March 18, 2016
5 Ideas, 3 Questions, and an Action
Not all habits are made the same.
Healthy and constructive habits make us reliable, while unhealthy and unproductive habits make a person predictable. And there is a sacred difference between the two words.
Habits like complaining, showing up late, not following through, rudeness, outbursts, focusing on the negative, gossiping, and wasting time become drains on other people—these habits affect others. Because habits like these become aspects that we learn to dread, we adjust our outlooks accordingly. That is, we lower our expectations and, when we can, avoid interacting with these people.
Habits like punctuality, responsibility, active-listening, courtesy, understanding, focusing on the positive, sharing, and meeting deadlines are life giving to others—these habits benefit those we are connected to. When we are looking to collaborate, celebrate, be vulnerable, share, grow, challenge ourselves, spread our wings, speak our truths, and make big decisions these are the people who come to mind.
Abdul Rauf tells us succinctly, “What is consistent in your life; is your life”. And, habits are those actions and behaviors that we practice consistently. From that foundational place, like magnets, we attract and repel people, places, things, and experiences to us and from us. So, what is consistent in your life? What is your life?
What is one productive habit that I am actively cultivating?
What is one unproductive habit that I am, at the very least, aware I am practicing?
How often do I check in with myself and ask, “How am I doing?”
Desired Result: Create a Random Act of Kindness
Concrete Action: Post-it Note Vandalism
It’s not real vandalism. In fact, it’s practically the opposite—nevertheless, it operates under the same principles of graffiti. That is, putting language and images where they don’t “belong”. Here’s how to do it. Grab a stack of Post-it Notes and a pen and begin writing down compliments and phrases that you like to hear from others in your own life. Things like: “You are loved.” “You are beautiful.” “I am glad you are alive!” “I miss you.” “I am proud of who you have become.” “I am happy that there is a YOU in the world.” You can also draw symbols like hearts, smilies, and emojis if you choose. Get a good amount of them dashed off (they don’t need to be fancy or perfect…just legible) and begin putting them up around town. Stick one to the mirror in the bathroom at Target, leave a few in the elevator of your apartment building, put one in the tip-jar at the coffeeshop, or stick one to the window of someone’s car in the parking lot. As you do it, check in with yourself about how it feels to do this.
Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.
Zach Carlsen is the grateful lead blogger at StrengthsLife.com
His strengths of Ideation, Connectedness, Input, Strategic, and Empathy have taken him all over the world. He is an inventor, athlete, joyous wanderer/wonderer, translator, poet, and Transformation Coach.
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Facebook: Zachary Carlsen