When I was elementary school age, my parents took me on a family vacation to sunny California. One day we went to the beach. And it was the first time I ever saw and heard the roaring ocean. WOW!
At first it was a little scary as I gradually went to the edge of the water lapping up on the beach. Then I got braver and braver and braver until I was having a ball playing in the water. The more fun I had, the deeper the water became.
One time I really got scared when an ocean current surprised me and held me under the surface for a long time. I held my breath for as long as I could, and then started to panic. I really thought this was it. I’m going to die.
Then all of sudden as I was tumbling against the ocean floor, I popped up above the water! It was as if someone reached down and lifted me up – I could breathe again.
How About You?
Does your life seem like the billowing, restless sea, moving back and forth with the endless tides, never able to settle?
If so, I want to throw you a life buoy of hope! It’s available to you if you are willing and have the desire to change how you think about making choices that lead to more right decisions.
“When you change what you think, you change what you do, and you change who you are!”
– Bobby Albert
People who behave expediently do what’s easiest and quickest, or what makes them the happiest in the short-run. They tend to make emotional decisions that are reactive in nature.
Deep down, expedient behavior is most often rooted in fear. Such behavior eventually leads to undesirable results and negative consequences – even addiction.
Would you give me permission to ask you a lot of questions (to bring a level of self-awareness) so we can discuss further about where are you going – your vision – in life, and as the leader, in your business?
If the weather is good, do you feel good? If it isn’t, does it affect your attitude and your performance?
When people treat you well, you feel well, and when people don’t, do you become defensive or protective? Do your emotions change based on the behavior of others?
Are your feelings driven by circumstances, by conditions, by your environment?
Do you react by saying your grandparents did it to you…It’s in your DNA…It just goes through your generations, and you inherited it?
Or do you say your parents did it to you? Your upbringing and your childhood experience essentially defined your personal tendencies and your character.
Or do you say your boss or your spouse is doing it to you or your personal economic situation (or business market conditions) or the government has done it to you – someone or something in your environment is responsible for your situation?
Do you feel increasingly victimized and out of control, not in charge of your life or your destiny?
Do you blame outside forces like weaknesses of other people or the problems for your environment or the circumstances you have no control over for your own stagnant situation?
“Any time you think the problem is out there, that very thought is the problem.”
– Stephen Covey
If you say, I’m not sure? Let us examine our language which is a very real indicator of the degree how we react and respond out of our feelings and emotions by absolving our responsibility when we say…
“That’s just the way I am.” – There is nothing I can do about it. (vs. “Let me look into my options.”)
“I can’t do that.” – Something outside me is controlling me. (vs. “I choose to do that.”)
“I just don’t have time.” – Again, something outside me is controlling me. (vs. “Let me see where I can schedule time into my calendar.”)
“My boss makes me so mad.” – My emotional life is governed by someone outside my control. (vs.”I need to ask my boss for some time to talk through this thing that frustrates me.”)
“I have to do it.” – Circumstances or other people are forcing me to do it. (vs. “I prefer to do it.”)
The whole spirit of these comments is a transfer of responsibility to someone or something else when we react and respond out of our feelings and emotions.
Also in an expedient way, we transfer the power of control by empowering other people, conditions, and circumstance to control us.
As a result, we blame; we use accusing attitudes, reactive emotion-driven language, and we incur increasing feelings and emotions of victimization. This creates rough waters for our lives, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
You can break with strength and determination the harmful expedient, reactive and emotion-driven behaviors.
And you can replace the troubled ocean waters of expedited behaviors with the calmness of principled, pro-active and character-driven behaviors.
In my next blog post, I will explore more deeply principled vs. expedient behaviors and how principled decision-making will set the stage for you to cast your vision – where are you going.
Has your life been like the raging waters of the ocean? What have you experienced when you behaved in an expedient way? Please share your comments <here> and share this blog post with family, friends or co-workers.