LIFE: Who Are You In This Image?
Are you the expressive one? The risk-taker? The one who loves to be in community? Or are you the observer?
Let me start by saying that there is no right or wrong way to grow, learn and transform. Why? Because this adventure called LIFE is all about growing, learning, and being willing to unlock your full potential moment by moment, every day, in every situation. Life is for the living. Each choice you make is yours alone to make, and each choice you make informs the next.
Whereever I am asked to speak, I remind audiences that on a scale of 1–10, you can learn to be a 20. This happens when you learn about 10 powerful traits that you already possess — and learn how place them into a dynamic synergy with 10 different and equally powerful traits. This can be done within yourself — by learning to drive your own body chemistry in any direction you choose. It can also be done with teams to expand cognitive diversity and help teams and leaders think differently.
How is this possible? It’s possible because you are not made up of a collection of nuts and bolts. Your bones are not steel rods. Your muscles are not fixed and rigid. You are a never ending, ever unfolding story of evolutionary biology, endlessly becoming.
When You Stop Growing You Start Dying
The phrase “When you stop growing you start dying,” was first popularized by the poet William S. Burroughs. Shortened to “Grow or Die”, it became the unifying principle of transformation. It also morphed into transformational leadership courses and training programs. However, according to a study of S&P 500 and Global 500 firms, not all corporations that claim to be “transformed” have achieved success with their efforts.
In fact those who had achieved transformation, were “exceptionally rare”.
I’m telling you this to remind you that corporate transformation, like self-transformation takes commitment, focus and direct action that leads to a positive outcome. It may start as a burning desire to change, or a drop to the bottom of a dark moment in your life where there only way to grow is UP and out.
Transformational change also requires that you step out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. It requries that you constantly update your goals and aim a little higher every day.
For example, my day starts with 10 daily affirmations. These are the areas of focus that I want to stay mindful of in every moment of the day. They are designed to stay open ended, to allow for maximim growth.
These 10 daily affirmations underscore the thesis of Daniel Goleman in his book FOCUS, this is, what you pay attention to expands. Focus can lead you to higher levels of performance and achievement. My daily affirmations led to my invention of the Gender Equality Tool™. They pushed me out of my comfort zone and led me into a new startup.
The following 10 affirmations may also be useful to you. You may also want to say them outloud to yourself before you do a morning exercise routine like yoga, before you drink that first cup of coffee, make a pot of tea, say hello to someone, or click to social media to see “what’s happening.”
10 DAILY AFFIRMATIONS
I AM contstantly growing every day.
I AM constantly learning every day.
I AM constantly aware of my health on every level.
I AM constantly aware of my life affirming potential.
I AM constantly making the right choices for my health and for my body.
I AM constantly feeding my mind with the best of human knowledge.
and I USE my social mind, to collaborate with others for the common good.
I AM financially independent in a socially responsible way.
I AM free of negativity in any shape or form, and
I AM a great problem solver on every level.
On A Scale of 1–10, BE a 20!
A few years ago, I was invited to serve as a United Nations Mentor to a young African leader, Rehmah Kasule. Every Monday morning, for 18-months, I attended a meeting in Kampala, Uganda via Skype. Her goal was to lift 200 young women out of the slums of Kampala — and the high risk of human trafficing by teaching them microentreprenurship, leadership and mentorship, and she was successful.
My job, along with providing her with links to resources and solutions to problems as they arose, was to tell her ONE thing, over and over.
The advice I gave to this young leader who became the Fortune Magazine #1 Award Winner for social entrepreneurship in 2014 at their “Most Powerful Women in the World Summit” also applies to you.
My advice to you is this:
“You have 10 powerful traits and these 10 traits are exactly what is needed today order to manage the complexities of our volatile, interconnected world. When you learn about them, study them, and then place them into a dynamic synergy with 10 complementary, opposite and equally powerful traits, they will manifest as inner power, courage, and a will to express your full potential.
All it takes is focus, consistency, and a willingness to “be all you can be” in in every moment. That’s the transformational imperitive hidden in: “Grow or Die” that one day will forever change the way we live, work and think.