Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor Frankl
A Typical Day…
In today’s fast-paced, high results-driven business environment, it is becoming more and more common to hear phrases like “I’m being asked to do more with less” or “there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all this done” or “my plate is more than full, it’s over-flowing.” While more is being asked of us, nothing is being taken away to create the space in which to do more.
Re-Actions (taking the same actions again and again and again)
What then ensues is a range of possible responses and reactions – frustration, helplessness, overwhelm, burden, worried, and more. We may even become paralyzed and unable to act. We live as if it’s a cause/effect paradigm – we’re asked or given something, we respond, and we become doomed to repeat the same cyclical range of possible behaviors that emerge from our response. Said another way, we pull out a familiar behavior pattern from our past, from a time or place in which we similarly responded to a like stimulus. It must have worked then (we’re still here, right?) so it will likely work now! So, we produce a re-packaged iteration of the past, or what’s already been done, maybe dressed up and re-versioned to fit the new circumstances.
However, here’s the downside:
No new thinking. No peace of mind.
No new actions. No sense of accomplishment.
No growth. No freedom.
The fallout of this type of scenario is that we ultimately feel a loss of power, or more accurately stated, we give our power away. Power as distinct from force, is at the heart of new leadership models, with inspiration and empowerment at the very core.
But What Can I Do?
In those very moments of automatic response to stimulus, what if we did 3 simple things to reclaim our power?
- Meditation: Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and calm your mind and physical sensations. Still the flurry of reaction and listen. Listen for what is important to you, to what are you committed?
- Mindfulness: Bring the automatic, unconscious response up to the level of awareness, consciousness, and mindfulness. Place your commitment next to your reaction. Are they a match for one another? Does your reaction demonstrate, or derail, your commitment?
- Productivity: Elevate productivity by focusing on action that will forward your commitment:
- Identify one promise you could make (e.g. “I will do ‘x’(WHAT) by ‘y’(WHEN) and ‘z’(HOW) to let you know I’ve taken that action.
- Make a request of someone to take an action (e.g. “I request that ‘x’(WHO) does ‘y’ (WHAT) by ‘z’ (WHEN) and bonus – email me to let me know that action is complete.
A Pathway of Power
Rather than panic and react/respond as you always have, you CHOOSE to take the power back into YOUR hands. You are acting consistent with your commitments, and your actions are a natural reflection and self-expression of what truly matters.
What you can see, you can impact.
If you can be self-aware, you can self-manage.
Productivity increases as actions rooted in commitment are set in motion.