Monday, July 8, 2013

Personal Flocking Rules

It's been very busy over the last few weeks between work, the kids finishing up school, and trying to get ready for our first camping trip of the season. We had an all-company meeting last week in which part of it was focused on developing some basic guidelines that we will all understand and operate under - called "flocking rules".

This term originated with geese and the informal "V" formation that occurs when they follow the pack "rules". In our meeting we did some research on flocking rules and one article laid out some interesting facts:

As each goose flaps its wings it creates an UPLIFT for the birds that follow. By flying in a 'V' formation the whole flock adds 71 percent extra to the flying range. The lesson here is that teamwork and community make a difference.

When a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front. The lesson here was that we need to be willing to accept and give others our help.
One of the most interesting facts for me was that geese flying in formation 'HONK' to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed. I have always wondered why they were honking. Now I know! The lesson we can learn from the geese with this "rule" is that we need to make sure we are encouraging each other.

As our meeting progressed we spent time identifying the flocking rules that we, as a company, wanted to guide our behavior in the future. It got me thinking about my own personal flocking rules or those things that I use to guide myself by. Here is my short list:

1. Do the right thing - do what you would do when you are by yourself, as though others were watching. Pick up the paper on the floor rather than walk past it. Be polite.  Be kind. Treat others as you want to be treated. Don't put off doing the right thing. It's funny....when I reminded myself of this after reflecting on it, I caught myself doing a few things I probably would have overlooked. What I found most interesting is that your one act of doing the right thing can impact others. For example, I stopped and let someone out of a busy intersection. They then let someone go ahead of them and then I saw that person let someone else out further down along the road. It was amazing to see that one little act of doing the right thing can have a domino effect on other people doing the right thing.

2. You only get one life - make it a good one. Don't spend time doing things you don't want to do, feel you "should" do, or generally don't enjoy doing. Enjoy life every day. Find joy in every day. Choose to be happy. Be adventurous...our whatever it is that that you want it. Don't have regrets. Sure, some of the choices you make might not be the best, but you always learn from them and you can always move on. Take the risk.

3. Choose to see the good. Don't be the glass half empty kind of gal. Choose to see something positive in every day...even when you have a really, really tough day. Focusing on the negative only brings you down more. And no one likes a Debbie Downer. There is always good in the day, even if it is something little. Choosing to be positive makes you happier and opens up possibilities and opportunities. Choose to smile at one thing each day. At the risk of sounding like a crazy cat lady, I'll share a little moment that made me smile...our cats were curled up together today and one was using the other's legs as a pillow. It was so cute how entwined they were and how comfy they were. It had nothing to do with me but made me smile.

4. Take time for yourself each day. It makes you a better person. It really does. I'm going to be honest...I have no tolerance for people who tell me they are too busy to read, exercise, or do anything they want to do for themselves. I once found a quote that said "You are only as busy as you make yourself" and it hit me how true that is. I know people who are running here and there to do a million things but it's so hard to find time for themselves. I used to be that person but when I realized I was one minute away from having a complete breakdown and needed to change things to save myself, I realized it is actually possible to take time for yourself. You just need to make the time. Take away the stuff that isn't adding value to your life and replace it with a few minutes to yourself. For me, that meant I had to get up an hour earlier in the morning and I'm not a morning person at all. As hard as it is, I get up at 5 am and do things like watch the news, read, or exercise. And at night, on days I might get home a little early, I'll take a quick walk before making dinner. The kids aren't expecting dinner any earlier and it gives me time to do something good for myself. Believe me, if you really look, you can find time to do the things you want to do.

5. Life is an adventure. Dress for it! I habitually overdress and I NEVER feel bad about it. Yes, I have worn pearls when hiking. Not purposely but in the end I looked cute and I felt good. I do love my pearls...they are big and chunky and are something I wear about 75% of the time. When I go out to dinner with friends, I'll wear a skirt. When I go out with Tim, I always dress up. I think it's important to take the time for yourself and look good. I think it makes you and the person you are with feel special when you take an extra few minutes on your appearance. It may sound superficial but I don't think it is. I think it just makes you and your partner/guest/friend feel a little special - and let's be's nice to feel a little special.

I could keep going on but I'll stop here. I'm curious what your personal flocking rules are...the guidelines that you use to make you be the best person you can be each day. Share!

1 comment:

  1. Just LOVE this blog Kelly, came at the right time for me as I've been feeling a bit rushed and lost in life. A few of my personal flocking rules, to go along with those above (#4 being my fav) are:

    1. Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff. I read this book years ago and it's one mantra that I go back to over and over. When I sit back sometimes and think about what has hung me up or made me crazed that day, it's the small stuff. Don't let it get you down and it only causes noise in your head. Focus on what's important and the small stuff will sort itself out.

    2. Go with your gut. It took me a LONG time to realize that my instincts almost never stear me wrong. I can't tell you the times I looked back on a situation and realized that if I had listened to that little voice I would have been better off. But maybe I let the noise from others interfere with my own gut feelings and regretted it in the end.

    HONK! :)