Will You Be Static or Responsive?

T i e d o k a sI recently learned that I must move my website to a new technology platform. The short story: I was one of the first of my kind to have my own website in 1998. While I’ve rebranded and redesigned the site many times, the guts of it are still written in an “ancient” programming language that will no longer be supported. In 15 years a LOT has changed!

The move will take me from a traditional “static” website to a new framework called “responsive.” A responsive site changes the way it appears on-screen based on the device used for access; thus my future site will automatically adjust its look and function to suit your desktop, tablet, or smart phone. Cool, no?

All this talking about Responsiveness leads me to think about its application in other domains like, well, life!

Happiness Principle #7 says, “Choose to Respond. What happens is going to happen, regardless. Accept constant, discontinuous change as reality and instead of reacting, respond with curiosity.”

How will you live in 2013, a year in which more will change – and at a faster rate – than in any prior year in human history? Will you be Static or Responsive?

Here are seven ideas to help you survive, thrive, and be responsive this year:
    1. Embrace Your Failures. Your past has made you who you are; but it need not determine whom you will be. You only learn by falling down. So, review what you learned, decide how that experience has made you better, stronger, or wiser, and move forward confident that you will not repeat that mistake. (P.S. you will make new ones. It’s part of the journey.)
    2. Be Quiet. The world is full of noise, so how can you think? For just a few minutes each day, do nothing. Mindfulness is one of the most powerful anti-stress “medicines” in the world – and it’s free! (For more, I invite you to take ten minutes to view this excellent TED Talk.)
    3. Ask More Questions. When a zillion things come at you, you need a way to filter so you can respond selectively. Be curious about the world, e.g. is this really important, or is it just loud? What do I really want? What am I aware of in this moment? What’s getting in my way? What’s mine to do (no more, no less)?
    4. Breathe On Purpose. Whether you are still or in rapid motion, oxygen is your biggest ally for responding to the world, because it fuels your thinking center. Your brain uses 25% of the oxygen you breathe, and if you are in shallow breath, you’re not using your full capacity.
    5. Let Go of Something.You have finite capacity, so if you want to grow or learn or expand in new directions, you must say NO to what does not fit.

I wasted a ton of energy last year trying to hang on to a client who never seemed happy. Once I changed my response and let them go, I was surprised by what I was able to accomplish with all the time I freed up!

  1. Say YES to Something New. Change is uncomfortable even when you initiate it, yet notice all the stress that disappears when you say yes. Last year my mother (who has been going blind for a decade) embraced Red Cane training, and has learned that it’s more fun to be out in public when she no longer has to worry about running into people.
  2. Remember to Dance. In addition, I don’t necessarily mean with a partner, in a ballroom. The first thing you do when you dance is take a step; whether forward or backward, you put yourself intentionally off balance. Dancing is the act of falling. And recovering. And falling again. Notice that you’re good at this – you’ve been doing it since you learned to walk. If you can do it to music, even better. Enjoy the dance.

Picture credits: Pörrö via Compfight

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