One year ago, at the Business Chicks Movers + Breakers conference, Dr Jason Fox dedicated a portion of his keynote to the ‘one-word’ concept.
“Each year I suggest you choose one word to serve as a fuzzy contextual beacon for that if should you wander off track – and you will wander off track – that it will pull you back in line with your intention,” Fox said.
I took me a while to find my word, but after reading Wonder by RJ Palacio whilst camping at the beach over Summer, my word materialised – kindness. Kindness, for me, was all about being friendly, generous and considerate, to others, and to myself.
The one-word isn’t supposed to change your life, it’s not a goal, it’s more of a guide towards your intent. It’s also not supposed to be easy. Kindness may sound easy, but while it’s an easy intent, it’s not always easy in reality.
I was travelling with my children to Sydney earlier in the year. When we went to disembark a man pushed one of my children back into his seat so that he could get off the plane before us. Then, when we were on the air-bridge he stopped to tie his shoelaces. I said something snarky, to the tune of, “was it really worth pushing a small child for this?” But as I walked away I hung my head a little, that snarky comment did not come from a place of kindness.
That’s what having one-word does, it catches you in the moments when you are not living your intent. Not always before they happen, but that changes over the year as you build more and more habits towards your intent. The one-word concept creates an in-the-moment reflection point. If you have the right word for your intent it sticks with you and reminds you of it’s presence every time you wander off track.
When I get the wrong order at a café (yesterday), when something goes awry at work (often), when one of the little cherubs that I was protecting on that plane trip does something disastrous (quite often), or in so many other everyday situations, looking at them from a place of kindness has made a huge difference. It has not only changed my interactions with people, but also changed what I worry about, where I spend my time, and ultimately my mindset and happiness.
At this year’s Movers + Breakers conference, the final speaker, Holley Murchison, when asked what she loved about herself, finished the conference with, “I love that I am kind and that I give a shit about people”. And with that comment, my perfect little circle of one-word & kindness for 2018 was created.
More info on one-word:
Dr Jason Fox – Re-word yourself for the year ahead
Business Chicks – Create your best year yet