Electric Life: 12 Microsteps to Pay Attention, Be Brilliant and Go Deep

 
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Choosing your path deliberately and joyfully allows you to discover, keep and even build energy to live and work. It’s not our experiences, but who we are that matters. And guess what, we get to choose who we are - how we think about and represent ourselves, and how we learn from our good and bad experiences. When you know who you are, energy doesn’t get depleted.

Twelve tiny steps can generate the electric life you want. Not one of these microsteps is particularly difficult, but they will put you on a path to boundless energy - energy that is real and sustainable, to drive value into your everyday life, work, family and community.

These twelve steps are divided into three parts:
Pay Attention; Be Brilliant; Go Deep

Part i: Pay Attention
A guide for how to think about yourself, in three microsteps.

MICROSTEP 1: Find Your Hurricane
When you ‘show up’, or are present, in body, mind and spirit, you create your own energetic atmosphere. Assess whether your BODY - your physical self - encourages or prevents connection. Whether your MIND - thoughts and concerns - is revealed to your colleagues. Whether your SPIRIT - passions and identity - is guiding your actions. Nurture your own hurricane of energy by keeping a list of your accomplishments, updating your resume, and honestly volunteering your ideas, questions and passions at work.

MICROSTEP 2: Choose Your Balloon
Like the elasticity of a balloon, the way we interpret the information we receive will alter the way we understand any future event. Intentionally choosing how we think, what matters to us and what will define and represent who we are in the world comes down to making decisions about what you can gain, from both good and bad experiences. Consider how your balloon of life experience is altered by your environment, whether you have control of the conversations in your life, whether you’re feeling engaged and valued in your interactions. Be curious - question where you are, and seek the other perspective.

MICROSTEP 3: “FINE” Is Not a Feeling
How are you, really? Being self-aware helps us to build emotional strength so that we can manage our discomfort and sit with it. People who understand and perceive their own emotions are better at understanding other people’s body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. Connection, innovation, excitement,
true joy… all stem from the same source: honesty with ourselves. So forget ‘fine’, get real with yourself - how are you feeling? What makes you want to feel that way? How is that feeling affecting those around you?

Part ii: Be Brilliant
A guide for how to activate yourself, in five microsteps.

MICROSTEP 4: Plug In
Energy isn’t created or destroyed, but we can tap into it. It starts with plugging in. This means being honest about where your energy is flowing right now. Remembering when (or if) you were passionate about your work, and making a choice to plug into areas that breathe life into you. Plugging in means being aware of how we exchange energy with others, and giving the energy we want to receive.

MICROSTEP 5: Be Self-ful
Don’t shy away from noticing yourself and, indeed, putting yourself first. Self-recognition allows you to imagine what’s possible, to move into a growth mindset - to show up. Being self- ful, not selfish, starts with being attentive to your physical body, your mind and your spirit - nurture them every day. Build a foundation of respect for yourself to connect to what is meaningful to you and you alone. Challenge yourself to understand the energy you’re leaving in the room.

MICROSTEP 6: Power Your Curiosity
Not every workplace or leader is going to give us meaning and energy at work. Choosing to use your superhuman power of curiosity allows us to rethink habits, to approach the workplace in a different way, and to have fun. By no means does this ensure we avoid discomfort and challenges along the way, but it does ensure that we can and will make choices that feel good. Find ways to seek what you truly want from work, make it fun and let loose your curiosity.

MICROSTEP 7: Celebrate Mis-takes
Our educational systems and workplaces have made us frightened of being wrong. Having the freedom to have made a ‘mis-take’, as opposed to the stigma of a mistake, allows us to learn through fun. By listening and thinking creatively, we find new and better ways of doing what we’ve always done. There is strength in accepting that all of what makes us human is perfect in its imperfection.

MICROSTEP 8: Practice Pausitivity
When we pretend that everything is okay when it’s not, we lose the capacity to gain mutual trust, comfort and do damage to our mental health. ‘Pausitivity’ is a chance to slow down and calm our monkey minds, to be grateful for what we have, to see things from someone else’s point of view, to discover the truth and own it.

Part iii: Go Deep
A guide for how to engage with others, in four microsteps

MICROSTEP 9: Show Me You
Truly seeing others and providing a space of psychological safety allows us to connect, innovate and reach peak experiences. Making every interaction a chance to make someone feel special, valued and important (SVI) allows us to invite a deep witnessing and presence with this other human. Foster belonging and connection by seeing people, noticing the things they care about, letting them know what you value in them, and creating a safe space without judgment.

MICROSTEP 10: Live Giving
Giving as our authentic, true selves, expecting nothing in return, is the one true way to generate life-giving energy between two people, and allows us to imagine a different future for ourselves. To foster a shared and connected existence, don’t give a present… be present. Giving in this way feels good, and gives us a chance to get what we want most from life.

MICROSTEP 11: See the Back Row
Most of our focus is to see ourselves in the spotlight, whether under scrutiny or adulation of others. Yet that worldview can prevent us from looking farther than the end of the stage. Connecting with people energizes us when we find the link between our stories and our spirits, even with entirely different lived experiences. Avoiding RJF (resting jerk face), listening and asking questions, and finding the hidden voices and stories of others can give new meaning to our lives.

MICROSTEP 12: Cross the River
Confluence is where points of view and interactions with others flow together, forever altering us. How they alter us is up to us. By bringing all of what we have learned together - the pure and the muddy waters of life - we can find our spirit energy and feel like a fully realized, whole person. An open mindset seeks to find what intrinsically motivates us, pays attention to what motivates others (without carrying their burden), and goes with that flow. Keep your river clean, and purify others’.
 

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