A deep dive into one of the 8 Critical Capabilities from the book PowerUp8
“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution, experience life’s deepest joy, true fulfilment.” Tony Robbins
“ME FIRST” VS “UBUNTU”
As the race for consumption increases and the pressure from social media to prove our latest purchase, party, experience or achievement mounts, it is tempting to jump onto the consumer train leading to FOMO and a state of “never enough”.
Many of us have grown up in societies with a competitive, scarcity mindset that encouraged us to work hard for our goals. We were taught to do more to get ahead, fight to survive, save for a rainy day, be faster and fitter than your rivals and grab opportunities before they get gobbled up by others. This has created a world view of separation, us vs them, the have’s and have nots, the winners and the losers. This has promoted a primary focus on self and our inner circle to the exclusion of others. The result? A culture of excess and risk avoidance, and a deep divide of inequality.
Some of us have been lucky enough to grow up in a society or community where sharing is caring and you never go to sleep on an empty stomach. Resources are shared and our own identity and worth is a reflection of the community we serve.
Covid-19 pandemic has shocked everyone into a different way of seeing the world. We have been forced to recognise our fragility and interdependence with other countries and people. We have seen both selfish acts of “me first” and also many wonderful examples of selfless contribution to those in need, both in our own communities and on a global scale with multi-million dollar donations, initiatives and acts of kindness. There is an increasing call for a global reset in the way that we value people and planet versus profit at any cost.
It is time to pause and ask ourselves a few key questions: Who am I? Where am I going? How do I want to feel? What am I doing about it?
Do you want to be a superficial entitled status consumer, or do you want to be an accountable community builder, mentor and contributor? We may feel that we have limited time or means to contribute. But it is often those with little who make the most difference, even if it is just a few minutes a day or week or the time to share some encouraging words.
DOING GOOD IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU
It is a well-researched fact that people who have a sense of meaning and contribution to something bigger than themselves feel more engaged and empowered in their lives. They attract a great deal of support and have more meaningful relationships. It feels good to help people. Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood, overall wellbeing as well as lead to a longer and healthier life.
What is your story of this time? What would you have liked it to be? What will you do differently next time or as part of your life? What if a big positive that can emerge from this crisis is a surge in kindness. Not just short-lived kindness, but kindness as a core value and sustainable part of our societies?
CONSUMING OR CONTRIBUTING – WHAT’S YOUR BALANCE?
For us to shift our perspective and world view and work towards sustainable feelings of positive pride and satisfaction, we need to identify where we might be spending most of our time. What is keeping us hooked in the ego state of consuming, claiming status or showing up as entitled? What could we believe about ourselves, others and the world to spend more time being accountable and contributing to others, our team and communities around us?
Community builders are Accountable Contributors and Mentors
They believe in being part of the solution rather than complain about the problem. They believe in making a difference and leaving a legacy for future generations. They believe in doing the right thing even when no-one is watching. They are grateful for the opportunities and people that helped them get to where they are today.
They generally feel generous, loving, kind and compassionate. They use language like: “It’s up to us”. “How can we help?” “Let’s get involved”. They have daily habits like sharing, mentoring, checking-in, gratitude journals, telling stories of hope and possibility and apologising when they are wrong.
Status consumers are Entitled Consumers and Status Builders
They believe that life is short, and life is cheap, so take what you can. They believe they deserve better and why not just follow the crowd. They believe that status = success. Or they might believe that don’t have something of value to share. They generally feel either entitled orhard done by, envious, troubled and not enough as they are. They use language like “it’s not fair”, “Have you seen the latest …”, “I wonder how I can get more …”or “why bother, I’ll just do the minimum”. They have daily habits like spending hours on social media and comparing their lives to others, dreaming up ways to get likes and shares, sleeping in, living off others and figuring out what they can get for minimum effort.
“It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” Nelson Mandela
DAILY HACKS AND HABITS FOR CONTRIBUTORS
If you want to enhance your COMMUNITY BUILDER impact, the first step is to do a check in on a few key contributor capabilities such as leaving a legacy, checking your ego, having a sense of accountability, being a true citizen and having an attitude of gratitude. We have suggested a few questions to think about below. Have a look in the PowerUp8 book for a full check-list, resources and tips.
Habit #1: Legacy check-point
People with a strong sense of purpose achieve their goals approx. 70% more of the time than those who don’t.
- I have a clear life purpose that drives my choices and actions
- I know what I care about and am most passionate about
- I often ask myself – how can I be of greatest service today?
- I spend time mentoring people that can benefit from my experience, contacts or skills.
Habit #2: Ego check-point
The ego is the “I.” It develops an identity to protect you from confusion, disconnection, and loss of love that you might experience as you grow up. We start off with everything being about us (ego-centric) and then develop over time with a healthy balance of self-confidence, humility, and community. Some people have not developed this balance and require a lot of ego-boosting or defensive behaviour to hide the fragile ego and insecurity inside.
- I am constantly comparing myself to others that seem “more” talented, attractive or successful
- I crave respect and recognition and complain, sulk or use sarcasm when I don’t get it
- I am often defensive and perceive disagreements as personal “attacks”.
- I can easily get my way and am good at manipulating or controlling others.
Habit #3: Accountability check-point
People who take accountability have a core value of integrity and believe that their word is their bond. When they make promises and commitments, they take them seriously. If we practice being clear and accountable with the little things, like “I’ll send you that document or call you tomorrow”, then the bigger stuff comes more naturally.
- I stick to commitments made and always let people know if and why I can’t deliver on these
- I honour the promises I make to myself including mental and personal health
- I don’t justify or make excuses when I haven’t followed-through on a commitment
- I take responsibility without blaming others for mistakes or non-delivery of agreed actions.
Habit #4: Citizenship check-point
Being a citizen means that you’re part of a group (country), and that you have legal and political rights within that group. It brings with it both privileges and obligations. How many of us are enjoying privileges equally to our obligations? How many of us are less active and hoping and trusting that others will take the lead in creating a better life for all? Is there something more you could be doing to help build the nation now and for the future.
- I show respect and dignity to all in my community
- I embrace diversity and am tolerant of other races, classes, lifestyle choices and religions
- I actively support my local community forums, events and businesses
- I post, write blogs, send quotes, make videos, comment and share on social media to add value
Habit #5: Gratitude check-point
Gratitude is one of the highest frequency emotions that can shift your mood, your mental state and your immune system immediately. It is powerful in quickly shifting us out of victim or survival emotions and back into seeing the bigger picture of what is important.
- I am thankful every day for all that I have – having life, love, options
- I write thank-you notes or texts to others who I appreciate
- I love what I do and who I do it with
- I acknowledge other’s contributions to my success in work or life
The key to life is not accumulation, it is contribution.” Stephen Covey
TIPS, TOOLS AND RESOURCES
We have listed a few COMMUNITY BUILDER resources below and many more are in the PowerUp8 book.
How to do Ego work
How to Find Your Purpose | Jay Shetty on Impact Theory
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win Hardcover, 2015, Jocko Willink
Community: The Structure of Belonging, by Peter Block
Gratitude Practice Facebook Group