Finding your why

Several things have occurred recently that have led me to a similar set of thoughts.

Firstly, I bumped into a parent at Cai’s school and we sat down together and talked. Craig Zablocki is a funny man and he makes his living public speaking and using improv techniques to “get in people’s faces; in a good way.” Basically he likes to make his audience think about actions they can start now to make a positive change in their life or work.

Our conversation covered similar territory to my intention with this blog. When I write here, I am often reflecting on what makes us the best we can be. The trouble is that many times I am uncomfortable because I understand optimal behavior academically, yet I am human and I do not always take my own advice. I feel as if I have been asleep for rather a long time and therefore recognize that perhaps I am more of a sham than a shaman when I ponder the words I type. This feeling of disconnect ultimately leads to procrastination on a large scale.

While Craig and I talked and laughed I realized that he was asking me to hold myself accountable to at least one immediate action that was going to change my path. This aligns with two other sources of thought that I am currently being accosted by. The first is a book by Simon Sinek titled “Start with Why“. Sinek’s thesis is a simple one. Good leaders and organizations stand out because they do something simple yet profound; before telling you what they do and how they do it they communicate why they do what they do. We buy into their belief. If the belief (why), the actions we take to realize the belief (how) and the result of the action (what) are in alignment then people see us as being authentic and naturally trust us. Elegantly spartan, Sinek campaigns for us to consider our belief and values first and make a clear statement of them before we start to think about how we are going to make them happen and finally the measures we will put in place to know we have achieved what we set out to do.

The final thought I wish to share is a four minute talk on ted.com by a volunteer fire fighter Mark Bezos. Mark recounts an amusing story of going into a building to rescue a pair of shoes. I will not spoil the ending for you, his pitch though is worth waiting for. Again it is simple; start doing small things today.

So what do I take from all of this? Well I agree with what Tony Robbins says in his TED lecture; we live in a therapy culture, one where most of us believe that all we are is our past. Biography equals destiny. He goes on to say that decision is the ultimate power. Well here is one of my decisions, it is a small action I can start today and one that helps me a great deal. I will commit to writing this blog once a week and I will use it to ruminate and create material that I can use while teaching.

What small action are you going to take which will positively shape yours or someone else’s future.

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