Trying Something for 30 Days: Q&A session with Community Engagement Team

Earlier this year, our Community Engagement Team dove headfirst into our Catalyst™ program to tackle an exercise on building a habit.  Catalyst™ is a one-day experience focused on learning to develop your own authentic path, connect to groups and causes you care about, and commit to a plan to be a catalyst for yourself and the groups you’re part of. The trio of KBH (Vice President), Krista (intern), and Colby (intern) selected a habit to add to their routine for 30 days in April. Find out how they did with Trying Something for 30 Days:

Which habit did you select to Try Something For 30 Days?

KBH: Spend 5 minutes mentally reliving a happy moment, including as much detail as I can remember.

Krista: Take 30 minutes every day working toward finding your life passion.

Colby: When you feel stressed during the day, make yourself stop for 5 minutes to identify the source of stress

IMG_1493What was it like to develop your habit over 30 days? Could you give an example of one activity or exercise that you did because of your habit?

KBH: This habit brought a bit of cheer to my days. It was helpful on days that felt heavy because I had something to remind me that life is both heaviness and lightness.  

Krista: This habit helped me figure out where my true passions lie. I would brainstorm on what truly made me happy, and find different ways to create a career out of that.

Colby: One activity I did for this habit was to work backwards from the stressor that I was currently experiencing or experienced in the past. I started with questions with simple questions of “What emotion were you feeling when (insert experience here)?” and progressed towards answering the question of “Why?” and “What did I learn from the experience?” It was a treat to take a step back once the 30 days was complete and see how the actions I took towards the habit evolved.

How did you motivate yourself to continue your habit each day?  How did you hold yourself accountable?

KBH: I went old-school with my accountability strategy – a post-it note on my computer monitor! The feelings from reflecting on a memory that brought me joy was a motivating factor for me. I found it to be uplifting to recall happy and positive times from my life.   

Krista: I used my impending graduation as motivation to continue working toward my habit of finding my passion. I set aside time each week to focus on what I love to do and since I would be needing to get a job after graduation, I used that to hold myself accountable on this habit.

Colby: I’ll be candid, developing this habit over 30 days was brutal at first. I kept forgetting to do it, but once I started, thoughts kept pouring out and words seamlessly appeared on the page. I wrote post-it notes of the emotion I was feeling while doing the habit and looked at them when I needed a boost of motivation.

IMG_1495In the Catalyst program, we ask participants to consider what they want their future leadership story to say about them, while understanding how the habits we create can help us author that story. Could you talk about how your habit  specifically help to realize the intentions and achievements in your leadership story?

KBH: I want to be someone others see as being able to move through life, even the challenging bits, with a sense of hope. One way I harness a feeling of hope is by recalling the times in life that were happy and meaningful. By creating a habit that centered around these memories, I think they will be easier to recall in times of struggle.

Krista: I feel like knowing where my true passions are will help me be the best leader I can. If I am able to use my talents to my full potential, then I will better lead others on their journey to finding their passion.

Colby: In hindsight, this habit helped me to look at previous experiences with a new lens, one that helped me to better understand myself. I will also add that this habit helped me to connect the dots of the puzzle that is my leadership story – the entire puzzle has yet to be finished (it’s a continual work in progress)!

Are you inspired to pick a habit and weave it into your routine? (Hey, us too!) Come back in a few days to learn how to kick start a life of integrity in three steps.

Our Year in Review

As the year comes to a close, we cannot help but to reminisce over some of the many moments we celebrated in 2017.

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Our programs traveled near and far (and even overseas) to leave an impact on the leaders of tomorrow. See the full map here!

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In August, we had our 70,000th participant complete The Institute. Think of all of the amazing visions that are bringing endless possibilities to this world.

We partnered with 17 organizations to spend the day with their staff developing their skills in the area of resilience.

We partnered with 50 organizations to help participants create change in their communities by starting something extraordinary.

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We connected with seven presenters for our webinars that covered topics ranging from leveraging positive change to building creativity , and sustainable partnerships to conversations that matter.

Interested in hearing these wonderful people speak about these topics, head over here. Want to see some of their work in a graphic, head over to our Facebook album with even more webinars!

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Join us in reflecting, connecting, and acting on the past few #Day7 themes here.

July: #BeABeliever

August: #EmbraceFailure

September: #TimeToReflect

October: #FindYourCreativity

November: #PracticeGratitude

December: #GetJoyful

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Join the conversation from our monthly Twitter chats here.

July: To Lead, Live and Spark Inspiration

August: To Lead, Live and Take Time to Reflect

September: To Lead, Live and Practice Self Care

October: To Lead, Live and Activate Your Strengths

November: To Lead, Live and Celebrate 2017

A Few Words from Paul: Both/And

We can do better than this. Really. It wouldn’t take much.

Last month I teased that I was going to talk about the election and political climate and did not. You were totally bummed. I know. This month, I have to.

stencil.default (7)What the heck is going on here?! We have entered a brand (not so) new world of talking right past each other that I have not seen in my lifetime. It would appear to me that we have one candidate representing all the pissed off people (mostly white) in the country and another who we are not sure we can trust nor that we want to relive the ‘90’s. Voting AGAINST a candidate instead of for one seems to be a popular voting strategy these days.

The inability to work together, compromise, and seek first to understand is standard now across politics, campuses, and business. These inabilities have made it easier for us to retreat to our corners of the country listening to those people we already agree with than it is to engage in the hard conversations that so desperately need to be held.

I’ll prove it to you.

When was the last argument you had with someone where you were able to walk away from feeling you learned something new rather than being ticked off? Uh, huh. I’m waiting…me neither. Where are the both/and conversations that need to be held to truly get at the heart of issues and reach solutions that are best for ALL of us and not just the few making the decisions? Yeah, not happening.

So how do you deal with difference? We have to stop hiding behind our privilege both from an identity and educational standpoint. It has never been easier to either avoid difference or explain away difference as ignorance. Mess with your head and watch MSNBC immediately following Fox News. Shake it off and then think about what you just saw.

Do you seek out different viewpoints when working on a problem? Do you involve folks that have a unique perspective instead of the adopted way of looking at things? When was the last time you read something that really ticked you off? Why do we surround ourselves with people that tell us what we want to hear?

I am full of questions and no answers. Shocker. I do know this though. We (yes, you and I) have to take leadership and make the first step. Everyone is waiting for the other to bend first. True leadership is stepping in front when the time has come to start something extraordinary. That time is now.

Let’s get after our problems together. I will work on yours this year and you will work on mine next. Take turns, right? Seemed to work well in grade school.

But there I go again, thinking possibility.

 

Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.