(A special thanks to the owner of SSG, Jon Stigliano, for writing this week’s post!)
Have you ever wondered why you did something, why something happened to you, or what you would do if you could go back and do it over? Most of us have, and I think it’s because most people live an “unconscious life” rather than a “conscious life”. We wait for things to happen to us and then react to the situation at hand with whatever tools we have at our disposal.
Life is about our ability to change. Nothing ever stays static. Time keeps moving, people change, life is ever evolving, and the things we experience today will not be the same ones we experience in the future.
I look at my beautiful 16-year-old daughter. Try as I might to keep her in that state of being “daddy’s little girl” the fact remains that she is growing up and will one day be out on her own facing the world with the values, tools, ideals, and concepts that she has been taught. I can’t change that she will grow up, however I can control how I change to be the kind of father she needs at each stage of her life.
The same is true of leading people in our organizations. Organizations change, market demands change, we change. The question is, are we reacting to the change or being proactive. Are we unconsciously asleep at the wheel and just responding to each situation, or are we awake, in control and consciously evolving to be what we need to be for the situation.
I once read that change comes out of either inspiration or desperation. In thinking about that concept I have come to believe that if you do not stay inspired something or someone will come along and make you desperate. I don’t know about you, but I am at my best when I am inspired, and it is my responsibility to keep myself inspired through conscious thoughts, focusing on my goals, and continually growing.
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, at one time the greatest heart surgeon in England, said “Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.” Think about it. When you’re discouraged, you wake up in the morning and right away, there are streams of thought coming into your mind. You haven’t invited them, you didn’t ask for them, and you are not consciously doing anything to produce them. They just happen.
You can help yourself and others filter unfounded fears and unwarranted worries that come from our inner dialogue. After doing so, you have the opportunity to speak affirming and encouraging words that can take the place of negative thoughts. Once people change their thinking, their attitudes and actions eventually follow.
This concept is challenging because attitude change happens slowly, rarely, and sometimes never. We must be conscious, proactive, consistent, and diligent in our pursuit of success and happiness. So wake up! The car is in drive and moving down the highway whether you are driving or not!