Weekly Insights and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference
There's plenty of science that supports the fact that practicing gratitude cultivates wellbeing. Yet, I struggled with weaving a gratitude practice into my daily life. I finally succeeded by developing two 1-minute micro-habits.
Gratitude Starts with You
It's pretty difficult to be truly grateful for external circumstances or relationships if you're not able to express gratitude for yourself and your inner life. I start my day by writing down three gratitudes related to myself and my situation.
These might include physical, emotional, or character "strengths." I might also list a recent experience, simple convenience or pleasure, and even a challenge that tests and develops me.
Here's my list for this day - "Today I am grateful for a curious mind, a cool breeze, and a difficult conversation I'm having later today."
Finding the Good in Others
A practice I learned from Seth Godin in the altMBA is "Finding the Good in Others." There are just two steps. First, "catch" someone doing...
Some people have a really hard time with the idea of fate. What's so upsetting about the idea that everything is happening as it was intended?
I think many don't like the idea that Providence* is in charge because that means that they are not.
Why not embrace fate instead? That your life and that of others is unfolding as it should and is meant doesn't mean you don't have a role to play. Indeed, it actually means you are even more "on the hook" for your thoughts, words, and deeds.
Adopting a posture that your efforts and aspirations are being pursued with the reserve clause, "fate permitting," doesn't mean that you're letting life happen to you. Instead, such an approach acknowledges that life is happening through you.
Whether you believe in or accept fate, you have a role to play in your life, the lives of others, the world, and even the cosmos.
Play that role well.
Let's keep flying higher together!
*Providence is the idea that God, Nature or something else...
When you create something and put it forth into the world, it's easy to fall into the "reach trap." "How can I get this in front of the most pairs of eyeballs possible?" Social media only amplifies the seductive delusion of "reach."
Your work doesn't need to reach everyone to make meaningful change happen. It merely needs to reach enough of the "right people" you intended it for.
Share something that delights the right people so thoroughly that they can't help but tell more of the right people. This is how you achieve the viability and sustainability necessary to allow you to get up again tomorrow and continue to do the work that fulfills and energizes you.
Yesterday I put my latest work into the world. The Creative on Purpose Handbook is a $1 guide for discovering, developing, and delivering enterprises worthy of your time, talents, and effort.
I wrote this handbook for you. If you grab a copy and it helps, please tell the others so we can all continue to fly higher in...
You're a lousy listener. So am I. It's a human thing. We're just not programmed to tune in and understand someone else's perspective or experience.
You and I are telling ourselves stories; stories about who we are, who other people are, what our circumstances are, what the situation in general is, and on and on.
The problem is, most of the time the narrator in our heads is composing works of fiction, not scientific or mathematical proofs based on irrefutable facts. And when we bump up against someone else's story in a conversation, we unconsciously and immediately stop listening and start judging their position and defending our stance.
No wonder we almost never change our mind.
The problem though is that unless you learn to change our mind, you can't ever truly improve or develop yourself.
What happens if you let go of your agendas and attachments? What if you enter a conversation and instead of just hearing or listening to what was being said you considered it? What if...
When is the "right" time to step into possibility, develop excellence, and start making a difference in an endeavor you're building?
Most often we decide it's "later." We convince ourselves that we need to learn more, think about it, get our ducks in a row, or wait for the "right" moment.
The thing is, we already possess everything we need to get started. You are sufficient even as you strive.
It's in the starting that we get to test and tweak and iterate and improve. Doing our work "out loud" and "in person" not only helps us refine what we do, it helps us "find the others." You enhance your life most through work done with and for others.
So, what does it take to start? Choose to start and then do it.
It helps to have fellow travelers on this journey, a destination in mind, and a plan for getting there, but nothing happens until you decide you're ready to go and you take that first step.
Turns out, at least in my experience, that the others show up and the...
We live in a time of abundance. Everything you want to have can be delivered to your device or door instantly. Anything you want to share can be delivered the moment you think it or make it.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
But when should you or shouldn't you?
In The Marketing Seminar we approach this challenge by asking three questions:
These three simple questions can help you discern if your motives are promiscuous or generous, selfish or of service, a waste or worthwhile.
Properly employing ability and abundance to your endeavors requires you do so with intention and integrity.
When you are thoughtful and deliberate about what you do choose and what you don't in your endeavors, you improve your chances of doing work worth your time and effort and everyone else's.
What should you do today? As important, what shouldn't you do?
I was about to turn 50. I was a husband, father, teacher, and musician. In each of those endeavors, I was doing well enough by anyone's standards.
I knew I could do more. I believed I could do better. I was ready to do both more and better in all my endeavors.
I began by looking inward. I reevaluated and reconnected with my core values, my inherent talents, and where I belonged.
Then I started looking outward at how I was approaching what I did, how I was doing it, and who I was doing it with.
And I decided that I need to change and that I could change right now.
I changed my mindset by simply acknowledging all the goodness I already possessed and all the possibility available to me. I changed my posture by deliberately engaging with others with greater empathy and generosity. And I started flying higher by intentionally engaging in meaningful endeavors that were done with and for others.
It was terrifying and it was thrilling. I had a lot of...
The history of music, Western music at least, is the story of growing more and more comfortable with dissonance. Over time, our ability to embrace, appreciate, and dance with this tension has increased.
Listen to a Gregorian chant and then tune in to composition by Ornette Coleman and you'll get a sense of how far we've come in what level of discomfort we're able to tolerate, and even expect, in the music we listen to.
Dissonance is a signal. In music, in life, and in your work, dissonance lets you know that change is about to happen, that this is worth paying attention to, and that it's time to lean in.
Those butterflies you feel. The noise in your head. They arise when you're about to do something different. Something that might even make a difference.
Dissonance isn't something to ignore or shy away from. It's a reminder that the tried and true need to be tweaked. It's an invitation to join in making change happen.
When was the last time you paid attention and leaned...
For those that endeavor, the conventional wisdom is "go big or go home." Following this advice is precisely why so few enterprises ever get started or off the ground. Instead of "swinging for the fences" and then quitting when you "strike out," why not strategically "settle" for "base hits?" Why not go small?
It's so easy to "hide" in big dreams. Big plans too often lead to spinning cycles collecting dots and getting your ducks in a row. You don't need new tools or training. You need to put yourself on the hook and get going. To get where you want to be you need to start where you are and take the next smallest step into the possibility you're aiming for.
The SVS (Smallest Viable Step)
This idea comes from a chat I had with my friend, Marie Schacht. Sure, you need to have an end in mind, but when deciding what to do next, choose the next SVS (smallest viable step). Your next SVS is your best guess at the next best step that will propel you and your work the furthest and...
Thanks to the many "early adopters," Creative On Purpose's 1-on-1 Endeavor Better Coaching Program is a thriving enterprise.
Summertime Is the Right Time to Endeavor Better!
On June 21st, prices increase for one-hour 1-on-1 Coaching.
Do you have an endeavor you're ready to level up in this summer? Is there a passion project, side hustle, or second-act you'd like to get going on or make progress in? Is there a role or relationship that you want to lean into with greater intention and integrity?
A one-hour 1-on-1 Endeavor Better coaching session will help you identify and step into possibility. Let's work together to help you develop your potential and deliver on your promise in an effort worthy of your time and talent.
Ready? Let's go!
If you're ready to fly higher in an endeavor that makes a difference, click this link and sign up before June 22nd to save 70% on the new one-hour 1-on-1 coaching rate.
You'll also receive free lifetime access to the Creative...