Give to Get

We have been examining a number of areas how building the skill of control can help us in pursuit of our best self. I must admit, I was having a hard time coming up with another way to talk about building the skill of control until I came across the following tweet from Jon Gordon early this morning:

I decided to take on this experiment today. What would happen if I intentionally focused on encouraging others as I went about my business? I was sure it would a good thing for others, but what would happen to me? Would it help me beat the normal Monday, still-in-a-global-pandemic blues?

So I went ahead and gave it a try. I just went for it — focusing on my intention and authenticity. After several interactions, even some that were a little more on the difficult side of things, and I noticed changes in how my day played out.

First, I just felt better. I went from Monday’s “meh” to engaged and energized. Each conversation was a new challenge to find ways to be intentionally complementary, supportive and generally positive — while maintaining authenticity (in other words, not fake). Then, some cool new ideas came out to make work better for my team, which we just executed — building our shared energy. Definitely felt like I was connected to my intention for 2021 — boldness.

In reflecting on this day, it led me to consider an alternate way of looking at the first, cornerstone Agile Best Self Principle. When we need to shake ourselves out of a mini-funk, what if instead of:

Agile Best Self Principle #1: Our highest priority is to be our best self and enable others to be their best selves.

We can intentionally try:

“Today my highest priority is to show others their best selves, so I can enable my best self.”

— Me

I think the thought works. It is a new tool I can add to the best self tool box. By playing with the wording of the principle to meet me where I am today, I am actually being exactly what that first principle is all about. Maybe this is a bit of a circular reference.

But, for today, it was exactly what I needed to do. It turned into another tool I can use to exercise control, and overcome the narrative the Inner Critic likes to play when we’re having moments where we’re not feeling like our best self or connected to our broader intention.

What are some of the tools you use when you are in a similar situation? Are other Agile Best Self principles helpful?

Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by Brian Hackerson

My personal philosophy is to be a light.

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