits.
Be brave, think big, stand tall. Put on your velvet tasseled jacket with your 6 inch cowboy boots and go get ’em! :)
We are not linear and neither is life.
There is no single best way to look at the world or live in it. But if we look at things from more than one perspective, then we get a more realistic, accurate picture.
What we may think is ‘impossible’ becomes possible when approached from a different angle.
For this month’s Do Lectures Do Contribute article, I wrote about the importance of creating richer, more complex life experiences. Adding more depth and dimension to our lives gives us greater clarity, but can also change our results.
The reality we think we see isn’t always real.
Remember to look up, down and all around, not just straight in front of you. If you’re struggling to see what lies ahead, “What’s the Alternative?” may just give you a different perspective on things.
Stay strong and be open.
The benefits of not pushing…
When we rush things or push too hard to make something happen the way we want it to, very often nothing (or something we don’t want) happens.
Why? Because we don’t leave enough space for things to unfold in a way that might be better. Because we aren’t being aware of the opportunities in our present that can positively shape the direction of that future.
“Boy, I hurried… I hurried for a long time. I’m sorry I did. All the time you’re hurrying, you’re not really as aware as you should be. You’re trying to make things happen instead of just letting it happen. You follow me?” ~ Bob Dylan
I’m a firm believer in making plans, setting goals and doing what needs doing. But when we’re trying too hard to reach that future place in a rush, without leaving a little wriggle room for opportunity, then we’re just like an impatient lion tamer. Cracking the whip without thinking about the consequences.
Making space in your life to let things unfold can mean a life that is more friendly than ferocious. Which would you prefer?
We get to decide just how extraordinary we will be in our lives.
But our default tends towards making “safe decisions”. And the danger of only making safe decisions is that we don’t grow.
Life is about decision. […] Whatever decision you make is the only one you could make. Otherwise you would have made a different one. Everything we do, we choose. So what is there to regret? You are the person you chose to be.” ~ Paul Arden
So how about making a few outrageous decisions instead of only sticking with safe? Outrageous decisions don’t have to be risky, but do involve pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
You can read more about making better decisions over on Medium, where my new piece for Do Lectures Do Contribute is now live. It’s called “Be Outrageous, Choose to Grow“.
Deciding to read it may just change your life. :)
On turning potential into action…
“When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action. Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future, I can see ahead of me.”
What if you give your ideas room to develop and expand? Let the ripples grow.
What if you turn their forward motion into a plan for action? Each ripple is a step in your plan.
What if you then act on that plan? One step at a time.
If you can imagine the furthest ripple away from “now” … then you can reach it.
On committing to the long game…
We humans get bored and distracted easily. We’re all for immediate gains over long-term outcomes.
Which is why it’s common for us to seek the quickest route possible to achieve our aims. Or give up entirely when it seems to be taking too long, or feels too hard.
“It’s easy to get on the path of mastery. The real challenge lies in staying on it.” ~ George Leonard
(Author of Mastery, an aikido practitioner and central figure in the “Human Potential Movement” started in the 1960s)
Taking the shortcut might be an easy route, but it means you lose out on plenty of learning opportunities…
Out there in the world, we tend to stick with what’s comfortable.
We usually stay on the well-trodden path or follow the well-signposted trail. The same goes for how we navigate our “self”. We avoid the bits of ourselves that make us uncomfortable.
But when we stick with comfortable habits and behaviours, responses and situations, we don’t grow. We close ourselves off to opportunities to develop. To discover our potential. To find out more about ourselves.
Who we really are in our hearts is what Joseph Campbell refers to as “our sacred space”. He likens it to a cave we’re afraid to enter, but which holds exactly what we’re looking for … if we’re brave enough to step into the unknown.
Becoming our best selves starts with self-knowledge, self-care and self-discipline.
And the often overlooked reigning strength behind attaining and maintaining self-sovereignty is RELIABILITY.
I wrote about developing our reliability skills for this month’s “DoContribute” article for The Do Lectures.
If you want to learn how to rule yourself in a trustworthy and consistent way, across all facets of your life, then head on over to read The hidden ‘R’ that helps us Do.