TGA Foundations: Directions For Acting Like An Adult...or something like that
Level 1: ...And That's Okay
Ever feel like you’re trying reallly hard, but nothing seems to be going right?
Why does that happen?
In TGA we’ve found a simple formula that might fix this phenomenon.
“Stop Watering The Weeds”
-Dan Nicholson, Rigging The Game
Legend has it that Dan noticed his neighbors put in a fancy new sprinkler system. Their goal was to have a beautiful lawn.
But the problem is water helps the weeds grow faster than grass. And they didn’t remove the weeds from their lawn.
Their lawn ended up looking like a jungle.
They might have thought “I’m trying so hard to have a beautiful lawn. I put in this expensive sprinkler system!”
But the fundamental problem is, watering the weeds is diametrically opposed to their goal of having a beautiful lawn. If you want your garden to grow, without the weeds, stop watering the weeds.
In other words; stop doing things that lead to outcomes you don’t want.
It’s an extension of “appreciate when bad things don’t happen”.
This is the essence of a fundamental principle in TGA: DALA
DALA stands for:
Directions For Acting Like An Adult.
Don’t Act Like An A-Hole.
Whichever you prefer.
DALA is not a phrase used to judge other people.
We don’t call other people children and assholes. DALA is a look in the mirror, not a look in the window. It’s is about being honest with ourselves.
If you complain about being tired but continue to stay up late every night, you are being a child - you are doing the thing that creates the thing you complain about.
If you say you want to spend more time with your kids, but keep staying at the office late, you are being an A-hole. You keep doing the thing that prevents you from getting what you say you want.
It comes down to this: if your values in action are diametrically opposed to your espoused values, you might consider yourself as an A-hole.
Take the examples above. The problem is not staying up late or spending less time with your kids - there is no judgement about how you want to live your life.
The problem is that what you say you want and how you behave are diametrically opposed to one another.
You are running a race against yourself.
DALA simply means align the two. Stop doing the things that prevent you from getting what you say you want. Or, be honest with yourself about what you actually want.
Take Your Foot Off The Brake
“I want to go faster and I want to further”.
If you’re pushing hard on the gas with the ebrake on, you’re kinda being an A-hole. DALA is a reminder that it doesn’t make any sense to do the things that move you forward while still doing the things that hold you back.
When we utilize DALA, it is not from a place of judgement or morality. It’s from a place of utility (being helpful) - we want you to get where you want to go - we don’t care where that is.
Aligning Behavior To Goals
We are not here to discourage or judge anyone based on what they want. In fact, we encourage all Guardian Academy members to be honest about - if you have a freak flag - let it fly.
What happens if we notice that our behavior is not actually aligned with what we say that we want?
Approach The Situation With Curiosity, Not Judgment, Guilt or Shame.
When we approach the situation with curiosity and without defensiveness, we can ask ourself some honest questions:
Is there a gap between my words and my actions?
Which is more accurate, my words or my behaviors?
I say that I want more time with the kids, but I keep taking on more projects which keeps me at the office later.
There is a gap.
Which one is more honest?
Most of the time, the behavior is more honest and the words are a some version of what we think we are supposed to say.
“Should” Is The Most Dangerous Word in The A-hole’s Playbook
You think you should want to spend more time with your kids.
But at this stage of your career, the project you’re working on is your priority. Your actions express this, you stay late at work every night.
And if you’re really honest with yourself, you are spending exactly the right amount of time with your kids. You just think you should spend more time with them because of other people’s expectations.
But if you allow for this honest self assessment, you will feel like less of an A-hole when you have a late night at the office.
You can also build more allegiance capital (that’s a topic for another article) by communicating with your family.
Before, the expectations on yourself might have been that you’re home every day by dinner. But you end up missing dinner every night.
You feel like an A-hole.
But after a conversation with your family, you realize that they’re perfectly happy with your undivided attention on the weekend. They are fine with you missing dinner if it allows you to be present on the weekend.
Now you can have your cake and eat it, too.
But as long as what you say you want and how you act are in opposition then you will never be able to get what you want out of life.
If you fail to recognize it, you will continue to complain about the outcome that you create.
Leave This Loop Open And Reflect.
Share your 6WU- Wisdom Comes From Multiple Perspectives
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