"WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE." Calvin Hibbard, my 7th Grade Teacher
Mr Hibbard was the perfect middle school teacher for me. He was witty, he knew his stuff, but most of all he loved his students -- including me. A saying that he used a lot was, 'Wherever you go, there you are' and for whatever reason that really stuck with me.
Mr. Hibbard's maxim is a simple yet powerful reminder that when you are with others the greatest gift you can bring to the table is you. Be all there! Be fully present. Lean in. Take notes. Ask questions. Think deeply and bring the best you've got to the table. Those who do are outstanding and they get noticed for being the solution bringers and rain makers that life giving teams need to change the world. The half present or 'not quite all in' people create drag on the mission, the team and the moment.
I'm trying to practice this more these days. Especially after reading that this is one of the traits of people who make the biggest positive impacts on their teams, their dreams, on others and on the world. I'm practicing being 'all there' [ or 'here' as the case may be!! LOL ]
A few practical things I'm doing:
1. Working on establishing a morning routine that gets me going and fully organized for the day ahead.
2. Aggressively managing my calendar, appointments, meetings and social functions so that I have enough 'white space' around them that they don't 'bleed' onto each other and make a mushy stew of everything I do.
3. Eating better so that my attention and focus are as clear as they can be. I'm experimenting with eliminating bread and sugar as much as possible and selecting a few high caliber supplements, caffeine sources and foods packed with mirocnutrients for fuel. This seems to be working....
4. Taking time to exercise daily. Julie and I walk at least 3 miles every morning usually before the sun is up and it's a great time to connect and be 'all there' with her. And, it gets my body going. In addition to walking, I'm doing a Yoga class with her weekly. [ before you 'call me out' about practicing some eastern mysticism, I don't. I do the physical aspects of yoga and tune my mind to prayer and scripture and being still with God - that is my 'meditation' during yoga class. So, I'm taking every thought captive and marching it in front of Jesus and asking Him if this is what I should be thinking about. Yep, I'm doing all that while I'm getting a really powerful, life-giving workout! ]
5. Either leaving my phone in the car or my computer bag with the ringer off. Or, at least setting it to airplane mode during face to face meetings. Nothing says, 'I'm not here and I don't really care about what we are working on together like having your phone shattering the thought train every 90 seconds." So, shut it down or put it away and silence it and be all there. That shows respect and honor to your team and to your mission. It allows you to be all there.
6. Leaning in, taking notes, asking questions -- these are called 'attending behaviors' and I 'attend' whatever meeting I'm in with all the energy I can bring so that we can get the most done possible with the least hassle possible. One of the greatest time and energy wasters I've encountered is people who are 'half way there' in a vital meeting who leave without a clear sense of what they need to accomplish and then they are looping back to those of us who got our carcass, our mind and our soul all into the same room and really leaned in to ask questions about what they should have already made notes on and taking care of. So lean in, take note and take responsibility to take care of the commitments and priorities that you and your team worked out in that meeting.
7. In social settings 'be all there' by being interested in others and asking lots of open ended questions and then listening really well. This will pay off big time in the connections and impressions made. As my son, Josh, says 'It's the hands you shake and not just the grades you make that determine your destiny." If you are half-there you'll make exactly the wrong impression and this adage will actually work against you.
So, wherever you go, there you are! Practice being 'all there' and see what a difference it will make.
I'd love to hear how this works for you or if you have stories, thoughts and ideas about the concept of 'being all there.'
Here's to YOUR Highest Success,