Welcome to March, a month that brings spring, more daylight, hope and motivation. We certainly need that after the challenges of this historic winter weather. Make no mistake about the impact this has had on all of us, physically and mentally. Not only are we weary of the added work and expense, our bodies are exhausted from the extra effort to keep warm in the extreme cold. Many of our businesses have lost money from cancellations, supplies not arriving, roads being closed and people just not willing to go out in the extreme cold. And, God bless all those who commute into the city using public transportation. Yet we are all still putting one foot in front of the other, surviving and hoping for spring.
What if it were possible to thrive even through such tough times?
The human condition is struggling to keep-up with the conditions in which we live today. We are very challenged from working under too many stimuli, too many things to do, too much information to process, breathing in and ingesting toxins. Our bodies need to work much harder than ever to stay healthy. And, according to the Center for Disease Control two-thirds of us are physically weighed down by obesity and 95% suffer from lack of sufficient energy. It’s no wonder chronic disease is on the rise even in teenagers. The good news is there is a way to change this.
Margaret Moore, Wellcoaches Founder and CEO, in an article published in Coaching World Magazine, Issue 9, describes the Ten Capabilities of Being Human. Understanding these capabilities and how to relate to them can move you from surviving to thriving. Let’s explore them now.
It all begins with the ability to become Mindful. That is to use not only your Emotional Intelligence but also what psychologist Jim Gavin calls Body Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is about being aware of how our emotions affect us and determine our behavior. Body Intelligence is the ability to read the cues and signals that your body gives you. Negative and positive emotions are felt in the body and when we pay attention to these messages we are then able to address them quickly so they don’t fester and cause negative thoughts and/or disease. All this takes is quieting the mind and focusing on your body. Where do you feel tightness, tingling, soreness? This is called being mindful. There are many resources available to learn about mindfulness techniques. Just Google mindfulness and you will find everything you need.
The next capability is Body Regulation. Your body needs a balance of energy to deal with chaos and challenge and calm to regenerate and renew the energy you expend. The challenge for you today is being pulled in so many directions you don’t honor or respect the need to rest. Something always needs to be done. The fact is this behavior is self defeating because when you don’t rejuvenate you get the same performance results you would by putting watered down gas in a high performance vehicle.
Autonomy is vitally important to motivation. You have a need to create your own destiny. It’s very important to do this wherever you can in your life. Determine your path, set your boundaries and keep marching to your own drummer.
Creating Meaning & Purpose is essential to your overall health and motivation. Studies using brain scan technology have proven that when people are working toward a specific purpose on something that has meaning, their brains light up on fire. They are in their most productive place.
Having healthy Relationships is another capability. Caring for and showing compassion to others creates a sense of calm, belonging and satisfies the need to nurture. This affects both your emotional and physical well being.
As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”. A strong sense of Confidence comes from using your innate skills and doing things that bring you satisfaction as well as learning new skills and competencies.
Having the ability to be Curious allows you to more easily try new things. Being curious also allows you to let go of fears and judgments. Watch young children as they develop, they are masters at being curious. Take a lesson from them and give it a try, your life will become more enjoyable.
Creativity is difficult for many adults because of your preoccupation with “to do’s”. Allowing the brain to unleash and just see what forms brings increased mental and physical health.
In order to be organized, regulate your emotions and keep you on track you need the Executive Function part of your brain to be strong and healthy. Especially for those who have attention deficit challenges. The best way to do this is to eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep.
As humans we have a high need for validation, we are very social creatures and need to set Standards by which we can measure ourselves. This capability is important and is a double edged sword. It brings out the judge in us, the self-critic. Be sure your standards or clear and flexible. Its purpose is to help you accept yourself, be cognizant of letting go of self judgment or you defeat the purpose.
Spring is the time of year to clean out, organize and become playful. I hope you will take the time to clean out your old thoughts and allow yourself to consider these ten capabilities and how they can improve your life and your work.