Rituals have been used for centuries to for a variety of purposes. They have been used to celebrate new beginnings, such as a marriage, to mark an auspicious occasion and bring good luck, such as a ribbon cutting that commemorates the grand opening of a new business, and also to remember a passing, such as a funeral. It was while attending an event this week at Arlington National Cemetery, a place where there are far too many funerals, that I got to thinking about rituals and how they change our thinking for the better.
The event is called Renewal and Remembrance and is sponsored by PLANET – The Professional Landcare Network, an association of green industry professionals. It is an honor to participate in this event, which is a convergence of a hundred or so people who have taken time away from their businesses and summer vacations to enhance the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery with with new plantings, while also caring for the existing trees and turf. By the way, you can learn more about the PLANET event from a post I made a couple days ago on the PLANET blog.
This PLANET event itself has become an annual ritual which is surrounded by other rituals such as wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These rituals universally serve the purpose of capturing your attention. As a result, you achieve greater clarity of thought, and that is followed by the capacity for executing an activity with precision. Our fast-paced society has mostly done away with rituals, which may explain why some of us get stressed out in our effort to achieve higher quality results in our work. Here are some considerations for using rituals in one aspect of your work -your social media efforts. Yet, they can be used to boost your results in any number of disciplines.
Step 1: Take the Time to Take the Focus Off Yourself
Do you celebrate every day when you wake up? You should – and while you are at it take the time to mentally thank one person for the contribution they make to your life. This is a simple ritual that demonstrates the power of rituals lies in taking your focus off the person you spend most of your time thinking about – you! When you do this, you free your mind of all those things that get in the way of ability to focus on what matters most – serving others with your talents and abilities.
Step 2: Implement Your Intended Purpose with Authority
Golfers are known to have a pre-shot routine they follow with precision before every shot. They execute this routine with authority and the precision of a drill sergeant to achieve a perfect result. If anything distracts them from that routine, they simply start over at the beginning. That routine is everything because it sets up the result. It also sets up the body to achieve success when it is followed by a focused mind.
Step 3: Engage with Liked Minded People
One of the secrets of getting things done well is to engage with people that believe in themselves, in you, and in your combined efforts. Have you ever wondered why the most talented teams are not always the most successful? Emotional feelings engage the minds and the bodies of the group so that they can cohesively achieve a desired result. You can call this teamwork, camaraderie, or culture. It doesn't matter what you call it, it works.
When you engage in a positive routine or ritual it literally changes your thought patterns. Here's an example from the social media networks. The #followfriday ritual on Twitter is one example of taking the time to take the focus off you to appreciate the contribution of just one member of your networks. It takes a moment of thought and involves a few simple keystrokes of execution, which in turn engages with the networks to connect like-minded friends, fans, and customers.
Scientists have conclusively explained how this works. There is something called brain-wave coherence that raises human potential to a new level. First, there is coherence between your left and right brain hemispheres that allows you to function at your best. The extension of that is the coherence between the brains of a group of people through those electromagnetic brain waves. Pretty cool stuff when you think about it, and how it can help you in many aspects of your life, including your business. And all you have to do is take a little extra time to get out of your own way, be clear of your intended purpose and execute it well, and whenever possible, do it in a spirit of cooperation with others.
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