How you are anywhere is how you are everywhere.

This phrase stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I heard it. On the surface it sounds almost trite or simplistic, when in reality it’s profound.

The way I read it, this observation makes it clear that our underlying thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes will have a similar impact on all our actions, no matter in what arena those actions might occur.

This is, naturally, an off-putting thought if you realize you’re doing a half-assed job at work, because it will make you wonder if you’re also half-assing your way through your self-care, marriage, or any other facet of life.

Fortunately, the flip side is also true: If you’re “all in” as a business owner, chances are good you’re also all in as a church leader, neighbor, and all the other rôles you fill on a daily basis.

Recently, I’ve experienced a fascinating corollary to this Rule O’ Life: When I enjoy success in one area, whether personal or professional, it seems to support success in other areas of my life. Here’s a case in point.

A few months ago, I realized I had moved beyond “pudgy” into “porky.” Some pants I couldn’t get zipped at all, while others were zippable but prevented me from breathing if I bent over. This constituted a serious wake-up call, so I started eating less and eating smarter. The result? Five months later I’m down 16 pounds and 16 inches (over 7 kilos and 40 centimeters). Even I, who HATES shopping for clothes, am excited about getting new pants in my smaller size.

But here’s the part I find really delightful: The focus and commitment I brought to making changes in my physical self seem to have carried over into my business. While I was satisfied with my previous business efforts, now I’m experiencing greater clarity and deeper commitment than perhaps I ever have before – and it feels absolutely great.

This is a seriously powerful tool for creating change. How? Look for some area where you’re so damn ready for a change, develop an action plan for making it happen, and then start taking baby steps toward your goal. Since you’ll have a lot of intrinsic motivation to change, you’ll be in a good position to power past obstacles and simply keep going. Soon, that focus, persistence, and commitment will become a habitual response for you. And you can then consciously apply that habit to the next area in which you’re ready for some change.

Will this work for you? You’re the only one who can know for sure. Is it worth experimenting with it? In my opinion, absolutely – especially now, when everyone is dealing with the massive impact of the COVID-19 virus. Here’s how you can approach it.

What’s one area of life that you’re pleased with? If your initial thought is, “Nothing’s going well,” then your first challenge is to look for and find something that is going well, but which you’ve overlooked or ignored. (And, yes, if you look for it intently enough, you will find it.)

Now, be creative and curious: Identify actions you’re taking in this well-running area of life and figure out how you can apply them to a more challenging area.

All you’ve really got to lose is feelings of helplessness and gloom.

(BTW, thanks to Peter Voerman for posting his picture of the twins in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

This entry was posted in mindset.

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