Recently, someone who read the book emailed me asking, “What’s the most difficult mindset and pattern to break?” Over and over again, I’m finding that our clients are most interested in changing their routines, studying their habits, and building the foundation of practices and principles that will get them to the next level – both personally AND professionally.
What is YOUR pattern?
So, when you start reading Your Best Just Got Better, you’ll quickly see that the focus of the book is YOU. As an author, I put you in the driver’s seat as the reader, I ask you questions – some are hard-hitting – and give you activities that will make you wonder not just WHAT you do, but why you’re doing it.
So, are you looking for the starting point? The first thing I’ll ask you to do is to make a very, very important list. This one inventory will serve two purposes…
First, met me lead you through the activity. Then, I’ll tell you want you can expect.
Either print this page, or open your notebook to a new piece of paper. Down one column, I want you to write 10 people’s names. These are the first 1 people who come to mind when you think, “Who will I talk with this week about ANYthing that is at all important to me?”
Activity #1: Who is your “who”?
Ok, once you have this list, you’re going to be able to do some very specific things with it. To start, I’d recommend you draw a few more columns. Now, what you label those columns, of course, is up to you. What you want though is to start to do some tracking where you can gather some information that is important to you. You see, before you can “break” a certain (limiting) mindset, or build a certain (uplifting) mindset, you must know what kind of support you have either way.
A Sample Worksheet
On the left hand side, you’ll see the first and last initial of the people I’ll wind up spending a lot of time with over the next week. (Notice, I only wrote 6 people, as I’ll await the next few days to see who needs to be added to the inventory.) Then, I can start to fill in the blanks with answers to such questions as:
1. + / –
Whenever I leave a conversation with someone, I ask myself a very simply question, “Do I feel better, or worse, about my place in the world?” Look, I know it’s a subjective question, but it’s one that I continue using. Whenever I ask it, I always have an immediate answer; and, it is a good way for me to measure how much more (or less) time I’ll spend with that person.
2. Topic of Last Discussion
Straightforward…What have been the past few topics of discussion when I have met up with that person. Are they topics I’d want to talk more about? Less about? Differently?
3. Topic of Next Discussion
I’m all for spontaneity and everything, BUT (and, this is a big but) if our time here on earth really IS limited, what would I want to make sure comes up in a conversation with someone important to me. Folks, just last month my younger cousin was in a car accident, for the past few weeks he has been in the ICU; I continue reflecting on the last conversation I had with him over the holidays. Then, not even three weeks ago, a dear friend of mine – 38 years old, with a 7 year old daughter, was out for a Sunday morning, Marathon training run. He never came home. He was struck and killed by a drunk driver, who has since pleaded guilty and is now facing a prison term.
Next time you see someone, ask yourself, “What would I like to have talked about by the time I walk away?”
4. What can I ask them for help with?
Interestingly enough, I believe most people LOVE to help, they are just wary of how they are being asked. Just this week, I was at a conference here in Phoenix, Arizona and listened in on a presentation by JJ Ramberg (MSNBC Anchor, Your Business) and she said, “One of the most effective ways I’ve seen someone ask for help is to share a problem they are facing and then make THREE very specific asks for assistance.”
I sat in the audience and found myself wondering, “What are the SPECIFIC things I need to ask for help from my community with in my work and in my life?” It has been a great exercise that I’ve continued practicing.
5. How can I serve them?
I have so much to offer the planet. And, so do you. (How do I know? You’re reading this…still. Anyone who’d STILL be reading this note is someone I’d think is “my people.” So, since we’re so much alike, I just say we keep giving of our overflow, sharing of the abundance.)
Walking away from conversations, email exchanges and phone calls, I like to ask myself, “What can I do to be of service?” There’s always (yes, ALWAYS) an answer that comes to mind…
Now, as you think about the people YOU are going to spend time with for the rest of today, next week, this year, or the rest of your life, consider the kinds of things you want to be aware of. What we know is that the more aware you are of the input that comes in, the easier it will be to identify the mindset that you’ve practiced…And, start considering how you can change it to be more positive/proactive/productive.