Ok, are you ready for a bit of a “deep dive”? I want to take you beyond the go-go-go of your day-to-day life and have you step back from the seemingly endless items on your to-do list (at home or work) …at least for a few minutes. It is so easy to get caught up in our daily goings-on and we can quickly fall into “autopilot” mode; where we are seemingly merely going through the motions.
In June of last year, there was a terrific article in Forbes entitled The Hidden Cost of Operating on Auto Pilot – which you can access here.
The author’s final statement is: “It’s time we all took a long collective breath and decided to live our lives more purposefully, more intentionally, more mindfully. By design, not by default.”
I agree, wholeheartedly. And I believe that a simple “formula” can help:
Thoughts → Attitude → Behaviors → Results
Your THOUGHTS determine your ATTITUDE,
Your ATTITUDE drives your BEHAVIORS, and
Your BEHAVIORS determine your RESULTS.
Let’s examine how this works, using a simple example:
Thought: Mary didn’t do a very good job on her presentation.
Attitude: Mary is not a very good (competent) employee.
Behaviors: I tend to ignore Mary’s ideas and input.
Results: Mary and I don’t have a very good working relationship.
Alternatively, if you are not happy with a current situation or result that you are getting, work the “formula” in reverse. Again, here is a simple example:
Results: I’m overweight and out of shape.
Behaviors: I don’t eat healthy or exercise enough.
Attitude: I don’t have time and am destined to be the way I am.
Thought: Getting fit is time-consuming and difficult.
Too often, when we are not pleased with the results we are getting, we merely evaluate which of our actions or behaviors we need to change. However, this is a superficial approach which doesn’t address the underlying thoughts and attitudes which drive our behaviors. So, the additional and critical work that needs to be done is to assess and understand not just what we do, but why we do what we do. And hopefully the approach described above can help you do that.
British Philosopher James Allen espoused (much more eloquently than I) a similar concept or “formula” in his book “As a Man Thinketh” (see my book summary here), which is:
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Bottom-line: The more mindful we can be of what we are thinking and doing, the more intentional we can be in our actions and behaviors, and the better results we will see. Here’s to staying out of autopilot mode!