So think about your answer. How are you doing? Me? Oh, thanks for asking. I am doing ok. Not great, not awful. Ok. All things considered, I am proud of that. You don‘t need me to recount all of the ways life has been impacted in 2020. We are all way too familiar.
Annnnd, this is big stuff we are all dealing with here. For some, it‘s about rent, food, survival. For others, and I count myself among this luckier group, it‘s more like an existential impact. Has my income been impacted? Yes. Dramatically? No. My roof is guaranteed, my food shopping habits haven’t changed which is a blessing, but my sense of stability and security has been impacted. So lucky, blessed but...shaken. In other words, I am ok.
The problem is, I don‘t like just doing ok. And for those of you experiencing a greater destabilizing impact, I feel confident you aren‘t enjoying it either. So what do we do? Well, I am a big believer in hauling out the toolbox. And one of the best tools I know of when I am feeling like this is to identify what I am most in need of and I give that away to other people. So if I need security I find a way to give that to others. If I need community I find a way to give that to others. If I need to feel a sense of contribution, I get down to giving a sense of contribution to others...enough with the examples, ya? You get my drift.
So how do you get this tool in your toolbox? You‘re in luck because this is a three-pronged tool:
1) Reflection - Sit with what is bothering you. Really sit with it. Label the feeling and get underneath it. What is the root cause? Identify it, NAME it. If I‘m honest - which I always am - this is the part of the tool that people resist the most. I am asking you to sit with what is causing discomfort. Don‘t walk away, don‘t open a beer, don‘t phone a friend, don‘t yell at a team member, don‘t eat fries. SIT WITH IT. NAME IT.
2) Give - That which you seek, give away. So now that you have named it, give it to someone else. As I said above, if you‘re worried about your company’s balance sheet, contribute to someone else‘s. If you need help, help someone else. I know. I’m being pedantic. You get it.
3) Give someone else the opportunity to Give - Yup you heard me right. Pass the tool on. I call this the cascade effect. We are ALL looking for ways to feel better, to have more control in situations where we have little control. Think of it like compound interest. If you give and create environments for others to give, well in essence you change your life, your company, your community, your corner of the world.
I love me a good toolbox. Pull yours out. And let me know...How you doin‘!?