LLKA (Life Lane Keep Assist)

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(Icon Created by Richard Nixon from the Noun Project)

Our cars have become technology powerhouses. Cars remind you where they parked, describe alternative routes to upcoming traffic, make noise when you get too close to the curb, brake to prevent collision, and my new favorite: keep you in your lane.

These cars scan the road ahead. If you start to veer our of your lane, the car is there to help by gently nudging the wheel to keep you in your lane.

Small gentle nudges to keep you safe.

Small gentle nudges to provide direction when you get a little distracted and start to drift.

Imagine if this technology was available for us.

I can see the commercial.

Cue the dramatic music, and cut to video of busy, distracted living, while people race down winding roads.

[A voice begins]

Do you get distracted from your larger picture life goals? Do you spend time thinking about what you could have done, or should have done, instead of working on that thing right in front of you? Have you felt the pull of comparison to others and the resulting and life-stalling envy?

Welcome to the Life Lane Keep Assist.

The new Life Lane Keep Assist is designed to keep you in your lane.

Life Lane Keep Assist is a friendly nudge when the distractions or comparisons in life tempt you to compare your self with others, forget that you have value, and veer away from your own journey.

Life Lane Keep Assist works with you and your mind, head, and heart to turn to back to what is important in your life. It starts with a small nudge, builds to a larger push if needed.

[The cameras pan to a few individuals for one-on-one testimonials.]

“There I was, going though life while comparing my journey to others. It was discouraging, but with Life Lane Keep Assist, I began to live in my own lane. At first it was hard, I kept wanted to go back, but the small nudges and re-directions provided a much needed focus.”

“It was hard to focus. There were so many demands and needs, I was trying to do it all. I didn’t know how to say no. Thank you Life Lane Keep Assist for helping me steer away from the unimportant, and focus on how to make a real difference.”

“Before Life Lane Keep Assist I got way to involved in other people’s lives and created unnecessary conflict. Life Lane Keep Assist helped me from putting myself in the middle of conflict that wasn’t even mine to begin with.”

Life Lane Keep Assist – Available to help in your life journey today.

[Music Fades and screen goes blank]

Until Life Lane Keep Assist is standard equipment in our lives, we will have to just remind ourselves when we start to drift into the wrong lane. When we get out of our own lane, our own journey, our own lives, maybe it is just a simple nudge that can help us get back.

Affirmation or Revelation

“I didn’t need it, they don’t need it!”

Usually said loudly and with passion.

Usually said with a negative and sometimes angry tone.

Usually as a response to the idea of coaching, encouraging, or recognizing employees.

Usually while being critical and perhaps judgmental of perceived generational or work-ethic differences.

“I didn’t need someone to tell me I was doing a good job!”

“I didn’t need a trophy just for showing up!”

“I didn’t need to be coached, I just worked hard!”

“I didn’t need a reward, it was my job!”

When these statements enter the room or conversation, pause and watch what happens.

These statements tend to weave their way through the crowd.

There are usually two responses to these statements that you can visibly witness.

  1. Affirmation 
  2. Revelation

Affirmation: people who have experienced similar treatment, management, or upbringing that nod and agree. This is what they were given, and they continue to give the same back to others.

Revelation: people who may have experienced similar treatment, management, or upbringing, but disagree with the past. They are making a decision to give to others in a different way than what as given to them.

After the short silence, typically one of the Revelation responders will speak up.

“I understand that you didn’t receive the affirmation, coaching, or reward along the way in life. I didn’t receive it either, but I realized how much of a negative impact it had on me. Was there a time when you wanted to hear something positive, a simple word of encouragement, or a little coaching?”

With a few simple questions, Affirmation may turn into Revelation.

They did need to be recognized.

They did need some coaching and encouragement.

They did need a reward for the sacrifice they were making.

The lack of what they needed made them hardened.

Instead of Revelation, the result was Affirmation of the very treatment, management, or upbringing that caused the negative impact.

Which response will you have?

Affirmation or Revelation?

Hating Salmon and Lemon Squares

“He hates Salmon.”

“He hates Lemon Squares.”

“He is grumpy if he doesn’t eat.”

“He is grumpy if woken from a nap.”

“He [insert event, either one time or a repeated event that happened, and form a hard-wired rule about the person despite the passage of time, even years].”

There was a time when I didn’t really like eating salmon. You know the poached (was it boiled?) kind smothered in a creamy sauce with dill.

Rule #1: Carl hates salmon.

There was a time when desserts in general were not my favorite, I am more of a savory person, and since periodically I may be training for something or trying to lose weight, sweets of any kind are not my friend.

Rule #2: Carl hates lemon squares.

Years later, the remnants of those rules still appear. People are surprised when I eat Salmon (grilled and savory is my favorite) or take a bite of a lemon square.

The preferences at that moment were not meant to create a hard-wired rule.

The preferences were a snapshot in time.

But, times change.

And people change.

We think we know them.

We think they are the same.

We think we had it right.

How many times have these hard-wired rules created obstacles between us?

How many times have these snapshots been held up as a representation of us?

Be careful of the hard-wired rule trap.

You have changed, and so have the people around you.

P.S. I am also not always grumpy because I am hungry or when I wake from a nap, sometimes I am just grumpy.

Wired for Problems

How you see the world

Understanding our own behavioral styles is essential to our long-term success. Knowing that you have a tendency to follow the rules, or that you can connect with others helps you leverage those strengths in your style (maybe you have a passion for finance or you are great at sales).

Knowing how you are wired also helps you know when your style needs to be modified (maybe you are too strict at enforcing rules or you connect so often with others that you are not getting your own work done).

The other day I was having a somewhat difficult interaction and an overreaction. When I react this way, I revisit my own style (often with other people) to help determine the cause and see if this insight provides some solution or an easier way to modify my style in the future.

As I described the situation to someone close, they provided some much-needed insight.

I am wired for problems.

How you see the world (1)

 

My natural tendency is to see things in an unfavorable light. Combine that with the perception that I am in control or have power over a situation, and things get interesting.

What I see as a problem, others may not even notice.

When I want to fix things, others may not be ready or aware that the problem even exists.

Sometimes this style works well.

If organizations, teams, or individuals need to change or improve.

Sometimes this style doesn’t work out as well.

If we are just having a casual conversation, or interaction.

This greater self-awareness helps me understand that although I would like to fix a lot of things, not everything is broken or a problem that needs fixing.

What is the old saying? “If you are a hammer, after a while everything begins to look like a nail.”

How are you wired?

If you know your own style, take a few moments to revisit your results.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are the best 3 things about my style that really work for me in my role, job, career, or life.

2. What are the 3 things about my style that seem to get in the way the most, or if modified would lead to greater success.

Put that list somewhere where you can see it each day, and leverage what works, and begin to modify what doesn’t work.

If you don’t know your style, drop me a line or connect with someone who can help you identify your style.

What is Stopping You?

The meeting concluded.

Papers and seats moved and the rustling and sliding began.

Then came the questions.

“When can you schedule another meeting?”

“How about you get us back together again at the 6, 12, and 18 month mark?”

“Can you arrange for this to happen?”

There was a pause.

A longer pause.

Scanning the room.

Eyes hungrily peering back, waiting for a reply.

“What is stopping you from getting together on your own?”

Silence.

Revelation.

Action.

Sometimes you get used to someone else driving.

Sometimes you get used to someone else setting the agenda.

Sometimes you get used to someone else scheduling that meeting or get-together.

Sometimes you get used to someone else managing that project or idea.

Sometimes you get used to…

Pause.

Longer pause.

What is stopping you?

 

Savoring the Quirks

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Everyone has quirks.

Some quirks are endearing.

Some quirks are irritating.

Why don’t they replace that roll?

Why do they wait until the recycling is overflowing?

Why do they always bring up that thing when you visit?

Why do they [insert our issue, pet peeve, history, expectation, or offense] here?

Recently we have experienced some loss.

Recently those around us have experienced some loss.

Recently we got news that more loss is coming.

Loss causes a shift in perspective.

What was once irritation now causes comfort.

An empty roll means they are still here. Maybe just a few moments ago.

Messy toys on a table, way too many wet shoes piled in a heap by the back door, fingernail polish on the coffee table, the piercing pain when you step on a LEGO, the fuel gauge left on empty, piles of unopened mail, the strange pile of receipts by the phone, clutter on the stairs, jackets on the backs of chairs, modeling clay in the carpet, gum in the driveway, mystery stains on the kitchen floor, the overflowing hamper, the heap of clothes by the shower, whatever gets stuck in the drain, loud voices downstairs in the morning, slurping noises while drinking, loud crunchy chewing, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Today you have all these things. Someday they will cease.

Instead of irritation. Choose savoring the quirks.

Maybe these quirks can be reminders of what you have.