All the greats have said it, Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald, Bananarama….
It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it
How we bring ourselves to the things we do daily turns out to be a real differentiator. From building relationships to building resilience the most important distance, as Dr. Bob Rotella put it,
is the six inches between our own ears
The patterns we run, the opinions we hold, the inner-chatter-soundtrack that plays in our own mind, to the positive and the negative, all goes to mold the experience we have of the day and the experience that others have of us through the day.
And we’re back to Jack Daly’s advice about using your 168 in the grandest of fashions. We all get 168 hours per week and there are things we need to do consistently in that time if we want to be successful. Sometimes those things can be difficult, so anything that helps us perpetuate our “grandest” of habits will be welcome, right?
Well there was plenty of food for thought in this regard over the two days of the Pendulum Summit last month.
Firstly, a point that resonated greatly with me; the same point with which Jo Malone opened her session and closed the conference.
2018 – The year of creativity
The reference was made time and again over the course of the conference that we just don’t consider ourselves to be “creative”. Randi Zuckerberg made the point that, as a child, she was always told that girls can do any job they want. But no one ever said to her:
You can create any job you want
She had found herself joining her brother’s team at Facebook to fulfill one role and inadvertently creating another. It’s a message, she says, is important to deliver to young girls today. I took this to heart, and while I was already pretty good at encouraging her, I think Willow, my 5 year-old little girl is now on the verge of saying “Enough already Dad…. I get it, I’m creative and can create whatever I want!!”.
It’s important to live this, if our words of encouragement are to be impactful. We need to accept our own creativity and role model it to next generations. Look for examples of our own talent and creativity on a daily basis, and then celebrate it.
When we are celebrating, we are having fun. Fun was a common thread through all the sessions on both days. Especially when discussing the motivation and development of the people in an organisation. As a business owner or business leader, when you are having fun doing what you do, it’s infectious. It trickles through to the culture of the organisation. Besides, as Brad Sugars put it,
You don’t grow your business, your people do
Marci Schimoff referenced research that constructs our “Happiness Set-point” as
40% Behaviours, Habits and Thoughts
That same research confirms what we can agree, anecdotally, to be true; Happier people are more productive.
By identifying “the craic” and then making it habitual, you’re tapping into a potential 40% increase in peoples happiness and therefore an increase in productivity….. whether you are taking about your own or other peoples.
JUST DO IT
When we are doing what we do, our job is to do it and not to critique. Critiquing is someone else’s job. James Caan made this point quite emphatically and I remember associating greatly with the concept when I was following the Artist’s Way. I received the book as a Flood-Family-Kris-Kindle gift several years ago (Thanks Breeda).
All too often, and I can put my hand firmly in the air on this one,
we do a bit,
dislike it and
delete, delete, delete! Then start again.
It is an insidious habit and a hard one to break. I found the Artists Way’s “Morning Pages” exercise immensely valuable in this regard; free writing two pages of stream of thought, daily. Don’t think, do not reread and don’t stop until two pages are full.
It’s more difficult than it sounds.
WIN THE MOMENT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE
Far from learning a new skill, an exercise like the “Morning Pages” is more about unlearning old and no-longer-useful ones. A point beautifully made by Monica Parker on Day 1, when she shared her three “resolutions” for 2018:
Unlearn: the patterns we run that scupper our efforts.
Meraki: is the sweet spot between Passion and Grit. It’s purpose driven living. Live there.
Aha: firmly planting yourself where curiosity meets awe.
These were actually resolutions I loved, reminding me of a previous Pendulum speaker, Jamil Qureshi, who suggested that rather than a “To Do list”, we should all have a “To Be list”; reminding us of how we want to be during the day.
Living this way, requires a raised level of awareness; the ability to quiet the mind and be present to what’s going on right now and what that means for you.
It requires a familiarity with your values and the conviction to live to them.
In a word, Mindfulness; succinctly and eloquently defined by Paul O’Connell as
Wining the moment in front of your face.
The Wish Bone’s Connected to the Back Bone
I guess when we speak about perpetuating our “grandest” habits we mean developing our resilience; making it so we can do the things we need to do regardless of circumstance.
Dr. Bob Rotella summarised the anatomy of resilience by labeling its skeletal structure. Three Bones:
A Wish Bone – to dream and scheme and visualise your hearts desires
A Back Bone – to support progression toward those desires through potentially difficult circumstances
A Funny Bone – to maintain a sense of humour toward the many inevitable failures and setbacks along the way
In essence, working through my Pendulum notes on “How” we do the things we do, I am reminded to:
- Acknowledge my own Creativity, like my life depends upon it. One day it might, as poignantly noted in John Connors’ acceptance speech for Best Actor at the IFTAs this year when he said, and I agree:
Creativity can be a component to heal people
- Have fun – Make “the craic” habitual
- Keep her lit – “Done” eats “Perfect” for breakfast, everyday
- Win the moment in front of my face
- Calcify the bones of Resilience by letting myself dream, acknowledging my character and keep smiling
- To unplug – quoting Randi Zuckerberg best encapsulates this:
you cannot create something that is going to change the world when you are attached to your phone 24/7