02 Feb Swap Resolutions for a Personal Moral Inventory
Take the time out to reflect and score yourself.
I get it. 2020 wasn’t what any of us expected, and the hope that 2021 would magically be better hasn’t yet materialised. Whether it be new waves or strains of COVID, political unrest, economic uncertainty, or strange Wall Street trading demands, January hasn’t given many of us the uplift we expected or hoped for. But deep down, we knew hope wasn’t a strategy. Action is though.
If you’ve not already watched my TED talk, I strongly recommend it as background, context, and a chance to pause and reflect.
As I’ve spoken to people afterwards, I’ve been blown away by how people have shared their scores and their actions, but there’s two really profound things I’ve learnt. Firstly, the number of people who felt like they needed permission to share their story. It’s a great reminder that everyone has their own stresses and angst in life, and we should take the time out to care and empathise with those around us. Especially in times of isolation. And secondly, I was surprised by how many people shared that they’d already written new years resolutions, but that they’d written down actions in areas where they already scored a one.
Profit and Productivity
The simplest way to think about profit and productivity, is to think of it as the “work bucket”. It’s how you find, invest, and take reward, from work. The reality though, is that it’s a lot more complex. Many see this as a scale, and think the richer, or wealthier you are, the happier you. We know deep down that it’s actually a lot more relative than that, and it’s more associated with being able to service and maintain your standard of living and chosen lifestyle. For Australian’s the SMH recently reported that Aussie’s reached peak happiness in 2003, and whilst the economy and incomes have prospered, happiness hasn’t.
And research has shown that the average working day has increased in times of pandemic and work from home, by an average of 50 minutes a day. We’re working longer hours and we’re not happier, and I’m not certain we’re any more productive. What do you need to service your lifestyle? What’s your score for profit and productivity, and remember, it can’t be higher than a 1 😉
I picked resolutions for 2021 for areas where I was already a 1, and I was ignoring areas where I'm a 0 or -1. It's time for better balance, and I'm going to start with my own mental health.
To score yourself on “People” you have to first look in the mirror, and assess how much time and energy you invest in your own physical and mental health. Our endless pursuit of productivity may have put us on the edge of a poor mental health epidemic, that has only been amplified by the isolation and distancing required by pandemic restrictions. You know, as they used to say on airplanes when we used to fly, “you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others”. Well it’s the same in life.
Once you’re a healthy and grounded version of you, only then can you truly help others. Scoring yourself in this area requires you to think about your impact on friends, family, community, and society as a whole. It’s all about being a good human, and positively impacting humanity.
I feel like Planet has come into it’s own during my lifetime. As a child in the 80’s and teenager in the 90’s, I honestly believed that things just got created and consumed and thrown away. I never thought about consequences. Even as I became an adult, everything seemed to get more disposable and more convenient, meaning lots of single use. I thought recycling was something hippies did because they didn’t have jobs. Greenpeace was something on the news occasionally about Whales.
But our increased carbon footprint, and misuse of the precious resource which is Mother Nature and this planet, have put us on a knife edge of damaging it forever. Watching the amazing Sir David Attenborough in A Life On Our Planet, was a humbling and sobering example of the damage we’ve caused and still causing. So think about how you reduce, reuse, and recycle? How you ethically source? What is your carbon footprint? Are you sustainable? What is your score for Planet?
I believe we all want to leave a legacy, however big or small. Whether we want to or not, we all have an impact on the world in our time here. For years, I’d got bought into the rhetoric that you got your purpose from your work, but on reflection, I think that was me falling for some very clever spin…it’s a chance to disguise your Productivity & Profit, as Purpose, and to kid yourself you’re doing good things.
I’m fortunate that through my speaking events, I get to donate 100% of my speaker fees to Room to Read and Adara Group, two amazing For Purpose organisations that provide help in the form of education, healthcare, and support, to those less fortunate that us.
But I still have that niggling question, of what legacy I want to leave behind. WHY do I do, what I do? Many have shared that they’ve found purpose in family, having children, caring for loved ones, charitable work, or investing in their community.
What is your score for Purpose?
Don’t beat yourself up
Whether you score yourself a -1, 0, or 1, on these four categories, remember 3 very important lessons.
1: The scores are relative. You decide what is a 0 and what is a 1, based on where YOU want to be
2: Don’t beat yourself up and make yourself a -1 on everything.
3: The aim on the Personal Moral Inventory is to find areas to develop better balance. So invest some time in working out what you can do to improve your scores and the positive actions you can take.
So what are you waiting for…do the Personal Moral Inventory now, and share you scores. Together we can all get better balance.