It seems that each time I talk to someone who lives outside of Arizona, at some point in our conversation, the current weather conditions are discussed. While I’m grateful for the beautiful winter sunshine that we are blessed with in Phoenix, I’m also well aware of several friends and family members in other states who are enduring frigid temperatures and in some locations, several inches of snow. As a native Oregonian, I can vividly remember countless winters of non-stop rain (even the sideways variety) and cold temperatures. I also remember my sullen, gloomy mood during these times as I longed for just a glimpse of the sun, or as Oregonians call it – a sunburst. At the time, it was common for me to blame my mood on the weather, which of course was very easy to do. Today; however, I try to “carry my own weather”.
Several years ago, I participated in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People signature course, which consisted of two and a half days of powerful leadership training and meaningful group interaction. Perhaps my greatest take-away from that experience was the realization that regardless of the weather conditions outside, I had the ability to create my own weather inside. Put another way, I could change my lens at any time, despite my circumstances. As a former whiner and complainer (some would argue that I still whine a little too much, but I’ll save that for another blog), this shift in mindset propelled me to play a more active role in terms of choosing my mood. Furthermore, it now serves as a fundamental component of my Lenses of Leadership program, as I am constantly talking to students about being the “driver” of their life and the effectiveness of choosing an empowering (not powerless) lens.
I challenge you to work at carrying your own weather. Regardless of where you are located geographically, your mindset is always your choice. If it’s raining outside, choose sunshine in your mind. When you learn to consistently flex your mindset muscle, the weather outside will be of little concern.
Click here to view a brief video, presented by the late Stephen Covey, which further describes this concept.