You may be starting a new endeavor in your life or have simply decided to adopt a new attitude. You want to get started on the right foot and do something positive. That’s why I created a short idea book, Go Forth; Lead Well. It contains a series of actions, any of which you can implement right way.
Here are a select 20, in case you need a boost right away.
#5. Learn something. If you think you know everything, you’re probably an idiot. In the grand scheme of things, even with the Internet, you don’t know much. Develop your intellectual curiosity. It doesn’t have to be stressfully ambitious. Maybe it’s flipping a fried egg without breaking the yoke, or understanding another person’s point of view on some cantankerous issue. It’s good to stretch yourself too, so consider learning how to play a musical instrument, or speak Urdu. There’s no shortage of things to learn.
#7. Say thank you. Although it’s healthy to expect things in life, it’s polite to be appreciative when you get them. When you don’t say thank you because you’re too busy, too important or too careless, people think you’re an ass — and they’re right.
#8. Be okay being wrong. Many people relish being right. Full disclosure, one of my favorite sounds is when someone tells me, “You were right.” It has a very appealing musical quality to me. I prefer being right, but I’m okay being wrong. Being fallible is a human condition. Being wrong, and smart enough to admit it, not only teaches you something, besides humility, it also endears you to others. It takes bigger guts to admit your mistakes than to blame others.
#11. Reassert your values. Look where you’ve spent your time and money over the last three months to learn what you currently value. Are you happy about that? If not, start acting in better alignment to the things you say you value.
#12. Make a plan. At night, or in the morning, every day, once a week or once a month, plan what you’re going to do next. What do you want to happen? What do you need to get done? Write it down and plan it out. A lousy plan surpasses no plan.
#13. Do something off plan. A few people get a little too rigid with their planning and have no room left on their calendar. Be open to serendipity. Have some flexibility to go off script from time to time. Have superior focus and peripheral vision.
#14. Go out of your way to help someone. Everyone could use a little boost from time to time. Everyone faces a struggle, no matter where they fall on the socio-economic scale. You have time, treasure or talent that someone else could benefit from. Help other people when they need it, not only when it’s convenient for you.
#18. Learn a new word. An increase in vocabulary correlates to an increase in wealth. When you become aware of the meaning of words, you’re more apt to use them correctly and judiciously. It improves your decision-making skills. When I was younger, my mother, sister and I randomly opened the dictionary, pointed to a word and used it for a week. I stupefied my third-grade teacher when I told her I was shy in school but loquacious at home.
#21. Trade habits. Save your time trying to break a bad habit. Instead, decide on something good you want to do, (pick any number on this list) or choose a “less-bad” habit to replace it with.
#24. Decide how much, and by when, for three important things. When you know how much, you’ve set a metric or success measure. When you know by when, you’ve set a deadline. Now you have three goals, instead of three wishes.
#33. Prepare. Life happens. Are you ready for it? An opportunity, a disaster, events on the calendar, and the unforeseeable alike, something, is constantly happening. The better prepared you are to meet it head on; the more likely you’ll handle it successfully.
#36. Act on purpose. Do you know what you’re doing and why? Most people don’t bother to ask simple questions of themselves. You ought to, multiple times a day. Is what you’re doing moving you in the direction of your dreams or is it deferring them? Adjust your course.
#41. Know the difference between dichotomy and hypocrisy. A dichotomy is acknowledging some complex systems require two opposing forces to work properly, (you breathe in and out). Hypocrisy is claiming one thing but acting in opposition.
#43. Know your preferences. Stop living with your default settings. Advocate for what you want. You won’t always get it, but at least try.
#45. Apologize properly. We’ve all heard crappy apologies. They included the words “if” and “but”. Those aren’t apologies; they are noisy and useless public relations exercises. A proper and sincere apology meaningfully fills in the blanks.
“I’m sorry. I feel __________. I __________, and take responsibility for the harm that’s caused. I acted in a way that’s not consistent with who I want to be. I’m going to make amends for the damage I’ve done by __________.”
#46. Slow down and think. We are being inundated with information from a variety of sources. With all the outside stimuli, we tend to react to uncertainty by hunkering down with what we think we already know instead of thoughtfully pursuing a rational alternative to the circumstances in front of us. Gather a variety of information from different sources. Look at things from a historical, political, social, economic and humanistic perspective rather than regurgitating someone else’s opinion.
#52. Help someone on their terms. Ask someone, “What one thing can I do for you that will most help you make a positive difference?” and then help them.
#53. Figure out why you’re still here. Ask yourself. “Why am I still working here?” Is it for personal development, because of enriching experiences with others, or to work on leaving a legacy? If it’s not clear, go someplace where it is.
#54. Draw a picture of success. You don’t have to pull out the crayons, you can write it down if you prefer. Create a repeatable compelling vision and sense of purpose and then, ask for help. You’ll probably need a hand, and people like being asked.
#60. Recognize people for the good things they do. Don’t stop at just thinking about it, actually thank people. Praise progress, even if it’s approximately right. They don’t hear it enough.
You can download at 63 actions for free at https://gum.co/nnnns.