I’m a big believer in perspective. In fact, it’s probably the common denominator in most everything I write and teach because it's a force multiplier. This being the case, I thought today might be a fine time to share four steps to a new perspective. Whether you’re an early bird, night owl, or hummingbird, you can incorporate these anywhere in your daily routine. And if you're an introvert or Swainson's Warbler (arguably the world's shyest bird), well then, you can incorporate the steps into your solo lunches!
Step 1: Unplug (from the news, from social media, from others—be they family, friends, co-workers).
Step 2: Then set a timer for 15 minutes to feel sorry for yourself. Doubt. Fear. Shake your fist at the world, at leadership, at the market, or scream into the wilderness for all I care. Whatever poison’s coursing through your veins, this is your ‘free time’ to let it run unbridled, unchecked, full out. Scratch it down in your journal if you want. Just make sure you get it all out, because you won’t get this chance for another 24 hours :-)
Step 3:When the timer chimes, turn the page in every way: mentally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, socially, relationally, and on paper. Count your blessings. For what are you thankful this day? Allow an attitude of gratitude to pour through you as you write down every single positive thing that comes to your mind. “I am grateful I can think.” “I am grateful for this pen.” “I am grateful for this page.” “I am grateful I have the use of my hand to write on this page.” “I am grateful I am not alone.” “I am grateful the sun rose today.” List as many of the 'good things' (aka blessings) as you can for as long as you’d like. When you’re done, re-read them one last time, aloud, even if you’re only whispering to yourself.
Step 4: Now turn your attention to the world and go make it a better place. Give back. Think of someone, anyone, to whom you WILL ‘pay forward’ some kindness in the coming hours. For example:
I received a text the other day that read, in part,“Please give me an update about how you are dealing with our new reality, how you think about it philosophically, and, most importantly, your health.”
And Sunday morning, I came across a missed call and voicemail from an old friend: “Just calling to give you 'a check-up from the neck-up.’ I’m just taking time to call and check on friends whom I love and care about. Just want you to know I love you, I’m thinking of you, and I wish you well.”
And yesterday morning, a text from a freelancer and her family: "Checking in to see how you're doing. Please let me know how we can be praying for you."
These buoys buoyed me, and I, in turn, did my very best to pay that positive energy forward by sending a number of texts to others, ordering takeout in a micro-effort to support two locally-owned restaurants that are struggling...and tipping an amount equal to the food and drink cost should it make a difference in the servers' day. Who knows, maybe it'll make the choice between paying the water bill or the electric bill this month a both/and moment.
# # #
I once read, “How can you taste my tea if you won’t empty your own cup first?”
Try these four steps this coming week and let me know how it goes. Be disciplined; do them all.
You can’t control the world, but you can control your behavior in it and your reaction to it.
Tell me how the tea tastes.
Onward and upward!