“Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails.”
~Henry David Thoreau

I firmly believe in the power of focused intention. I’ve learned to start at least most of my days with quiet reflection, and a stated deliberate purpose and/or attitude for my day. Then my day happens and I often forget…

My most powerful moments are those in which I remember to be deliberate and intentional. When I remember that it is my choice how I act and react. That I don’t have to be thrown off course by the unexpected that comes across my path.

I recently read a wonderful book, My Stroke of Insight. It is written by a brain scientist who had a stroke, and she shares her experience and learnings about the brain. During her recovery she learned that while we feel and believe that we are “governed” by our brain, we absolutely have the power to be more deliberate. She describes how we are physiologically caught up in emotions, such as anger or fear, for only 90 seconds, and then after that first surge of body chemicals, we always have the choice of whether to stay in the upset or to move on. We can be thrown off the track by what happens around us and our immediate emotional response, or we can be intentional.

I do my best to remember the “ninety second rule” as I’ve come to call it. I’ve shared it with my clients, colleagues, friends, and teen-age daughter. There is such freedom for me in knowing that my reactions will happen, and then I can switch focus anytime I want to restore my attitude, my intentions, my actions, and my day. To be as deliberate as nature.

When your emotions get the best of you and you turn to fight or flight response, remember the ninety second rule. Give yourself ninety seconds to be overwhelmed, and then turn your attention and attitude to where you deliberately want it to be.

Where can you be more deliberate?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want to be more deliberate, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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