We tend to assume that people behave in accordance with their attitudes. However, social psychologists have found that attitudes and actual behavior are not always perfectly aligned. Do you think green and do you practice eco excellence? "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~ Aristotle
We are all familiar with habits - they are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously, without one directly thinking consciously about them. In the world of sustainability plans, this unconscious display of habits is a fertile ground of opportunity offering low hanging fruit for eco action. The trick is aligning thought and action. Can positive green thinking spur habitual eco actions?
As it is, action follows thought; so, to create lasting sustainable change, we must first explore our thoughts. Entry points of exploration to consider include a variety of options.
The video, "The Happiness Factor" by Shawn Anchor explores the mass conscious belief around success and how that is scientifically skewed. Within the video, he states we can re-wire our brains to a new definition of success which increases happiness and productivity. What are the suggestions for rewiring our brains? Of the five suggestions, two favorites stand out: gratitude and random acts of kindness. Rewiring our brains with a positive mindset creates refreshing views previously not available from a negative mindset and the post, How to rewire your brain to be more optimistic, offers insights to shift from positive thinking to positive actions.
Another approach is appreciating nature. The post, Nature: The Natural Mood Enhancer, suggest paying attention to the natural world not only makes you feel better, it makes you behave better. As Albert Einstein said, "It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it." Viewed from a sustainability perspective, that can take many forms. As in, caring for the Earth's resources from a physical and material perspective, but also in how our individual thoughts of eco awareness and behavior shapes that caring.
A third option: the post, 15 Random Acts of Green Kindness explores how kindness and sustainability are intrinsically linked. And, we talk about the The Karma of Personal Sustainability and how our thoughts are shaping our world.
Use the power of words to create a culture of sustainability. Language can be effective in managing organizational change. Referencing, the post, Consider Consequences Of Language In Organizational Change, Kevin Barge, professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M, states that our experiences regarding change are influenced largely by the words that we say and the impact of those words on our coworkers. According to Barge, "if people are conscious of the effects their words can have on others, they will be more likely initiate successful change efforts and build productive organizational relationships."
Finally, focus your thoughts. “Whatever you focus on expands.” – Christopher M. Knight. At the heart of sustainable living and sustainable business strategies lies a foundation of innovation; refreshing new approaches that deliver unprecedented results. While the media and mainstream may be populated with stories of mishaps, failures, blame, and make wrong, have you ever stopped to count the millions of blessings, successes, and things that are going right in our world?
Through our daily living, we are presented with opportunities to expand our eco awareness and make informed choices. As we align our green thinning with meaningful eco actions, we inspire others to do the same.