#798 Building Agency: Step #1

Control Stimuli (Or Else!)

In our last several +1s, we’ve been talking about The Power of Agency.

In our next few +1s, we’re going to talk about the Top 3 ways Paul Napper and Anthony Rao tell us we can build our agency such that we can eat all those challenges like the energy bars they’re meant to be—fueling us as we Optimize and actualize our potential in greatest service to the world.

You want that kind of Agency?

OK.

Step 1. Control Stimuli.

As they say: “Cutting back the number of distractions in your immediate environment increases your ability to choose where your attention goes, improves your concentration, bolsters creative thinking, and makes you less susceptible to both impulsive acts and poorly thought-out decisions.

Again… Want agency?

It ALL (!!!) starts with reclaiming control of your attention and flipping the switch from hyper-stimulated Inputville to a calmer, more focused zone of attentional management.

As Paul and Anthony put it: “Agency begins with what you let into your mind.

I’m reminded of Jim Collins’s brilliant Foreword to Lead Yourself First where he tells us: “We live in a cacophonous age, swarming insects of noise and interruption buzzing about—emails, text messages, cable news, advertisements, cell phones, meetings, wireless Web connections, social media posts, and all the new intrusions invented by the time you are reading this. If leadership begins not with what you do but with who you are, then when and how do you escape the noise and find your purpose and summon the strength to pursue it? This book illustrates how leaders can—indeed must—be disciplined people who create the quiet space for disciplined thought and summon the strength for disciplined action. It is a message needed now more than ever, else we run the risk of waking up at the end of the year having accomplished little of significance, each year slipping by in a flurry of activity pointing nowhere. So take some quiet time, engage with this book, and commit to the hard work of alone time.

That cacophony of inputs? We need to get REALLY good at managing it.

All that incoming data takes a LOT of energy to manage. We’re blind to the volume of stimulation we’re surrounded by and we’d be wise to exercise more conscious control of what we allow into our consciousness. But only if we want more agency. 😉

Of course, the authors provide tips to Control Stimuli.

But you already know at least (!) one thing you could be doing.

What is it?

Today a good day to start exercising your agency muscles?

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