Being selective sounds bad. By being selective, it seems:
- We are narrowing our intake that may limit our creativity.
- We are avoiding certain situations and living in an unrealistic bubble.
- We are snobbish or aloof in our interactions and relationships.
A danger exists in being selective.
Equally dangerous is avoiding selectivity and joining just about anything because we want to be a part of the crowded direction. Selectivity carries value if used in the right way and right places.
The Power of Being Selective
Being selective is a power within. We all have this power. Some may use it to a negative consequence. Other will use it for a positive result. We may always struggle to make the right choices, but the power of choice is within us. How and why we tap into our power is the difference maker.
Using the power of selectivity to encourage bias or discrimination is never right. We are not identical to anyone, and there is beauty in this diversity fact. We need to act with character in all we do and say.
Being selective is a challenging topic. We fear perceptions. We see the negative impact when selectivity is used in a negative or wrong way. However, as with most things in life and leadership, we can set a good example.
Power for good should always be our intention. Our leadership capacity increases when we continue to do good with top-notch character. As our capacity increases, our capabilities increase as well. Being selective is a key enabler of our individual capabilities across many dimensions. We need to use our power of selection smartly.
Being Selective in Positive Ways
Our mission: Being selective in positive ways to build the right type of leadership capacity and encourage the right type of leadership capabilities.
Our challenge: Be selective in an empowering way, living and leading with positive impact.
Let’s explore six areas in which to apply your power of selectivity.
1 – Be selective in experiences
In high school and college, all sorts of experiences are available. We begin to narrow new life experiences as we age. In the process, we may limit our experiences too much, always staying close to what we know or what we are familiar with. Selecting the right new life experiences is so vital to continuing on a growth path.
Our younger years challenge us to put principle and long-term goals above short-term pressure or feel good moments. Our older years challenge us to focus more on experiences that wake-up our mindsets and refresh our soul. Making the right selections in our youth ensure we have the opportunity for inspiring and aspiring experiences in our older years. Making the right selections in our older years ensure we have the opportunity to grow and keep youthful in our possibilities. In a life twist, we need to be selective in an ageless way.
Our navigational guide may include:
- Taking a few seconds to answer: Will participating in this experience strengthen or weaken my life path?
- Take a few minutes to answer: What positive experience will I create for others in what I am asking or doing?
- Take a few hours to answer: What experiences will keep my mind filled with thoughts of growth, empathy, and compassion while keeping my internal spirit alive?
- Take a few days to answer: What experiences have helped me the most and helped others the most? Write them down and share them with friends, family, and colleagues.
2 – Be selective in friends and colleagues
We are the people we surround ourselves with. A life and workplace truth. Look at your friends and colleagues, and do you see yourself? You may not. Your view may have become blurred.
The age-old question remains forever valid: Are you surrounded by people who make you a better human being, and do you return the favor? If the answer is no, then find a new community of friends and co-workers. It is that simple.
I know the reality of making this change. It isn’t that simple. When you need to find a new job, check the culture, and then hope it is a good choice. Same with new friends. How do you make the break and then find the right new community?
Understanding your leadership philosophy and core beliefs serves as a good starting point. You need to know where you want to go, who you want to be, and how you want to get there. With your path and philosophy identified, being selective in who you can help and who can help you will be crucial.
3 – Be selective in reading articles and blogs
Each day, there are millions of articles and blogs published. Getting caught up in information overload is real, as is reading essentially the same thing from different people. Unique perspectives may be harder to find – if unique is even possible anymore. Just as writers may get burned out, readers may as well.
The point of being selective with articles may be guided by:
- Reading magazines or magazine websites that offer diverse articles and points of view.
- Identifying 3-4 topics you always want to stay current on and 1-2 new topics you would like to explore in a given month.
- Ignoring the headlines that sound repetitive or superficial and dedicating your reading to articles and blogs that spark you to think.
Select books to go deep in areas of interest and exploration.
4 – Be selective in time for work, play, relax, relationships, and activities
Time is the obvious place to be selective, yet we all get this wrong too often. I am guilty. I load up on activities, what I want to read, how I want to relax, and the relationships I want to build. My time gets crowded, and I end up without much progress.
We need to think about our time each day and carve out:
- How we want to spend it
- Who we want to spend it with
- Who we want to strengthen or build a relationship with
- What we want to do at work and outside of work
- How will we renew
In money matters, they say track where you spend your money, and it will tell a story of what is important to you. In life and career matters, track your time, and it will tell a story of what matters to you. If where you are spending your time does not match with what you want to achieve in creating a meaningful life, then be more selective with your time used.
5 – Be selective with input and output
We listen. We think. We speak. Too often, each does not occur in this order. What happens is:
- We think too much without speaking.
- We speak too much without thinking.
- We think we are listening, but we miss the message or filter too much.
We may need to be less selective in what we listen to while being selective in what we take to heart. We may need to be selective to what we react to while developing a better way to respond.
We may need to let go of thoughts that don’t matter or are not relevant. We need to let go of the thoughts that get us off track or drag us down.
We may need to be more selective in what we say when. Talking all the time likely means most people are not listening any longer. Not speaking up when principles are at stake or strategic choices are being made makes you irrelevant and may hurt others or your organization.
Making the right choices in what we take in and what we give out makes a big difference in our reputation.
6 – Be selective in health
While there are health conditions that we do not choose, there are healthy habits we can select. Eating, drinking, and exercising are key areas to select how we can live a healthier lifestyle. What we put into our bodies makes a difference. How we care for our bodies makes a difference.
Wellness engages the whole person. We need to select healthy activities for our wholeness. After all, we want to live a whole life.
Guiding Our Selectivity – A Check for Balance
Through all our selections, we need a test to ensure we are empowering ourselves and our initiatives in the most meaningful way. The test includes:
- Diversity – Do our selections have enough diversity to broaden and deepen our perspective and understanding?
- Impact – Are our selections making the best possible positive impact as often as possible in what we do?
- Purpose and mission – Are our selections advancing our meaningful life purpose and leadership mission?
We need to guard against discrimination, sidetracked impacts, and scattered purpose and mission. We need to empower ourselves in the most positive way by making selections that raise our talents and provide a legacy that matters to the people that matter the most. Our purpose-activated life requires it!
In a cluttered day, we need to act in a clear way. Being selective in the right places and right ways can make the positive impact we desire.