INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
“The shortest distance between two people is laughter.”
– Victor Borge
It’s one of my favorite quotes – because it’s profoundly true. And it has never been more applicable, or needed. In fact, research from Wharton, MIT, and London Business School shows laughter is the secret weapon for bonding – the key to creating a sense of connection and collaboration with your co-workers (among many other productivity related benefits). It’s important because creating connectedness is harder than ever in a hybrid work environment. And because laughter is needed more than ever in such a heavy world.
I used laughter as a bonding agent for many years in my corporate life, so I can attest to its power. So, this opening insight is just a call to find ways to lighten up and bring levity to your daily work life. Plan for it. Spark it. Foster it. In whatever way feels right. Heck, start by sharing this before your next meeting:
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
There’s a well-known proverb that says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s true. It’s when our need is greatest that we deploy creativity and ingenuity to forge new solutions.
But the proverb has another application that many mistakenly miss – to help those who are stuck in their lives, on autopilot, unchallenged, unfulfilled, allowing what’s not working to persist, while a “life best lived” slowly sails by. Accordingly, consider this:
“Necessity is the mother of RE-invention.”
Is this you? Are you stalled in your life? Not learning, growing, stretching, becoming? Mired in aspects of your life that are pulling you down? Re-invention happens out of necessity, not on a whim – but too many fail to recognize when reinvention, of themselves, has become necessary. I’m not saying come to grips with the need to challenge everything about who you are. Just the parts of your life that aren’t serving you well.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Here’s a simple, research-backed, psychologist recommended trick to help you stop mentally beating yourself up.
Personify your inner critic.
We all have an inner critic. That inner voice – a nasty criticizer that bullies you into self-doubt. Imagine yours as a real being. What does it look like? Sound like? What’s its name?
For example, my inner-critic is a snarling dragon with a condescending tone I’ve named Vulgar. Whenever I catch myself beating myself up, I say, “There goes Vulgar again!” Key here is that I identify that voice as someone else, not me. That’s the power here – personifying your inner critic makes it external to you, it’s someone/something looking in and trying to limit you. Its sole job is to hold you back. Knowing this, it’s easier to question your critic’s “input” and outright dismiss it.
Try it. It works.