Friday, September 19, 2014

“The Foundation of Transformation Comes from Habits of Mind”

I was lucky enough to hear Malcolm Gladwell speak at a marketing conference (in addition to Simon Sinek and Martha Stewart - who I met!)  But back to Gladwell, one of the foremost authors and intellectuals of our time.

Malcolm Gladwell spoke to a group of small to medium sized businesses on transformation - what is takes not just to grow, but to transform the business you are in.  As he was speaking, it occurred to me that his commentary on transformation that many of the traits and characteristics common among those who have created great transformation, are also the traits characteristics you need to transform anything - even your own life.

Gladwell cited that in addition to technology and skills, transformation comes from habits of mind. He provided 3 lessons in transformation:
  1. Attitude - persistence, the courage to be independent. He went on to elaborate about the common traits of entrepreneurs:
  • Massively open - creative, open to considering new ideas.
  • Conscientious - will follow through on a new idea, and are obsessive and detail-oriented about it.
  • Disagreeable - in the classic psychological definition meaning they do not need the approval of their peers to do what is right. They tune out naysayers.
  1. Reframe the problem - look at the problem in a new way
  2. Urgency

Looking back at the past 3 months when I’ve been in a fog, a few things occurred to me that are relevant when you decide you are ready for a change:
  1. Attitude - instead of following what outside influences (people, social norms) dictate as your path, you realize that you need to stay on your own path, because stepping off results in unhappiness and staying on brings you back to your true nature, to contentment, to joy.
  2. Reframe the problem - sometimes we get so stuck in our own story-line in our head that it is hard to see things differently. This shifted when my Mom reframed my situation, informing me that I am green, and not yellow as I was claiming to be.
  3. Urgency - when you are ready for a change, you typically don’t sit back and say “I have an average of 30 more years to bring about this change” - you are ready to live life differently, to feel more joy and appreciationion. So you set your mind to who you want to be - the path you know is for you - and you stay on that path with a laser focus and determine that will realign your thoughts, anxiety, storyline with your true nature.

Listening to Malcolm speak on people’s transformative visions and they pathes they took to make the transformation reality, I realized I’ve spent so much time recently focused on the negative feelings that are inside - gripped by fear and hurt - that I’ve strayed away from who I am. From what I can do, what my unique gifts are and what I can give to others.  I don’t want to waste time drowning in a sea of emotions that are not more than waves crashing - it’s not who I am. It was who I feared I may be. But luckily, I am green, and I am going to go about the business of being green now.

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