If you are anything like me, you probably have a pretty good list of beliefs and values you hold dear. You might even have them written down somewhere or make them part of a regular prayer, affirmation or meditation.
The organizations you belong too–whether it’s a corporation, non-profit, church, temple, mosque, club or a more loosely constructed tribe–likely share a core set of beliefs and values as well.
And this is all good. But it’s just a start, a foundation. Necessary, but not sufficient.
For me, if I’m really honest with myself, I often struggle to move beyond the idea of–or belief in–something, into the actions that belief implies.
In organizations, an annual report or speech by the group’s leader frequently speak to attitudes in support of stated values or strategies, but often little evidence of doing anything meaningful. For real. Over time. Failing better. Adjusting. And forging ahead with resilience.
From the 12 Steps to Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths to Brene Brown’s 10 Guideposts to Wholehearted Living–which is genius by the way–and countless other disciplines, there is a common theme of building awareness, accepting reality, committing to certain attitudes and then taking action. All too often I know I forget (or fear) taking the last, critical step.
I forget it is a conscious choice to embrace action in addition to having the right attitude. It is a choice to pick deeds over creeds. A choice to go through my fear instead of around it.
Deep down, I think many of us unconsciously embrace a fantasy that we can quickly become good at something that is fundamentally difficult. We’ll figure it out, muscle through, stay late at work. Societal norms only serve to reinforce these misguided notions.
Similarly, brands think they can quickly figure out social media, though a recent study shows 68% of CEO don’t have ANY experience with social networks. Companies set ambitious goals for innovative growth, but have little recent experience putting anything truly new into the marketplace. With predictable regularity, organizations spend months or years studying problems only to be surprised when they fall woefully behind.
Most of the time, we need the practice, we must actively cultivate the habit.
Whether you are inspired to be the change you want to see in the world or be the proverbial “Man in the Arena“, don’t forget it is a conscious choice to move from belief to action and it takes practice.
How many reps will you get in today?