At the end of the year, we are often under a lot of pressure. There are work pressures to finalize key projects, close budgets, and set goals for the upcoming year. There are home pressures to be prepared for the upcoming holidays, schedule time with families, and attend end-of-semester events. And of course, you can’t forget about the cold, flu, stomach bug, and covid infections that are popping up all around us this time of year. All of it adds up to very hectic days for many of us.

Today, let me tell you a story.

In the movie “Gone in 60 seconds”, the team was under great pressure. Lives were at stake. There was an impossible task with an impossible deadline. When it was time to execute the plan, Nicholas Cage, the leader, was clearly concerned.

How did he handle the pressure? He spent time talking to his trusted advisors. He considered his thoughts and beliefs. He motivated himself to achieve the most important goals in a way that was true to whom he wanted to be.

He chose his adjectives, did work on himself to believe them, found the ones that were most useful, and then offered them to his team:

“Keep it real. Think slow. We’ll get through this”.  

real, slow. 

Those adjectives created a sense of calm for him. He was able to live into the task at hand.

And it impacted the team working for him. His team heard him and trusted him. They felt calm and committed to the task. The calm rubbed off on the team.

In previous posts, I suggested you do some work to simply notice, without self-judgment, your own adjectives and shoulds

If you did that work then you might have experienced a great calming in your thinking. You will have started to consider whether your adjectives are useful to you or not. You might have started to try to change them. Simply noticing your thoughts with curiosity creates space in your mind. 

If you are a leader, then you have to clean up your own adjectives and shoulds before you share your message with the team. 

If you are trying to inspire your team and you don’t believe what you are saying, they are going to know and the message will fall flat. You must believe what you are saying authentically. 

So during this hectic time, the final countdown, working on identifying what’s truly important to you and aligned with your values. Only then, can you apply that to your message and communicate authentically with your team or colleagues. It can have a very positive impact.

Just know, adjectives can be contagious. Good or bad.

“OK. Let’s Ride.”

– Ellen

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