A few weeks ago I drove to my office to complete a system software upgrade on my laptop. When I got there, I decided to grab most of my personal effects as it will probably be at least six months before we return to work fully. Also, it gave me a chance to tidy up and toss out or recycle the old papers I had laying around. My office looked like someone had quickly evacuated, and it was generally a mess.
In past years, it was a tradition of mine to do a similar purging at year’s end. I liked the idea of starting a new year with a clean workspace. I would come across things in the piles of paper that were reminders of things that had happened during the year. A few years ago, I came across the output of a team building activity I had led with my team, at that time. It was an activity where we wrote a press release to help us set the grand vision for an initiative we started early that year. I had long forgotten that we had done this, as once we got going on the effort our focus on execution took over. Many of you may recognize this exercise as a best practice from Amazon — a great way to articulate your vision, which even included some fictitious quotes, simulating the kinds of things we wanted stakeholders to say by the time the year was over. I read this and a smile came across my face — we had delivered what we said we were going to, and we even got one of the quotes right, almost verbatim. That particular year was one that I will remember with great pride and satisfaction because of what the team together had accomplished.
This year, there was no such gem in the pile of papers. However, I did find a blog post from Seth’s Blog that I had printed way back in 2019. I get Seth’s Blog in my email each day. Some days it feels like Seth must have been sitting in my home office listening to my every word and watching everything I do. This post in 2019 was one of those. I remember being inspired by it, as you can see by the highlights in the photo below:
Fast forward about eighteen months, and I come across it again. And again, I am inspired by in but in a much different way. Try this out — replace the word “project” with “life” and the words “time and money” with the words “intention and focus”. The second sentence now reads something like this:
On each card, write down an element of your life that, if you invested intention and focus, would change for the better?
Deciding where to place your intention and focus, to me, is at the essence of control. The exercise inspired by this blog post by Seth Godin could help anyone figure out what intention (who do I want to be?) so that something important to them going change. Sounds a bit like Agile Best Self Principle 8?
Agile Best Self Principle #8: Prioritize “being more” over “doing more” for sustainability.
You could do this exercise for a day, a week, or even a year. It will work. Since it’s the beginning of a new calendar year, many are thinking about resolutions for the year. This exercise is helpful in helping you identify your intention for the year, as I suggest in this previous post. It helps us figure out what outcomes you want for your life, then you can identify the intention or intentions needed to deliver, then hone in on the one that really resonates. Could one intention possible drive all the outcomes you want to change?
Want to explore this idea of intention further with us? Michaele and I invite you to join us at our Intention Workshop, scheduled for January 25th. Check out Michaele’s post for more information here, or you can register here.
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson