Did you know… … that today is First Recording of a Solar Eclipse Day? In 780 BC, the Chinese recorded the first reliably reported total eclipse of the sun. The next total solar eclipse will pass over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean on December 4, 2021, and a total solar eclipse is coming to North America on April 8, 2024.
~~~ Today’s Inspirational Quote: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
1Avoid making a decision or committing oneself in order to gain time.
2Temporarily adopt a particular course in order to conform to the circumstances.
Examples of Temporize in a sentence “The council intended to temporize the vote until the final member could arrive.” “Kyra decided to temporize her roommate’s walking pace to continue the conversation.”
People are culturally wired to want to reciprocate. That’s one of the things that make a community function–someone does something nice for you and you’re inclined to want to find a way to do something nice in return.
Along the way, that instinct has been turned into a selfish way to get what you want.
Find someone you need (or will need) something from, figure out a way to do them a ‘favor’ and then use the interaction to create the conditions where the other person feels obligated to help you in return.
First, no one likes to be hustled.
Second, your hustle is more transparent than you realize.
Third, people value things differently. The thing you thought was a big lift didn’t mean that much to the person you did it for, or the thing you’re hoping they’ll do in return is far more difficult than it appears to be from your perspective.
The alternative is to go through your day oblivious to the idea that reciprocity might be a thing that other people feel compelled to act on. Simply show up with good intent to do work that you’re proud of.
If we do this with consistency and care, sooner or later, it comes back around. Not because we hustled, but precisely because we didn’t.
Here are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider this week…
3 Ideas From Me
“There will never be a perfect time to do something that stretches you.
That’s true whether you are starting a business, having a child, changing careers, or wrestling with any number of challenges. That’s not a license to be reckless and never think things through, but at some point you have to embrace the uncertainty because it is the only path forward.
If you were ready for it, it wouldn’t be growth.”
“Planning and preparation are useful until they become a form of procrastination.
Is this task enhancing my actions or substituting for them?”
Author Virginia Woolf on great art evolving with us:
“There is one peculiarity which real works of art possess in common. At each fresh reading one notices some change in them, as if the sap of life ran in their leaves, and with skies and plants they had the power to alter their shape and colour from season to season. To write down one’s impressions of Hamlet as one reads it year after year, would be virtually to record one’s own autobiography, for as we know more of life, so Shakespeare comments upon what we know.”
Writer Jorge Luis Borges on transforming every experience into a resource:
“A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”
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For years, I have collected a list of insightful speeches that are not widely known. I’ve discovered many hidden gems. Recently, I created transcripts for 10 of my favorites and compiled them into a single document titled, “Great Talks Most People Have Never Heard.” Each one is filled with useful ideas for life and work.
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My mission is simple. I want to help successful people achieve positive, lasting change in behavior; for themselves, their people, and their teams. I want to help you make your life a little better. Thank you for subscribing! Life is good.
What if you could control your environment so it triggered your most desired behavior and steered you toward success?
This would mean that instead of blocking us from our goals, the environment would propel us toward them. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? It also sounds far-fetched. It’s not. To achieve “control” of the environment so it triggers our most desired behavior, we must first clarify the term trigger:
A behavioral trigger is any stimulus that impacts our behavior.
Within this definition, there are six distinctions that will help improve our understanding of how triggers influence our behavior.
A trigger can be direct or indirect. Direct triggers are stimuli that immediately and obviously impact behavior. There are no steps in between the triggering event and your response. For instance, a child chases a ball into the street in front of your car. You slam on the brakes. Simple. Indirect triggers take a roundabout route to influence our behavior. For instance, you see a family photo, it triggers thoughts and memories – and you remember to call your sister.
A trigger can be internal or external. External triggers come from the environment. Our five senses pick up on them, as well as our minds. Internal triggers come from our thoughts and feelings and are not connected with anything on the outside. Have you ever heard that “little inner voice”? That’s what I’m talking about here. It’s not prompted from the outside, but if it stimulates behavior, it’s as valid as any external prompt.
A trigger can be conscious or unconscious. Conscious triggers require awareness. Hot plate – withdraw hand! Unconscious triggers are beyond our awareness. Most people are oblivious to how much the weather influences their moods. Respondents to the question, “How happy are you?” claimed to be happier on a perfect weather day than respondents to the same question on nasty weather day.
A trigger can be anticipated or unexpected. Anticipated triggers are visible a mile away. For instance, we know right now that the National Anthem will be played at the Super Bowl next year. Unanticipated triggers take us by surprise, and often stimulate unfamiliar behavior, possibly even a drastic desire to change!
A trigger can be encouraging or discouraging. Encouraging triggers push us to maintain or expand what we are doing. They reinforce us – like the finish line for a marathon runner. Discouraging triggers push us to stop or reduce what we are doing. Chatting in a theater and hearing a barrage of “Shhh!” is one such discouraging trigger.
A trigger can be productive or counterproductive. This is an important distinction. Why? Because productive triggers push us toward becoming the person we want to be. Counterproductive triggers pull us away from that goal.
And, there you have them. Six distinctions of behavioral triggers that will help improve our understanding of how triggers influence our behavior.
Now it’s your turn. Try this exercise. It will make you smarter about specific behaviors and help you connect them directly to your behavioral successes and failures.
Pick a behavioral goal you’re pursuing: losing weight, being more patient, calling your parents once a week, etc.
List the people and situations that influence the quality of your performance / progress towards these goals. Stick to the trigger or two that relate to one specific goal. Define them. Are they encouraging or discouraging, productive or counterproductive, etc.?
Chart the triggers to see if you are on the positive or negative side of your goals.
While this exercise may not solve the puzzle of achieving behavioral change – it will point you in the right direction.
And, starting off in the right direction may be the greatest payoff in identifying and defining our triggers. It is an occasional but necessary reminder that no matter how extreme the circumstances, when it comes to our behavior, we always have a choice!
… that today is Take It Easy Day? In 1972, the Eagles released one of their greatest hits, Take It Easy. Celebrate today by just taking it easy and not stressing out!
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“Do not waste time trying to overcome your weaknesses and failures. Simply raise your consciousness, transcend and free your thoughts from limitation and illusion, and find within the very center of your being a wholeness and completeness! Cease wallowing in your imperfections and never accept limitations! Aim high, and you will get there. It is only your thoughts that hold you back.”