MVP: Do things to take care of yourself.
This was an intense week of emails, so I will keep this short.
Whenever I go to San Francisco I do four things to take care of myself:
There is actually a specific walk I do that goes from my mom’s house over some hills and parks to a shopping area where a donut shop sits across the street from a dim sum deli.
Sure, numbers 3 and 4 aren’t physically healthy, but comfort food is what it is.
You can’t show up as your best self if you don’t take care of yourself.
Today’s intention: Eat a donut 😉
MVP: Acceptance does not require understanding.
There are a lot of things I do not understand.
There are a lot of people I do not understand.
Yet, my “need to know” instinct is so strong, I have a habit of making up information to help explain why I don’t understand something. Here are a few examples:
A big problem with making up explanations is that they reflect my own personal fears and biases and these fictional explanations are usually wrong. To wit:
Sometimes we can’t understand why someone behaves the way we do, but guess what?
Our job as leaders is to meet people where they are. We can be present. We can listen intently, and in listening, we can let go of the fictions and gather the facts.
Today’s intention: Monitor the assumptions you make today. What do you tell yourself about why people are behaving the way they are? Where are you making assumptions versus applying facts?
MVP: Fitting your actions to the context is more productive than trying to change the context.
Have you ever heard the newcomer exclaim, “Well, back where I come from, we did it this way!” The sentiment can come from many people and take different forms but it boils down to this: I want to do things the way I am accustomed to doing them.
While in San Francisco:
In doing so, I am trying to fit the context to my actions. This is silly.
I should fit my actions to the context:
Understand your context and adapt to it.
Today’s intention: Monitor your thoughts today. Specifically, listen for yourself saying “I wish X was different.” Will acceptance empower you?
MVP: We can choose to rewrite our present condition.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in San Francisco. As explained yesterday, I made a conscious choice to focus on positives and I was successful in that.
I consistently exhort us to remember we control how we show up for others. I am very good at showing up as my best self for others. However, I was surprised at how thoroughly I enjoyed my visit home.
Once I decided I wanted something different from my visits home, it was simple to identify how I needed to change. But simple things can be hard to execute. I don’t have a formula, but I consistently repeated affirmations to myself:
We can rewrite our moments.
There is a lot in this world that sucks right now, but when we focus on what we do not control we cede the power to capitalize on what we do control.
I don’t want this to be “rah-rah” or wreak of toxic positivity, but here is a universal truth:
There is beauty and opportunity all around us and we can choose to focus on it, to celebrate it, and to leverage it to help others.
This is not hyperbole.
That said, we also need to recognize that the negatives are greater for some than for others and the beauties may be smaller and harder to find. That’s not an excuse for us as leaders to do less; it’s a call on us to do more.
Today’s intention: Examine a situation you need to rewrite and consider how to bring your best self.
MVP: We can reframe the way we see things in positive ways
I was in San Francisco, my home town, from January 4-13. For the past 10 years, visits home have been stressful and filled with anxiety for several reasons:
As this most recent trip approached, I did some soul-searching and realized how much I had been missing. I resolved to reframe what a trip to San Francisco meant in the following ways:
I’ll write more this week about some powerful lessons, but the point of today’s email is to shed light on how we can intentionally reframe how we see our circumstances.
Today’s intention: Check in with your life. What creates stress? Is it an aging parent, a struggling child, a school spread beyond capacity? Just reflect and consider.