Monday 20 December 2021

The D.R.E.A.M. Matrix For Sustaining Wisdom In Personal Well-being

My one word for 2022 is DREAM. My gratitude to Jason Fox for the one word theme for a year idea and to Chris Brogan for his three words for a year insights. Read more about these two visionaries and their ideas here.

For 2022 I've also turned my one word into a matrix as follows. See below the diagram for my thoughts on the fifteen components.

You can listen to the podcast version of this post here.

What I say in this post is important,
yet nowhere near as important
as what you hear yourself say to yourself,
who you become and what you do next.

The following is not advice rather insights from my personal experience for your consideration as you decide your own best way to embrace the 15 components of The D.R.E.A.M. Matrix For Sustaining Wisdom In Personal Well-being.

1. Diet

Diet for me is not some fad to lose weight, rather a daily regime and philosophy I live by that is a foundation for over-all well-being. 

You most likely know the adage 'garbage in, garbage out'. Most processed foods are garbage so I choose fresh whenever possible and eat mainly plant based food. My preference is low sugar and high protein.

I recommend studying mitochondria and gut health. Take action is your own best way.

Personally I eat primarily small portions and sit down to eat four to six times a day usually between 7 AM and 7 PM.

I keep a close eye on always being fully hydrated.

2. Differencemaking

We all make a difference in the lives of other people whether we are conscious of it or not.

Being conscious or aware has much to do with understanding and living our essence or unique personal wisdom. For example my essence is holding space for possibility focused leaders as you enhance your Response Ability.

I've developed and continue to hone a presence and story-telling, conversation and peer group and 1:1 mentoring skills, that enable safe and creative places for people.

What is your essence?

Should you love some help with enhancing your Response Ability, and seeing, unearthing, and magnifying and enhancing your essence, then undertake The Wise Leaders Workshop. There's a special complimentary version coming up in February 2022. Learn all about this at the above link.

3. Decision-making

In the moment decisions are fundamentally about our disposition. More on this in the next section about responding.

Major decisions require a process like the one below.

Should you not have such a process I highly recommend creating one. At very least such a process means transparency and people can see how you arrived at a decision which greatly helps buy-in.

4. Responding

I'm deeply inspired by the following words usually attributed to Viktor Frankl: "​Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Working with this insight over many years has led me to respond and not react to situations and circumstances. Sure I lapse occasionally. I have anchors in place for this that means I can quickly adjust and get back on track. With practice my overall disposition in life is about what's possible even in difficult circumstances.

5. Relationships

I believe that all change is personal first and relationship change second. Organisational change is a distant third. My aim is always to serve others and to be helpful and valuable. To achieve this aim I embrace eight qualities in my personal and business relationships - love, gratitude, appreciation, care, happiness, compassion, harmony and kindness. To learn more about these eight heart qualities get my Heart-Leadership book.

6. Rhythm

We are all one-of-a-kind human beings. Of the 80 - 100 billion people who have walked the earth, no duplicates. We each have our own rhythm. I've got in touch with mine over four decades of breath meditation. I have a low pulse rate. I can feel it when I'm rushed or out of sync with myself. What's your pace?

I make my best decisions and choices when I'm in my rhythm. You?

7. Exercise

I have a home exercise program tailored for me by physiotherapists. I follow my program every other day. I also walk daily, rain, hail or shine. I've learned from medical people that an hour of walking per day (in my case two by 30 minute walks) is one of the best things I can do for maintaining my ideal weight and for well-being in general. One thirty minute walk where you vary your pace also does the trick.

8. Energy

As leaders we are holding or increasing positive and productive energy, or we are reducing it via our behaviour. I regularly check-in with my peer group colleagues to ensure that I'm holding or increasing energy. They have permission to hold me to account whenever I'm reducing energy!

9. Enthusiasm

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your objective Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson 

10. Attitude

Download resource mentioned in video via a one-page here for insights into maintaining an "attitude of gratitude".

11. Appreciation

The eminent psychologist William James said the following "The deepest human desire is a craving to be appreciated. Appreciation is a heart quality. We live it by appreciating ourselves and then everyone we meet.

For decades now Appreciation has been the number one requirement when I ask people what they truly want from employers and fellow employees.

12. Accountability

The wisest and best leaders I know are accountable for their intentions, feelings, thoughts, actions and behaviours. And they are accountability partners for other leaders.

Accountability is still rare. When lived it is a powerful component of well-being particularly when we fail to meet our own standards and are helped back to our best by peers.

13. Meaning

Doing what is meaningful for us as well as being valuable for other people are two of three keys to thriving in the new world of work. Here's my detailed thoughts on the three.

14. Moments

There is only now. We can't change the past. The only way to create the future we want is to do our best in this moment. Become a Nowist. Learn more about how here.

15. Magnificence

For me there are, broadly speaking, three kinds of people that I meet in the modern organisation:

The happy being miserable: these folk complain about everything and are disengaged from their work. It is not that these people aren’t good people, they just haven’t found their place as yet.

The happy being mediocre: these folk sit in silence, however they are open to inspiration and influence, and therefore can be engaged.

The happy being magnificent: these folk refuse to complain about anything and are fully engaged in their work.

For years the typical organisation’s people engagement percentages have been, 10% miserable, 80% mediocre, and 10% magnificent.

The happy being magnificent are on the rise. I have had the great privilege and honour to work with many of these folk. Often they have been part of “change champions” teams to implement the agreed personal, relationship and organisational change.

The happy being magnificent have had enough of fake leadership and have taken their destiny in their own hands. 

The happy being magnificent have a sense of self that is inspiring:

*I am a one-of-kind. Therefore I am obligated to be the best I can be.
*I can’t wait for other people to take action. I will do what I can regardless of what others do or don’t do.
*I will do today what others won’t be doing until tomorrow.
*I am doing what I love to do in the service of others.
*I know my life’s work and I am fulfilling it.
*I live with passion.
*I am responsible for my own intentions, feelings, thoughts, and actions and behaviours.
*I know it is not what happens that is important, rather how I respond to what happens.
*I don’t judge how others live their life, I simply follow my own path.
*I am aware of my essence (unique personal wisdom, and I am putting them to good use.
*I know my shortcomings and collaborate with others who have strengths that I do not.
*I maintain “an attitude of gratitude” no matter what.
*What I do matters. I make a difference.

Please be a Happy Being Magnificent role model in your own best way.

I recommend writing down your own feelings and thoughts on the 15 components of D.R.E.A.M. 

I also recommend creating your own one word theme to guide you in the year ahead.

Kind regards.

May 2022 be your best year yet.


The pulse checks are designed to help you to see at a glance where you’re at and where you can move to personally, and in your team/practice/business, in the nine areas of vital importance for being and becoming a wise leader.

You can start with whichever one of the pulse checks resonates with you right now. All of the pulse checks are analogue. There's something really great about printing them out and contemplating before completing with a pen.

Completing one or more of the pulse checks and scanning and emailing results to me can also act as a guide for our next 1:1 conversation.

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