Well, here we go again.
I’ll bet there are twice as many (or more) blog posts today than usual, just like there are a whole lot more workouts going on today, and diets starting, and new habits and routines, and just a bunch of good changes in peoples lives happening today.
Because the earth has turned 365 times and made one whole circle around the sun?
The thing about a circle is that there is no beginning and no end, so we are the ones who have drawn an artificial line in the sand of time somewhere on that circle the earth has traveled, and we’ve decided something special should happen when the earth crosses that line.
Well, the earth doesn’t care. It just keeps spinning. And every turn is the same as all the others.
But I must say, it is a pretty powerful line.
How else could we get almost every person in the world to decide to change their life for the better? I don’t know. But if it’s such a good thing to do, why can’t we do it more often?
All we need is for every person in the world to choose to be better all the time, whatever that means to them, and deep down, they know what it is.
It’s a matter of choice. And we have that privilege every day.
So let’s all do make it a happy new year, and choose to be the person we know is better than what we are right now.
The earth will turn around again tomorrow.
Here’s a poem I wrote this morning as I thought about this subject.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day
a decade begins
but one just ended
after that second.
A line in the sand
drawn by time
is so monumental
Ten years of history
reviewed before our eyes,
ten years of predictions
spewed from pundits minds.
New beings emerge
resolved to change their lives
with new habits, goals, and focus
to create a different kind.
So much change
a whole new world
appears in the light.
What causes this change,
a cycle of time
determined by the earth
moving along its lines?
Nay, but the minds of the people
who decided to choose
a new way of living
because they wanted to.
Can this desire be unleased
and we find a way
to change the world more often
than just on New Year’s Day?
What happens when you write a blog post every day for two months and then all of a sudden stop?
Well, both of your readers get upset.
Or, nobody notices.
I’m hoping the later.
But here’s something that might be interesting.
Seth Godin doesn’t promote too many books from other people, only when it’s something he completely believes in. And let me tell you that Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of the Acumen Fund, is one of his favorite people. So when she releases her first book, The Blue Sweater, you know he is going to promote it as best as he can.
Here is his explanation of why you should buy her book. (I wouldn’t doubt that he is the anonymous donor.)
I think this is interesting because we’re learning how possible it really is to change the world. Maybe because there are so many parts of the world that have a lot of room for improvement, and we’re able to more easily connect those who can help with those who need the help.
I’m guessing that is what The Blue Sweater is about since the subtitle is “Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World”.
That looks like a good book to own. Plus, by buying it, you are doing your part to change the world.
There are 6 criteria for judging whether an improvement solution will be effective. (As explained by Eli Goldratt in his Webcast Series)
A solution must:
- Produce results and excellent benefits
- Be a win/win/win for all who’s collaboration is needed
- Have small risk relative to the benefits
- Be simpler than what we do now
- Have a sequence that enables people to get on board because the first actions deliver significant, immediate results
- Be one that does not self-destruct, or is blind to the dangers of success.
Of course, Goldratt has outlined a method with strategies and tactics that meets all criteria in the realm of Project Management. It is amazingly simple, but would require significant behavior changes and difficult decisions by top leaders in a large company. Still, many companies are being successful at applying his method.
Human systems are powerful. They can drive a consistent behavior from anyone who occupies a position in the system, regardless of who it is. This means that if you have a role in an organization, whether you’re at the top, in the middle, or at the bottom of the leadership structure, you tend to have certain behaviors, because the system has forces that are common among all organizations.
I attended a workshop today where we performed a simulation of a company. There were about 35 people and we all had certain roles, top managers, middle managers, bottom workers, and customers. It was an amazing experience. We were all eerily surprised how our actions mimicked real life behavior and interaction between people with different roles.
The most valuable thing about the simulation was that we were able to stop in the middle of it, several times, and take a look at how we were behaving. We analzed what was going on in regards to our conversations, strategies, and attitudes. We popped up to 30,000 feet and said, “What is going on here?”
If that can work in a simulation, why can’t we use that technique in our real life? Wouldn’t it be valuable to rise above your situation and say, “How am I acting right now? Why am I behaving this way?” Is there something I should be doing differently?
Self analysis is probably the most powerful tool for creating change.
So do it.
Flickr photo by Bernt Rostad
The first step to significant change in our life is becoming aware of how we come across towards others and what our weaknesses are that we cannot see. In effect, it is holding up a mirror. It is the only possible way to see our eyeballs.
So, what ever creates that same effect as holding up a mirror, for self introspection and reflection, then we should do that more often.
Only then can we clearly see the changes that need to be made.
Don’t you look in the mirror everyday?
Why not look into the mirror of your being for the same reason?
You might look different than you think.
Flickr photo by eqqman
Okay, maybe I don’t need to post something every day. That might be too much reading for both of you.
But I’m on a roll now, 2 days in a row. Might as well keep it up as long as I can. Besides, I need the practice.
In regards to change or improvement, sometimes we feel like this picture – we’re in soft mud. And if we stand still, like the sign, the same thing will happen to us…
…we’ll get overtaken by the status quo.
Keep moving… standing still is dangerous.
The other day I heard a presentation on How to Be a Change Agent. It was good material on how to lead and champion changes so that they are effective and stick. A lot of the content was from “Managing Transitions” by William Bridges and we learned the difference between ‘transition’ and ‘change’.
One exercise that was particularly powerful for me was a personal change that the presenter asked us to implement in order for us to really experience change and gain an understanding of what people are going through when someone causes a change to their normal processes.
He told us to switch the contents of our pockets. Put the stuff in your right hand pocket into your left hand pocket and vice versa. For those who didn’t have pockets (or stuff in them) he asked them to switch their watch to the other wrist. Then he said that we have to try and keep it in this new place for one week.
It seemed very trivial, but I played along, and right away I began to experience the annoyance of the change. I always keep my keys and phone in one pocket and my wallet in the other. After I switched, it kept driving me crazy. But I recognized the purpose and tried to learn from the experience.
It was eye opening because every time I was inconvenienced, only because it was against my routine, I realized how people might feel about a change that was imposed on them where they don’t really see the benefit over the old way they used to do things.
This was true experiential learning for me. We’ll see if I can keep it up for a week.
You should try it.