In whatever relationship you are in, or whatever team you help lead, you have a choice to be a climate-controller. Some passive people are simply thermometers, reflecting the temperature in the room or relationship or team; these are followers–spectators that are not contributing much in the role of influencing others toward more positive outcomes.
Some people are thermostats, actually regulating the temperature in the room or relationship or team so that it’s comfortable for everyone to better thrive. They take the lead as full participants in climate-control. They are seeking to include every person, to affirm/validate every response, to challenge the status quo, to push for better communication lines and more effective systems. And the water level rises.
Check yourself: Are you exhibiting more thermometer or thermostat traits in the hats you wear these days?
“You give away your power when you begin to believe someone else is responsible for your happiness or unhappiness.”
You are a power-broker. I’m not saying you are into power and lording over people and all that. I AM saying that you are a powerful person when it comes right down to it. There is power in what you say to those around you–you can crush someone’s spirit with a tactless comment or flippant phrase that dishonors your loved ones, or you can “em-power” your family and work colleagues with words of affirmation, validation, and hope. You are also powerful when behaving in a way that goes along with your strengths and values.
But you will be power-less if you talk yourself out of your power in your thinking patterns. One of those ways to sabotage yourself is by putting others in the power-position for your own happiness, emotional stability, personal development, and dream-pursuits. Telling yourself “she makes me mad” or “if it weren’t for his doing that…” gives that other person control of your emotions and puts you one-down in that relationship, limiting your power and growth.
Regain the power to be the maturing, responsible adult that you are by making daily decisions to lead the life YOU want to lead, not living out someone else’s script. Then use your power in such a way that influences those around you to bring out their best selves, to spread more love to others, which makes this world a better place.
Ok, not like on drugs! But think with me for a moment: When are you at your best, at your highest high, in your sweet spot, on top of the world with satisfaction and joy?
For me, it’s when I’m getting paid to speak to a receptive audience who wants to learn and grow, and when I’m coaching someone to take their next action step to better themselves and get unstuck. For you, think about who you are with, what are you doing, what is making you feel strong, and why you are feeling the rush.
The reason to undergo this exercise is to put yourself in more environments where this state of “flow” can happen more regularly. Because passion in one area of your life spills over into all the other areas of life, pumping up those around you and feeding your next action steps.
The other side of the coin to “highest high” is being able to identify your “lowest low” scenario. It’s when you hit bottom in personal morale, when the energy is drained from you, and all looks dark for a while. For me, it’s when I’m verbally attacked, especially unjustly.
Not that you want to dwell on those thoughts too much, but it’s good to figure out what eats your lunch so that you can build boundaries against those situations as best as you can, AND have a personal response plan for when it hits you, so that it doesn’t take you down drastically when people are counting on you to be at your best.
Time to get high?
“It is easier to let go if your own life-bucket is full, rather than empty.”
…Because if you are empty emotionally, you hang onto things. You start showing co-dependent tendencies and begin to suffocate people. You hoard stuff and take the last cookie. You display a scarcity mindset. It’s all due to a serious case of dissatisfaction, a drained life.
The solution for having boundaries and staying “on your side of the street” emotionally? Fill ‘er up! Make sure you are intentionally gassing up your tank with people, habits, and things that you know will make your day brighter. Go ahead; make a list of 20 things that make you smile and energize you. It can be sunshine, positive people, jogging, waterfalls, or soft fabrics! Then, put them into your schedule or surround yourself with them more frequently–so that you have no need to dysfunctionally clutch onto what you need to let go of.
You cannot control everything in life nor anyone else. But what you can control is with what you fill up your life-bucket. Got something calendared yet?
OK, it’s not a manly kind of question. But one of the most manly teachers I ever knew said that if he didn’t cry at least once a week, he felt his heart was getting hard. “What makes you cry?” is one of the deepest questions you can ask a person because it goes beyond surface questions to one’s core passions and emotional responses.
So, I’ll answer it while you ponder it. Four things make me tear up:
1. When I feel broken (failed in a sincere attempt) or convicted (that I’ve hurt someone’s feelings or caused a mess unintentionally). It’s like a trigger that I need to apologize or re-double my efforts to make something right that was wronged.
2. When I’m really connecting to someone in a conversation. I know it’s weird, but when I’m fully present, and we are connecting at an emotional level, a little tear forms in my eye.
3. When I’m in the zone. I feel that God put me on this planet to equip and coach, and when I’m preparing for one of those 2 things, I often catch myself brushing a tear away out of excitement for what I enjoy doing most.
4. When I feel compassion on someone who is hurting. When I can truly empathize with someone in their struggles and feel their pain at some level, a good cry often accompanies this “weep when a friend weeps” feeling.
OK, and sometimes I cry at happy points in movies, like when the villain’s heart goes out to the little orphan girls in Despicable Me–but I play that off as something in my eye.
Got the courage to share yours with those you love?
I don’t like flying. My motion sickness gets me all stomach-nauseous. So, as soon as the pilot turns on the fasten-seatbelt sign and warns of turbulence (he says, “a little bumpy”), I start getting a bit anxious.
But I trust the pilots. And I believe them when they say they are climbing in altitude to get above the weather to smoother air. Then I can relax.
If you are a leader (and you probably are in some area of your life), you are a pilot for others. And they are counting on you to get them to smoother air in their lives. Just like airplane pilots, utilize your:
- radar/instrument panel: Be aware of what’s going on, on your team. Be constantly assessing the climate/attitudes. Be looking ahead for potential hazards that’ll get people uptight/queasy.
- partners on the ground: Surround yourself with people who give you authentic feedback. Every successful leader needs a coach/mentor, needs a core team, and needs confidants to bounce ideas off.
- experience: You have been through situations like this before, most likely. Have confidence that God will give you the right solutions as He has done in the past. Remember what you have learned about great leadership, and work the plan.
Take your followers to smoother air as you navigate the turbulence of life at work and at home, and you’ll get a relieved thank-you as they file past your cockpit.
Yeah, it’s flu season, but I’m not talking about spreading germs. I’m talking about spreading joy and hope! How contagious are you in that department?
A few things I know that you and I can spread without too much effort–but a lot of payoff:
- Laughter. I dare you to try to keep a straight face when you watch someone ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) live or on a video. Add more humor to your conversations and communications.
- Enthusiasm. Too many sticks-in-the-mud in our world–not enough people expressing their zest for life and their passions. Catch fire about a good cause, and people will watch you burn (and hopefully join you)!
- Joy. Joy isn’t dependent on good circumstances–it’s deep. It comes from being anchored spiritually, and brings a calmness that agitated/worried people need to draw strength from.
What else within you can you be contagious about, that can spread LIFE to a hurting world?