“For most of us, the weekend is less agenda-driven and more relaxed than our usual weekday. You’re more likely to slip into that state of relaxed alertness that psychologists call “alpha.” That’s when you’re most likely to have creative thoughts.
This week I’m offering two suggestions to ignite your imagination when those times come. There are some thoughts about values and a reading recommendation.
“Values” are all the rage these days. We’re told that we should be able to live our values at work, remain true to our values and on and on and on. I agree with all that, but something’s missing.
Years ago, Chris Argyris noted the difference between “The Theory Espoused” (what people said they believed about something) and “The Theory in Use” (what their actions said they believed). As you might expect the Theory Espoused and the Theory in Use rarely mapped perfectly to each other.
Which brings me to values. Your values in this case. Start by thinking about what you truly value, what you believe is important. This is your Theory Espoused.
Then test yourself. Take out your calendar and your checkbook. What do you spend your money on? Where do you lavish your time and your attention? This is your Theory in Use.
I’ve done this several times in my life and every time I found that I had slipped away from what I believe I should be doing. That’s uncomfortable, but it’s the beginning of something good. The good part of this exercise is the changes you will make after you do it.
Weekend Reading Suggestion: Happiness
Underneath many of our resolutions and goals is the desire to be happy, or at least happier. There are lots of good books that outline the research and make recommendations for ways you can up your happiness quotient. My problem with them is that they make me tired well before I become happier.
After a couple of self-examination exercises and a few diagnostics, coupled with the reports of academic studies I just wear out. Usually I decide that the best thing I can do for my personal happiness is shut the book and go out to dinner with someone I care about.
That’s why my happiness book recommendation is Gretchen Rubin‘s The Happiness Project. It’s fun. You’ll learn about happiness, without the urge to run from the room shouting, “I’m happy enough, damn it!” I’m pointing you to the Kindle edition so you can begin reading right away.
Bonus: Ms Rubin has a blog called, you guessed it, The Happiness Project.
Here’s Wally’s post on the Three Star Leadership blog.