Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

It’s My Life

on May 15, 2015

Last November I was introduced to the elevated social conscious and generous heart of a young man named Alex Sheen. Alex is the founder of a social media movement called “Because I said I would”. You can (should!) go to his website for his story (http://becauseisaidiwould.com/)… but here is the gist of his message:

Be someone who follows through.

I want to share his message, and take it a step further – not only should you do what you said you would do; you should also do what you say you will do.

What do I mean by this?

How many times have you said “yes, let’s do that”, or, “sounds like a plan”… but in reality, there is no plan and then you don’t do anything? A huge part of being a better person than yesterday for me is not only making sure I do what I said I was going to do, but also that I do what I intended to do. Actions speak louder than words, and this is what I want to talk about: taking action. Taking action is a crucial part of living a life with intention; without action, intention stays an idea that isn’t implemented. The purpose of an intention is to works towards fruition; and for that, action is required. Here are a handful of ways to get better at integrating action into your words:

  • Say yes more than no
  • Do something now instead of never (aka later)
  • Plan the next time during (the) this time.

Now, consider the phrase “I just don’t have time” and how quickly this sometimes spills out of your mouth. I bet that if you stopped to think about it, (at least) half of these situations aren’t related to time at all; more often they are really about whether you want to do what you are being asked to do or not. Let’s be honest here; we all usually find or make time to do the things we really want to do; we sacrifice something for something else (usually sleep)! So if that’s the case, it’s not time, but rather a lack of interest, stay genuine and just say “no thanks, I am not really into _________, but I appreciate you thinking of me”. I think we can all agree that we would rather hear a (respectful!) ‘no’ versus bullshit in these instances.

My own experience has taught me that the easiest ways to live a “Because I said I would” lifestyle is to start conversations with words and end them with actions, AND to be honest with yourself and others about what you want and don’t want to do. Here’s something else I understand (at least about myself): where there’s a will, there’s a way. But the will has to be there, and with will you can find the time and or the resources to make what you want to happen actually happen. It may not be right now, but it has potential to be done. Limits need not apply if it is something within your power to do (so world peace may not be an option, but implementing peace in your own world may be).

“Because I said I would” doesn’t only apply to the promises you make others; it matters just as much to the promises we make to ourselves. Think of this in terms of the goals you set for yourself. Unfortunately, our nature is to be our own worst enemies more so than our own biggest advocates (I find it mind-blowing that we have to learn to love ourselves somewhere down the line but that’s a new blog topic altogether). Anyway, if you are like me, one of your Gemini twins always thinks everything you want to do or try is impossible. This is really where you get in your own way and your “Because I said I would” is replaced with an “I can’t”.

Whether or not you are looking at accountability from a doing to others or to yourself perspective, you have to identify what is stopping you from moving forward. Why can’t (or won’t) you follow through? Is there an issue or an obstacle… or are you the issue or obstacle? I didn’t always recognize a difference between an issue and an obstacle. One of my favorite classmates (and people!), Shannon Lazar, shared this awesome analogy in class: “an obstacle is shit you see on the sidewalk and need to figure out your way around; an issue is shit you already stepped in” 🙂 Simply said, when you examine what (or who) is in your way you can confront (or deal with) it. This approach also keeps you honest (think about I really can’t versus I just won’t).

Another thing I learned about in school is the GROW model. GROW is a coaching tool that can help propel you from intention to action:

  • Goal – What do you want?
  • Current Reality – Where are you on the path to get it?
  • Options (or Obstacles) – What action steps do you need to take to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be?
  • Will (or Way Forward) – ensure you are committed, and are prepared to deal with any obstacles (or issues) on your way (http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_89.htm).

The GROW model is a great tool for anyone’s journey to their potential. It can help us be the person who does what we say we would do and what we intend to do; the only prerequisite is your will.

Committing to the “Because I said I would” philosophy and practicing to live my life with intention has resulted in a very busy (and wonderfully full) life for me. I have taken back “no’s” and or just said yes. I have set more dates and seen more people than I thought I had time for. I make space in my days for what matters to me and feel amazingly connected to my world.

This is how I want to live my life – in the now, not the never. And each day I get more and more out of my own way… considering the ‘could’ and ignoring the impossible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx2u5uUu3DE (cut, paste, listen = fun)!

What can you change in your own life – what obstacle or issue can you confront that can move you towards your ‘next’ and living a life of intention? Or what tools are you already using that the rest of us need to know about? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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2 responses to “It’s My Life

  1. This is a great post and really speaks to the need to both get more involved and follow through. It’s easy to say “yes” to lots of things but not so easy to do them well.

    This reminds me of Angela Duckworth’s research on grit. You can learn more about this at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141015-angela-duckworth-success-grit-psychology-self-control-science-nginnovators/

    Another coach who is applying Duckworth’s work is Caroline Miller. http://www.carolinemiller.com/

    Kathy

    Like

  2. jpearl19 says:

    Kathy, Your support and comments mean the world to me – I loved your class(es) and have obviously been working to transfer what I am learning into my life. I have already printed the Duckworth article to read, and will definitely check out Caroline Miller.

    You make an excellent point about making sure your “yes” has follow through; many of us over commit and that can lead to being able to deliver less than you intended to. Being honest with ourselves and others about what we can do, and to your point, do well, is crucial to being able to follow through.

    Thanks so much! (p.s. I can’t wait to hopefully write for the rutraining.org site someday… nothing like a not so suble hint on a public page :-)).

    Like

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