Welcome to spring – a time of new life and growth and an opportunity for a fresh perspective on our daily habits and choices. It’s a timely reminder to find balance in my life after launching into 2019. By taking the occasional pause to breathe and reflect, we can refocus on guiding visions, revisit daily choices, and get back on track when we veer away. As you read more, you’ll find a useful way to assess your daily choices. Which of your choices are moving you toward your most compelling future? Which are moving you away?
As we relish our roles as parents of two young children, my wife Jess and I are enmeshed in the daily joys and looking to the future. We hope that our kids will be among those who carry our legacy forward. They, along with all the individuals we touch in some profound way, will compose and convey the story of Corey and Jess.
While we cannot control our legacies, we do have tremendous influence. We influence our legacies when we:
- Gain clarity on a life’s vision, a compelling destination, and/or a meaningful future self
- Make mindful choices that help us get closer to our vision, destination, and/or future self
At Humanergy, we believe our choices define our leadership and our leadership impacts the trajectory of our legacies. Fundamentally, we make choices on two dimensions. Our care and commitment.
Care: Is it for the greater good or limited to one’s self? A person who makes a choice for the greater good considers the impact of their action both on oneself and others.
Commitment: High commitment reflects a choice to be passionate and intensely focused. A low commitment choice is passive and disengaged.
To bring both dimensions to life, put yourself in the shoes of a frequent flyer on a business trip during the peak of spring break. During the boarding process, your degree of care for others (lower – higher) and commitment to a result (lower – higher) lead to different choices. Here are four examples:
- If you’re out to get what you want at the expense of others (low care, high commitment), then you’ll grumble, “Unbelievable. Spring breakers get worse every year,” to an excited teen who accidentally bumps you with their luggage.
- If you’re making the experience as easy as possible for you (low care, low commitment), then you’ll quietly settle into your assigned seat, avoid any interaction with others, and gently thumb away at your smartphone’s screen.
- If you’re willing to make the experience better for everyone around you (high care, low commitment), then you’ll help an apologetic traveler who’s perspiring and struggling to slide their carry-on into an overhead bin.
- If you’re going to make the experience better for everyone around you no matter what (high care, high commitment), then you’ll proactively let the gate agent, flight attendants, and your fellow travelers know you’re available to exchange seats to help accommodate families traveling together.
If you’re like me, then you’ve made choices in all four quadrants over the years (no judgment…I promise). Each choice has a different impact. In most cases, these probably won’t change the course of someone’s life or my own. Yet, I wonder…
- In what instances are my levels of care and commitment lower? Higher?
- How often do I show up with higher levels of care and commitment versus lower levels?
- As I experience different levels of care and commitment, how are they tied to larger patterns of thinking and behavior?How do those patterns inform a lifetime of choices?
- What’s the impact of my lifetime of choices?
These questions bring me back to how we can better assess our daily choices and be more mindful of where they’re taking us. The spring sun has a way of opening our eyes to the life around us. Thus, it’s serving as a reminder to open my eyes to my daily choices. If I want to leave this world as someone who gets to enjoy success by helping family, friends, neighbors, teammates and clients be successful, then I can’t be numb to the levels of care and commitment I put behind my choices.
Want to share a choice that made a difference? Comment below or message us.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
This article is wonderful! Thank you for the deliberate explanation, with examples, to really get the cogs in the brain thinking! I have printed and posted in various locations at our business as we have had a few setbacks lately. Good timing for us to step back, reassess and visualize a new path both individually and as an organization. Much appreciated, Corey!
This was a VERY insightful and helpful piece – well-timed.
Excellent article, Corey. We all choose our destiny and legacy. When we move on from wherever we are, when we are gone, people will be talking about us. What would we like them to be saying?