Have you ever wondered what drives our innate desire for control? It seems to be deeply ingrained within us, rooted in our DNA and spanning generations. However, as we encounter the refusal of the uncontrollable to comply, such as viruses and natural disasters, a shift in belief becomes essential. Though easier said than done, the foundation of this shift lies within our capacity for intention.
Read on to explore how you can use the power of choice to declare intention and allow that shift to infuse how you pay attention to everyday choices.
“Managers who are prepared to sustain social connection and help people remember their wholeness are the ones who will thrive, regardless of the circumstances.”
Janet M. Harvey, CEO of inviteCHANGE and Author,
From Tension to Transformation: A Leader’s Guide to Generative Change (Just Released 1.9.2024)
Sometimes, I can't help it that my brain wants to know silly facts and trivia, like why do we have a leap year anyway, and what do those people born on the 29th of February do to celebrate in the non-leap years? I found an article from USA Today 2017 that said, "The reason our Christmases are still white, our springs green, and our summers warm is owed to the historic fling between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra." Now, this story is getting really good. The exact length of a year on Planet Earth, as calculated by the elapsed time for the Earth to complete its rotation around the Sun, is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds. This calculation does not back up to the 365-day Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar, so named in honor of Julius Caesar, miscalculated the length of a solar year by 11 minutes. Over time, it falls out of sync with the seasons we experience as the Earth rotates.
Cleopatra helped Julius see the error of his way by sharing the Egyptian calendar of three 120-day periods with 30 days each month. Those three periods mapped perfectly to the rhythm of the river Nile, providing an Inundation season (September to January), an Emergence season (January to May), and a Low Water season (May to September) to harvest food. While more accurate than the Julian calendar, it was still inaccurate. Julius went to Rome, and in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII added one day to February to account for four extra 0.25 days in the Gregorian calendar to keep our experience of the seasons turning like clockwork.
Maybe you've wondered, like me, why we love controlling the uncontrollable. Clearly, it's somewhere in our DNA, and we've been doing that for a long time. A belief shift becomes necessary as the uncontrollable refuses to comply, e.g., viruses and natural disasters. Something instructive arises in our failed attempts to control, and it's the key to agility. Instead of controlling the inevitable, we can shift our attention to the experience we want to create no matter what the prevailing circumstance might be. Yes, easier said than done, and at the root lives our capacity for intention. Intention is defined as the inspired experience desired – emotionally felt and physically sensed – and declared in the present tense as if already occurring. Human bodies are miraculous in their ability to imagine a future state and bring that feeling and sensation into a current moment, just like John F. Kennedy modeled for the world when he launched the moon-shot project.
Hopefully, you, too, have declared intention and allowed that energy to infuse how you pay attention to everyday choices. It's always possible to calibrate your goals for the new year and amplify those with intention! Every human possesses the power of choice over the way they relate to life's circumstances and proactively give focus and attention to what lines up with that intention. I've just described the 2024 Vanguard Conversation Series: five sessions to explore the benefit of focused intention influencing conscious attention so outcomes are more likely. As a core Generative Wholeness™ method, the I AM method and associated technique for developing intention, choice, and action statements form the organizing theme for the series. We will provide tools in advance, give time for practice, and provide a coaching demonstration in each session from masterful ICF coaches who are inviteCHANGE Certified Mentor Coaches and Delivery Leaders. The best part, this entire series is free for all of you to apply the power of intention to the goals you seek to fulfill in 2024.
February brings our attention to Black History Month and the importance of sustaining our focus on generating equity and dignity for all. Here's the book I'm listening to this month after watching a television interview with Ijeoma Oluo, Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World – and How You Can, Too. Please pick up something, be in dialogue to learn something new, and choose to create opportunities and spaces that produce actionable insights and invite change.
Here's to loving your life's work even more throughout February and beyond!
P.S. If you are someone who likes to read on a Kindle reader, keep an eye on our social media for a special $0.99 campaign that launches on the 12th of February to purchase my new book, From Tension to Transformation: A Leader’s Guide to Generative Change.
Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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