Special thanks to Helen Macdonald who conducted the master-class with a group of my clients that inspired this content.
Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.
Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.
In a nutshell
Our lives are a continuous cycle of living, loving, leading and leaving (our contribution) which result in our legacy.
My quest each year is to be better, wiser and more valuable than I was last year. What's your quest? We have never arrived. Life is a journey not a destination.
A key to living your best life are the laws, proven principles or standards you live by. In the recommended deep work of this podcast I share 11 laws that I follow and ask you to take action in your own best way.
We are all in love with significant people in our lives and with certain actions we take in our lives.
If you know me well you will know that I'm big on being before doing or who before do.
Who do you love? How do you express this love to these people? How could you be better in being in love?
What actions do you love to take?
As explored in my The Appreciative Leader book, living Steven Farber's beautiful line is a key for me. He said "Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do."
What do you love to do?
Who loves you doing what you do?
How can you get better are what you love to do in the service of people who love what you do?
Our living and loving heavily influence our leadership. Your best leadership style is being yourself, that one-of-a-kind that each of us is.
How are you bringing your living and your loving to your leading? How can you be better?
"You lead best when the best version of you, leads the best version of us."
How we live (fertile ground), love (ploughing the ground), and lead (seeding) drive the feelings we leave behind (nurturing).
Write down how people feel when you leave home, meetings and other regular interactions.
Who will you become more of? What will you do better? so that when you leave anywhere people feel better because you have been with them.
What's the impact you're making? In the master-class Helen Macdonald explored what she calls small l legacy. In other words the zillions of little opportunities that we have every day to leave a big impact.
3 recommended actions
1) In your daily routines, rituals, habits become more conscious of how you live, love, lead and leave. Make it a deliberate practice for the rest of your life to always be making quantum leaps (small yet significant) that mean you're more valuable for others.
2) When you leave the planet what small yet significant actions or behaviours of yours will your loved ones and people you worked with remember the most? Make a list? Keep adding to the list at least once a month.
3) Engage in feedforward with the people closest to you about your impact. Share with them that you want to make a greater impact in small yet significant ways and ask them for two suggestions. Say thank you and take action!
Recommended Deep work
Consider the following 11 laws for leading your best life and take action to integrate them into your own life in your own best way.
1. We live in a field of infinite possibilities thanks to discoveries in quantum physics. Taxes, change and death are the only certainties. Your action?
2. An "attitude of gratitude" I discovered through the doctor who saved my life 40 years+ ago is paramount to daily fulfillment. Your action?
3. We are the observers and creators of our thoughts as many meditation masters have taught us, therefore we never need to let ourselves be held hostage to our thinking nor anyone else's. Your action?
4. We’re making it up as we go along. Much of life is an ‘imagined reality’. Religion, laws, you name it, we make them up for our own reasons. I recommend Yuval Noah Harari’s 3 books on this topic and more. Start by reading this article. Your action?
5. Life/work balance is nonsense. Life/work harmony is possible which I wrote about in the first book in this trilogy Changing What's Normal. Here's a refresher. Your action?
6. Combining a series of small shifts is the key to significant improvement. Think the true meaning of ‘quantum leaps’ and ‘the aggregation of marginal gains’, as we have already explored. Your action?
7. Systems and processes to achieve your goals are more important than your goals. Your action?
8. Being an essentialist is a key way to live your best life. If you're not familiar with essentialism learn more here. Your action?
9. Thinking about strategy and planning at the same time is a mistake. Strategic planning is an oxymoron. Think about strategy as a compass and your execution plan as a map. Your action?
10. Making meaningful progress visible or 'the progress principle' is a key to being open and honest in reflection and after-action reviews. Your action?
11. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Value is too. And legacy? yep that too. Your action?
Do Your Work.