Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all say it. We want to spend more time with the people we love. We want to spend time on the things that matter most to us – things that bring us joy, projects or activities that are fulfilling.
We want, we want, we want. Uh-huh.
THE GAP BETWEEN SAY AND DO
This short, made-on-the-fly YouTube video, published by Prosperity TV in 2015, “The Congruency Gap,” features Randy Gage, an internationally acknowledged expert on prosperity and success.
It has one big idea: Very often there is a gap between what we say we want and what we do.
It also has one big question: Is it time to check the evidence?
Gage’s bio reads like a novel. The millionaire started out as a high school drop-out and juvenile delinquent arrested for armed robbery at the age of 15. He made it past juvie jail time, assorted addictions, and getting shot, as well as the various risings and fallings of a dedicated hustler all the way to near-bankruptcy before he turned himself around and started moving on up.
In 1990, the guy began writing self-help books on the subject of prosperity and a year later formed a coaching and training business, Gage Research and Development Institute, Inc.
Since that time he’s published a dozen books. Gage’s very first book HOW TO BUILD A MULTI-LEVEL MONEY MACHINE: The Science of Network Marketing was considered to be a seminal work on how to be a success in the network marketing business.
Gage has also spoken to more than two million people across more than 50 countries and is a member of the Speakers Hall of Fame, it says here. Whew!
CHECKING THE EVIDENCE
What Gage touches on in his little video is a thing developed by London Business School professor and business coach Richard Jolly. It has been used, adapted and expanded by others. The exercise is called the “Calendar Diagnostic.” It takes a bunch of time spent head- and heart-bending. It can be well worth the effort.
Here’s what you do:
First, you grab a piece of paper and ask yourself these burning questions:
- What does success look like to me?
- What’s my definition of a good job, a good career or a good life?
- What values and priorities do I hold most dear and want to live?
- What feeds me? What is inspiring and life-enriching for me?
- What are my top three priorities in all of this? Decide what and who are the most important in your life.
Next, pull out your last year’s calendar or planner…whatever you use to stay on top of your to-do list. Ask yourself:
- What were my three biggest commitments each week? Each month?
- What did I spend my time doing?
- What did I do on weekends?
- Did I take any time off or any vacation time? What did I do then?
Write down your answers. Reflect on them.
Now, for each of your top three priorities, ask yourself this:
- How much alignment is there between what I say I want (my priorities) and how I spend my time?
- Am I saying “yes” to the most important things and people in my life?
If you are walking your talk, give yourself a round of applause and just keep walking that walk. Maybe throw in a couple of dance steps or cartwheels or something.
AFTER THE WAKE-UP CALL
However, maybe after working your way through this exercise, you get whacked upside the head with the hard evidence that somehow your walk is not matching your talk. Ouch!
The next step (after you stop bad-mouthing and scolding yourself yet again) is to grab up another piece of paper and start detailing alternative actions you could-might-(maybe) take.
Want to get healthy? How can you do that? Make a list, break it down. (Forget about slicing or chopping. Think dicing. Think mincing.)
Want to work on strengthening relationships with your heart-people? What tiny moves can you make to do that?
Want to learn something new, start a new exploration, develop a new skill or new mindset or expand one you already enjoy? What small actions can you make to get that started?
- Think on the actions you can take that align with your most treasured values and goals. Make them tiny. Make them little. Don’t go all grandiose. Just do small.
- And make lists – column A, column B, and column C — one column for each of your top priorities.
- After you’ve made up one weensy, tiny step you could make for each of your top three priorities, sprinkle these steps throughout your days.
- Pull out your current calendar or planner. Start adding at least one of the little alternative actions that align with what you say you want to do to your calendar. Do it for the next four weeks – just one month. Pick one from column A, one from Column B and one from column C and add each one to a specific day for each week. Choose a time – morning, afternoon, evening — when you’re going to do this one thing.
- Then when you get to that calendar date, you know that on this day, besides all of the other stuff you’re going to do, you will also do the little step or action you’ve scheduled that aligns your walk with your talk.
After you get through one month of days, re-evaluate.
- Are you ready for another step from each of the columns?
- Or do you want to keep on doing the same one for a while?
- Has there been some new development that requires some other step you haven’t listed or even thought of? (Add it to the list, add that one item to your calendar, if it’s appropriate, and go….)
Set up your next four weeks in the same way. Go.
If you keep doing that, over and over again, at the end of the next year when you do your calendar diagnostic again, you may be delighted at the way you’ve begun to bridge that congruence gap.
You may like the way your moves and actions are trending. And, maybe, you’ll have thought up more ideas for the journey you are making. Go, you!
One of my favorite quotes from Randy Gage is this one: “There is no random. Your life is the harvest of your thoughts…. And your results come from the thoughts you give precedence to. Instead of letting thoughts ‘happen,’ you must be mindful, becoming the thinker of the thought.”
Keep on thinking good thoughts….
Here’s a poem:
Looking side-eye at the World,
Seeing how my reflections are moving
In that crackled-crazy mirror,
I catch glimpses sometimes
Of the Universe that bides in me.
Watching as the World moves,
Doing what it does,
It occurs to me that, really,
I am a transparency –
Not really here or there or anywhere –
A figment of my own imagination.
The World of Dust does not notice
What I do or do not do,
Even though my own mind it is
That tries to wrap itself
All around the constructs
Dancing in the wind.
Illusions and delusions join hands
In a stomp-dance,
Insisting on making a big noise,
A brave sound that pierces
The silent Dark surrounding us.
And here I sit, thinking, thinking, thinking,
While my body urges me to get on up
And join that joyous, rowdy mob
And my spirit tells me it’s time and
More than time to go soaring,
My mind floats quiescent.
At least this thing I do
Makes okay-good poetry once in a while.
by Netta Kanoho
Header photo credit: “At Black Lake, Gap Dunloe” by Michael Foley via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
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