Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds
Arriving a little early to pick up my daughter from school I see the kids form a circle to finish their day and as they stand the teacher leads them in the following rhyme.
"Our work is done, our day is past, we'll go our separate ways
and I will hold so tight and fast, what I have learnt today
I've given with my heart and mind the effort that it needs
and I will strive in me to find
good thoughts, good words, good deeds."
Such a simple affirmation, days later I sit in a group coaching session with senior business executives who have just completed a leadership program. We discuss the notion of honouring others and the benefit of building high trust environments. The concept of intention comes to the fore.
How often do you just roll through the day never really stopping to think how you actually want to be but rather reacting to circumstances as they occur?
A colleague at University gives me a book "The How of Happiness - A scientific approach to getting the life you want" by Sonja Lyubomirsky. In it the author extols the virtues of Intentional Activity - "50 percent of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes, 10 percent by life circumstances, and the remaining 40 percent by what we do and how we think - that is, our intentional activities and strategies. ... If we observe genuinely happy people, we shall find that they do not just sit around being contented. They make things happen." (p.64)
I work with this concept in coaching people - "Bookend the day" I suggest "In the morning set intention and at the end of the day manage your focus by asking 'What did I do right today?'"
I've found though that most people when asked to set intention will focus on activities rather than states of being. For instance, "My intention toady is to complete my report, hold two meetings and go for a run after work".
But intentions that focus on doing stuff can become rope to hang ourselves - you didn't go for the run so therefore you failed in some way and hence you don't deserve whatever it is you want....
Intention focussed on BEing is better - "Today no matter what happens I intend to be focussed, present and peaceful" - then regardless of whether or not you go for the run you can still be happy with yourself and hence tell a positive story about who you are and how you are living your life - create a sustainable way of being that is internally self supportive.
So - back to the Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds.
I pick my daughter up and as we are driving out of the car park a woman in a red Audi speeds past "Slow down you silly ..." I hear myself think - oops strike one!
Forgiveness of self and a resetting of intention gets me back on track.
"Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds"
In peace and love always.