This wrench is among the simplest of tools in most toolboxes, but using it well creates remarkable results with often little effort. Sometimes it’s the smallest of tweaks a wrench provides that changes things for the better.
For a lot of us, we are in our annual performance review cycles. The end of the year. Justifying our existence yet again – write out the gory details of all the major events. Not a very energizing activity, can I get a witness?
A couple of days ago my wife was in a reflective moment — she was talking, within the context of her professional life, everything she had accomplished this year while living through a global pandemic. I took note of her body language — she was tremendously proud of the outcomes.
This encounter inspired me to go back and look at Agile Best Self Principle 12:
Agile Best Self Principle #12: At regular intervals, reflect on how to become your best self, then tune and adjust.
Since we are in the season of reflection on the 2020 Dumpster Fire, I decided to apply the wrench analogy, and tweak the question a little bit. I repositioned the question in my mind to “what are the things you are most proud of in 2020?” I decided it was time to build my Top 5 list of these things. This list included not only big project outcomes, but also included some new relationships I had forged in the process that helped create positive outcomes at work.
This morning I took the opportunity to share this list with my colleagues and boss during a regular meeting and read them aloud. I noticed a couple of things: 1) everything I listed were examples of when I am the best version of me — being a light, and 2) I felt body activation while I was doing it, which was a sign I was in flow at that moment. In the end, this experience shifted my feelings about 2020 toward an inner dialogue that was amazed and energized about what actually happened. Especially true in the year of the pandemic where every day is Groundhog Day (Bill Murray movie reference).
I think this little tweak also trains that optimism muscle we have been exploring together here. Intentionally looking for a different angle of the same old question to turn something less than energizing into a positive is like doing some mental bicep curls.
So, what are you the most proud of in 2020? I promise you, this will make your room better.
Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson
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