Let's start with two questions...
This week's Intentional Tuesday is Part One of a 3-part mini-series about creativity. My aim is to convince you that creativity is crucial and that you are, in fact, creative.
Most New Year's Resolutions bite the dust by February. Want to know why? Want a way to make resolutions that stick? I've got one word for you...
Click here to grab the downloadable planning and tracking sheet.
How much time do you spend thinking your signature? Ummm. None?
After all, it’s just our name, scribbled in our own hand. Not very exciting. Not very useful.
But if we look closely, we’ll see that our signature is much, much more.
What’s the most famous signature you know?
Easy right? It’s so famous, the man’s name has become synonymous with the act of signing...
There it is, right in the middle. Big and bold for the world to see. Declaring his independence.
Our signature is the definitive indication of our intention. When we sign our name to something, it means we endorse it. We own it. Our signature carries the weight of our commitment. Our integrity.
Don’t offer it lightly.
Signature also has a metaphorical meaning. Our signature implies our unique style. Our unique approach. Whatever we do, we do it uniquely. It’s easy to slip into default thinking and tell ourselves that we are no different than anyone else, but deep...
Do you have trouble taking credit for things, even though you, and the people around you, know that you deserve it? Do you have trouble with self-promotion because it feels cheesy or inauthentic? If you do, you’re not alone. It’s actually quite common.
But is it a problem?
One could argue that hesitation about taking credit or about self-promotion is probably grounded in a deep sense of humility or in selflessness. These are positive traits, right? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people were humble and selfless? No argument here.
The things become a problem only when the person sees them as a problem. In other words, does the humble and selfless person believe these traits are costing them opportunities for personal and professional growth? Does the person believe their overall happiness and satisfaction are suffering, either directly or indirectly, as a result? If so, then we have a problem.
Unfortunately, a lot of people experience this problem and...
Requests are one of the most fundamental building blocks in personal and professional relationships, yet many of us struggle with making and receiving requests. A huge part of the problem lies in the language that we choose. I’m talking about the difference between implicit and explicit language.
What’s the difference?
Implicit means that something in implied, or suggested, but NOT expressed directly. Explicit, of course, means that something is expressed clearly and directly.
In other words, implicit means we don’t have to actually say what we mean but the other person will still get what we mean. Simple enough. Right?
Most of us use implicit language on a regular basis. In fact, we tend to think of implicit language as a good thing, because it allows us to get our point across without having to spell everything out in detail. Although there are occasions when implicit language creates efficiency, for the most part I think the opposite is true. Implicit...
What can the craft of writing teach us about how to live? Lot’s actually. This week’s Intentional Tuesday is part of the WriteLife series, which explores the overlap between good writing and good living. You won’t want to miss it.
In his Masterclass, author Neil Gaiman explains a surefire technique for writing compelling drama. He encourages writers to constantly bring characters to a “fork in the road.” A point where they need to make a crucial decision. If the character feels the significance of the decision, the read will feel it too. Do this over and over again, and you’ll have a solid story worth reading. Pretty cool.
As an aspiring writer, I appreciate this technique. But what does it have to do with real life?
How many decisions do you make every day? Dozens? Hundreds? Some research indicates it’s in the multiple thousands of decisions every day. No wonder I’m so tired.
How many of those decisions are conscious? Intentional?...
Do you struggle to make requests? Most of us do, at least some of the time. It’s one of the most common challenges that I encounter, working with leaders in a professional setting. But many people struggle with requests in their personal lives as well. Sadly, the cost of this problem is high, because making and receiving requests is one of the most basic building blocks for healthy relationships. In this Intentional Tuesday, we’re going to explore some of the more common challenges with requests and share some ways to overcome them.
Before we get into requests, we need to make a crucial distinction. Without it, we’ll never be able to make requests skillfully. It’s the distinction between a request and a directive.
You probably feel the difference when you hear the words side-by-side. The word “request” implies the recipient has an option, whereas “directive” implies the recipient does not. The difference is huge, as we’ll...
When we find ourselves offended by another person, most of us choose not to engage that person directly and this costs us dearly. It has cost, both at the relationship level and at a societal level.
Whenever we are offended or insulted, we have two choices. Think of this as a mild fight vs. flight response. We can choose to engage the other person or we can choose to not engage. Last week’s episode was all about how to skillfully NOT engage.
As a general rule, engaging is the higher-order action. It takes more effort and potentially yields greater benefits. I appreciate that direct engagement is not always possible or preferable and I often choose not to engage in my own life. That said, when we choose to avoid direct engagement, I do think we miss a massive opportunity to learn, both individually, and collectively. It feels like society continuously reinforces the message that direct engagement is undesirable. Instead, we are encouraged to ignore the offense, or we are...
When was the last time you were offended? We’ve all had this experience and it’s never fun. How did things turn out? How is your relationship with the offending party now? Is there any residual resentment? Probably.
On two occasions last week I had someone tell me they were offended by something that someone else had said. As an outside observer, neither of the situations struck me as particularly offensive, yet I could see the fire these events had stoked within my conversation partners.
I asked my conversation partners whether they planned to do anything about the situation. Neither of them planned to follow up with the offending party. I find this heartbreaking. In both cases, relationships have suffered, and there’s no plan to repair the damage. There’s a good chance the people who committed the offenses are not even aware that something is amiss.
The more I thought about these two situations, the more something became clear to me. I see a...