One Apple A Day #900 – intention, action and impact

Between your intention and your actions and words, there is always a space filled with your beliefs, memories, stories and wounds.
Then, between your actions and words and their impact on someone else, there is always a space filled with their beliefs, memories, stories and wounds.

Both spaces can be smaller or broader depending on the context, but they are always there. They are a sort of defence system shielding us from the outside world.

Unfortunately, most of the time, we are not aware of what happens inside those spaces. How often have you been disappointed by how your actions have been received despite your best intentions?
Unfortunately, we only see other people actions, and from there, we judge their intentions. And our perception of their actions is filtered by our own biases.

The results are often misunderstandings when not conflicts and tensions.
Just by being aware of those spaces, we can increase the quality of our exchange with others. Then, by nurturing trust, we can let go of those shields and begin to really see each other.

One Apple A Day #897 – alpha? No, thank you.

You’ve probably heard about “alpha males”. 

It is a label used to identify dominant individuals within a group. Usually, they assert their power through sheer force and aggression.

This concept derives from wolves and, despite being widely used, it is misleading.

The term “alpha wolf” was first coined by Rudolph Shenkel, a biologist who studied wolves’ behaviour in a German zoo in 1944. According to his observations, male and female wolves seemed to compete to become dominant within their group. 

The term became popular in 1970, when American biologist David Mech published his best-selling book, The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species.

Shenkel studied wolves in captivity when adult males and females where force together. As Mech discovered while observing wild wolves in the Arctic, wolf packs don’t form in the wild as they do in captivity.

When they are free, wolves form around family units. Dad is the “alpha male”, and mom is the “alpha female”. The rest of the pack follows their lead, not because they are the toughest but because it’s mom and dad.

When he made this discovery, Mech dedicated years to debunk the use of this term. He even tried to have his book removed from sales, but the book is still printed and published.

Thanks to his effort, the scientific community has abandoned the concept, but it is still widely used in mainstream culture.

So, if you like to think of yourself as an “alpha male”, just remember that it describes captive and imprisoned beings’ behaviour.

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

One Apple A Day #890 – Essence

If you take an object of any shape and cover it with a blanket, you can still recognize its features. The colour and the pattern on its surface aren’t visible, but anyone should spot what it is.

If you add another blanket on top, some of the smaller features become invisible. Sure, someone familiar with the object may still recognize it, but it’s no so easy.

The more blankets you add, the less the object is recognizable. Until the surface will be completely flat and it won’t be even possible to spot the object at all.

This is what we often do with our essence.

We keep adding layers and layers over it until we can’t distinguish it from others’ essence. Or, in the worst cases, until we can’t even see if the essence is still there.

Layers can take any form; beliefs, habits built over time, social conditionings, failures, and successes.

If you struggle to recognize who you are, maybe it’s time to remove some of those layers and allow your essence to shine again.

One Apple A Day #889 – Inspire

You inspire others.

We all inspire others.

The verb “to inspire”, comes from Latin inspirare meaning “blow into, breathe upon.

Our words, choices and actions are observed and register by the people around us. Through everything we say and do, we release energy that travels and reaches others.

This energy usually takes the form of emotions.

Many studies have shown that we continuously spread our emotions to others via a phenomenon called emotional contagion.

More often than not, we do it unconsciously.

So, you have the extraordinary power to inspire others.

But as they say, with it comes great responsibilities.

How are you using this superpower?

What vibes are you sending out?

What energy are you breathing upon others?

Imagine what we could create just by paying attention to how we inspire others.

One Apple A Day #888 – intentions and behaviour

“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”

Stephen M.R. Covey, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything.

My dear friend Luca reminded me of this statement by Covey. We were talking about a few situations in which other people’s actions triggered me. 

You know, one of those situations in which you feel you’re doing your best for the collective interest while others seem to focus only on themselves?

I’ve been there a few times. And I always played the victim’s part, walking away with resentment.

Only this time was different. 

Or maybe I am different.

But those words from Covey stung me to the core.

What do I really know about others’ intentions? 

And what about my actions? 

What do my behaviours say about my intentions?

It was one of those moments of truth.

We communicate through our behaviours. 

I can’t control what others read in my actions, but I must always check if my behaviours align with my intentions.