What are you going to learn? Who are you going to teach?

“Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those who you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as they teach.”

Seneca

Do you have a goal to learn something from at least one person every day? How about teaching one person something every day?  

Reflect on your interactions with all the people you touched today. What did you learn, and what did you teach? Could you take two minutes to write it down?  

Imagine how much more prosperous the world will be for you and others one year from today if you approached every interaction with a teach/learn mindset. It’s never too late to start…

How will your actions speak today?

“Choose as a guide one whom you will admire more when you see him act than when you hear him speak.”

Seneca

If you couldn’t speak for a week, how could you communicate your character and core values through actions alone? What if that week turned into a month? A lifetime?  

If you want to challenge yourself, try this exercise every day for a week or a month. You will be amazed at what you learn.

  1. Grab a pen and paper.  Write down one word that is core to everything you believe about life and how you want to show up that day.  (You can, and should, do this many times, so don’t worry about finding the perfect word. Just go with the first one that comes to mind)
  2. Set a timer for five minutes and brainstorm three key behaviors you can actively demonstrate TODAY that bring your word to life through action, without any spoken communication.
  3. Pick ONE!  Circle it on our page. Commit it to memory and then commit to accomplishing that action TODAY.
  4. Then do it.  If it is something that you can demonstrate multiple times throughout the day, then do it over and over again.  
  5. At the end of your day, score yourself on your ability to put into action what you hold as foundationally right without using a single word. Use a simple zero to 10 scale and write your score on the paper from the morning.  
  6. Do the exercise over again the next day. It can be the identical word using the same behaviors or new ones. The key is to commit to demonstrating through action what you believe. No talking is allowed.  
  7. Track your scores over time to measure your progress and gauge your effectiveness at delivering what you believe through actions.  

The point is to let your actions do your talking for you and intentionally choose your behaviors based on your core principles and commit to bringing them to life through your efforts. If you can remove the barrier of speech, you will truly begin to communicate… 

Review your day with the beginning in mind…

“I will keep constant watch over myself and – most usefully – will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil – that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect only upon that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past.”

Seneca

One of the most impactful habits I have added to my routine is a morning preview and an afternoon/evening review. Doing this has enhanced my ability to focus on only what is most important and ensure that I hold myself accountable for what I committed to accomplishing on any given day.

Try taking five minutes in the morning to start your day with focus and intention. Then follow up at the end to take stock of your performance against your plans for the day.

Here are the questions I am currently using in my “Kickstart” and “After Action Review” journal. Give something like this a shot; you might find it to be a very beneficial exercise.

XX/XX/21 – 2021 – Day Focus Headline:

AM Kickstart:

Today I am grateful for…

What would make today great? What is the most important thing I must accomplish today?

Daily Affirmation Statement:


PM After Action Review:

Three things that happened today?:

Did I achieve my specific focus goal for the day? Why / Why Not?:

How could I have made today better?:

Do you see obstacles or opportunities?

“A good person dyes events with his own color…and turns whatever happens to his own benefit.”

Seneca

Do things happen to you, or for you?  There is a marked difference between these two perspectives. The former ensures that you see the world as a series of obstacles. The latter viewpoint allows you to see the world as a series of opportunities.  

The beauty is that the way we perceive the things that happen in our lives is entirely up to us. Every day, we have the opportunity to choose whether we live a life of abundance or a life of scarcity, a life of obstacles, or one of opportunity. These might be the most critical choices we ever make.

Is this useful?

“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Often it is easy to justify your anger and make up excuses that it is reasonable to “get something off your chest” or okay to “let your passion show through” but I can’t think of one time when I have said or done something in a moment of anger that I didn’t regret upon further thought or reflection.

Anger is a completely normal emotion and a very acceptable response to many situations. However it isn’t always helpful. The single best question I have ever been taught to think about during an emotional response is; “is this useful?”

When angered take a moment to pause and ask yourself “is this anger useful” and then make a deliberate and intentional decision to act, if necessary.

Be happy…

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so, wants nothing.” 

Seneca

Every day our world and society demands us to want more things. That we should covet more stuff, more experiences, all those things that others have and we don’t. It can feel like the entire world is aimed at helping us focus on what we don’t have RIGHT NOW and thus seeding discontentment and disappointment.

Now there is nothing wrong with dreams and goals. Nothing wrong with desiring to do and be more in our one “wild and precious life.” Obviously I have written about the power of goals many times. The disconnect occurs when those things are all that one thinks about, worries about, stresses over or devotes themselves to becoming.

Living for the future is to neglect the incredible gifts and blessings we have been given TODAY. I personally fight this battle constantly, and it has been a constant battle through my life. It is a daily struggle to put down the focus on tomorrow and to simply be in the moment today. But when I do it, and shift my energy to being fully present with gratitude for exactly where I am TODAY all the seeds of discontentment and anxiety disappear as if blown away by a strong wind.

Ask yourself this question: What is it today that I am most grateful for in my life? I have found that answering this question has an amazing way of pulling one back to the present moment and focusing energy on where one is. It keeps the distractions of life at bay and for those, like me, who have a tendency to live in and for the future, it puts me solidly in the present moment. Try it out, write it down every morning and see what happens. You might find yourself happier than you have ever been.

Embrace the suck…

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”

Seneca

How easily we understand the need to change our body by challenging it with difficulty.  We get up early, we go to the gym, we push out just one more repetition on the bench press.  We know that by challenging the body we become stronger.  Embracing the suck is what we do to get stronger physically.  It’s easy to do because we have a goal we are striving to accomplish.

It works the same way with mental difficulties of course, but those aren’t as easy to embrace.  I’m not talking about learning new things and seeking new knowledge, that’s different.  I mean the times when life is challenging us, when things aren’t going our way.  Those difficulties aren’t as easy to embrace as strengthening opportunities, until you set aside emotions and personal pride and truly seek to learn from whatever challenge life has thrown your way.  That’s when the breakthroughs happen.  That’s when we get stronger…

Sign up here to receive the daily quote that inspires my blog posts. Thanks!

dusty

%d bloggers like this: