Light and shadows
If I could shine a light on the entirety of your life, is there something that you would be ashamed or embarrassed about?
It's easy to do the right thing when all eyes are on us, when we know the world is watching, we do what we know is the right thing to do.
What about when they're not though? What about when nobody's watching, when nobody sees the action, when nobody feels the consequences, when we think nobody will get hurt, do we still do the right thing? Do we need to do the "right" thing if nobody else is going to get hurt?
I'm not talking about the big moral decisions here. I mean the little things. The small actions we take daily that may seem inconsequential.
In High Performance by Jake Humphrey and Prof Damian Hughes (the book named after their exceptional podcast), the Prof has a saying "what is done in the shadows will reveal itself in the light".
It's a derivative of a biblical verse:
"For nothing is secret that will no be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light"
It's the bad habits that we let slide and the good habits that we commit to when nobody is looking that Prof Hughes is talking about.
If we procrastinate at home, not getting those little jobs done in a timely fashion, it builds a bad habit that will spill over into our work.
If we choose to be dishonest with the little things, they become insignificant, so a slightly bigger untruth becomes a little thing, and on, and on.
It's the empty crisp packets in the footwell of the car and the blocked sink from the morsels that migrate through the plug hole after every meal. It all adds up, it all comes to a head eventually.
Professor Hughes talks about our commitment to our trademark behaviours. We can choose our trademark behaviours and we can choose how vehemently we adhere to them. If we live our positive behaviours every minute every hour of every day, whether or not anyone’s looking, the effects percolate our whole life.
It's always showing up, on time, looking smart and being ready to do whatever it is that needs to be done.
It's treating everyone with the same level of respect and courtesy.
It's giving 100% every time no matter how trivial the action may seem.
If we commit to these behaviours when nobody's looking, they're effortless when we're in the spotlight because that's just who we are and it's what we do.
What do you do in the dark that you wouldn't want the light to shine on and what are you going to do about that?