The everyday lessons of life – a pathway to growth
I’m aware that not everyone sees the world the way I do but as someone dedicated to personal growth and development I am very mindful of the prompts that come our way as we go through our normal daily lives. Prompts that can come in the form of signs (seeing a certain word multiple times in a few days for example) or in the form of persistent frustrations.
For example speaking with a friend recently she was sharing her very challenging experiences with technology which had gone on intermittently but persistently over many years. You can picture the scene…pc constantly breaking down, phone not working and so on. As she took the time and space to step back and reflect more deeply on this situation (having at times allowed the frustration to get the better of her mood) she realised that there was indeed a deeper lesson for her – in her case that she needed to, and more importantly could, trust herself to know how to fix the problem and not rely on others. That she indeed could do ‘technical things’.
When working with leaders on their emotional intelligence we often invite them to undertake a diary of their moods and emotions to be able to spot patterns and see how certain issues or factors may be affecting their ability to maintain a good level of emotional stability.
We aren’t generally taught to pay attention to the small nudges and insights being offered to us each day in our lives which if we step back, as my friend did, provide us with a new form of information. This could take us from feeling disempowered (and all the behaviours that can result) to feeling empowered and fully resourced.
Being prepared to look at, and pay attention to, the recurring themes in our lives which might include our (unhelpful) emotional responses, or a pattern of things not going our way, or situations where we feel disempowered provides us with information that could prove invaluable.
For leaders it’s a necessity because it adds to our reliability and integrity. The greater our commitment to our own behavioural development and growth the better able we are to show up and support others.
As leaders we have a duty to pay attention in this way. Failure to do so risks leaving us exposed as dinosaurs or lacking courage, neither of which would be found in the leader’s handbook.