Virtuous circles

The subtitle to this post is “How to create them in your life”. But first things first! I see you asking “What is an virtuous circle?”. In german there is the word Teufelskreis which translates to doom circle or vicious circle. If you are in a vicious circle, you’re in a situation, where you over and over go through a row of events or actions and it gets worse all the time. Second characteristic for this circle is, that it seems to be impossible to break out. So you feel doomed in it to do this things forever. So far so bad… here comes the good news: there is a good counterpart, you guessed it, the virtuous circle. In german it is called Engelskreis. The virtuous circle is a situation, where everybody gets more energy while a set of actions is going on forever. If nobody breaks it. Sounds good, i know. There are many ways to create virtuous circles in your life. I will not be able to cover all of them, but in my eyes a good start is to separate them into the ones which only have yourself as acter and the ones with more protagonists.

Virtuous circles only with yourself

The first and most virtuous thing i found in my life is to be friendly with myself. Whenever something happens i try to be as friendly as possible to myself. For example if i break something, i don’t tell myself the story, that i am clumsy, but i try to think that next time i will take care more. Also don’t tell yourself, that you are something negative, like “i am dumb” or “this action was dumb”. There are enough guys in this world who can think this, but that’s not your business and in your head should not do it. Just say “Oh, that could have gone better, next time i will watch out” and you find yourself in a better mood and with more self respect. Thus you will go through the world with more positive energy and attract more positive energy. It’s not necessary to be negative, its a vicious circle. So be generous with your weak sides and with the weaknesses of others!

Another great virtuous circle generator is the habit of installing good habits in your life. So for instance if you decide to start the day more motivated than with a cup of coffee, you have plenty of choices: you can decide to meditate, make some excercises or start to write every morning for a given time in your own blog. Creating and doing physical or mental excercises are a the chance to get into the “i’ve already done something good for me before leaving the house” mood. With this feeling the hard parts of your day can’t hurt you as much as with a cup of coffee. Other positive habit examples are the Pomodoro Technique, to reflect on a daily basis or working daily on your list of your personal rules. Maybe i will write about the personal rules later in another post. Short overview: i am reading a set of rules for myself everyday before i start working. While reading them i reflect them already-what could be improved, exchanged or added? One example rule on my list is “i train constant and hard”. This helps me to have my key values and habits easier in mind, when it comes to laziness or dips.

Beside this points you can get much more virtuous circles in your life through the aware setting and reaching of your goals. Aim for bigger things and break them down into small (or only the next) steps. One good method is from the book Eat that frog: sort your todos into categories A to E, where A is most valuable and E is least valueable. Then start always with the most important A. It is called the biggest frog. When you ate this frog, go to the next one and so on. Behind this is the sweet treasure of focus. Focus will help you in a virtuous way to get further than you thought!

Virtuous circles with others

Lets talk about how to create virtuous circles with others. The first thing how to create a virtuous circle with others is as easy as obvious: giving. Whenever you give something, it may be a little bit attention or a helping hand or some friendly word or even a smile, you give the opportunity for the other one to feel good and give it back to you. The important thing about this is to give without expectation. If you’re giving with the expectation to get something back, it is not going to become virtuous. Maybe the other one feels it in the exact moment, maybe later on. Read more about it in the great book Give and take. If you give without expectation, the other one can decide to give back to you (and your virtuous circle can start) or to someone else (and a bigger circle can start).

Another start for a virtuous circle is being thankful. If you’re thankful for what you got and whom you have, you live in a mindset where you respect others as they are. This gives them the great feeling of being ok as they are. A very peaceful and healthy experience. They feel better, have more energy and the chance to give this great gift back to you or someone else. Thus we’ve started another virtuous circle. While talking about the thankfulness we already touched on the next two things: being aware and being respectful. They lay really close to each other. to be thankful its helping to aware and respectful. Whenever you are (self-)aware, you are just one step away from being thankful. Without awareness its getting harder to see the possibility to be thankful. All together form a powerful mixture of living in peace with yourself and others. Which helps you and the ones around you having more creative power to build a better future. Virtuous circle case closed :)!

With awareness you receive another great gift: you are able to handle negativity of others and not only react on it unconscious. First of all you can see whenever someone brings negativity with himself. Thats the point where you can decide to not let touch their thoughts you. By keeping this things away from yourself, you are able to make them aware of the things they do to others. On the other side you get the great chance to think about who is giving you a hint and why he is maybe doing it. By this you become more able to react properly. You get more opportunities to react without being or becoming unconscious. Than you don’t have to exclude these people from your life. You can decide to tell them whats going on and set some borders between you and them. Or you can move further full of awareness without getting enmeshed with someone.

The last tip for virtuous circle creation with others is a bit different: become a tribe leader. What’s ment with this? Just start learning how to grow a movement by not being necessary in the position of the organisational leader, but just by giving value to a group of people. Great books for learning about this topic are Tribal Leadership and Tribes. It is fun, because you end up giving and earn respect of others. This pushes you further in the direction of doing and giving more. Which helps others even further. And the circle closes in a virtuous way!

Areas of life

We’ve talked about how to create the godlike circles, let us have a closer look where you can create virtuous circles: the areas of life. In Feng Shui are nine areas of life present:

  • finances and richness
  • fame and glory
  • relationships
  • health and family
  • me, myself and i (here is ment you and only you)
  • kids and creativity
  • knowledge
  • carreer
  • helpful friends

Stefan Merath proposes eight others in his book “Der Weg zum erfolgreichen Unternehmer“:

  • personality and learning
  • happiness and emotions
  • partnership, sexuality and family
  • friends and network
  • body and healthness
  • finances and material things
  • company and entrepeneur
  • world and meaning

It is not important which system you lay under your creational path of becoming a virtuous circle master. More important is to find the points which do not work as good as you want and improve them. Another good hint is to bring the life areas in a good balance. Not just fiddle around in one area. The best example is to not only look on your finances and leave the people around you out in the cold. Everything is important and if there is no balance in between the topics in your life, you will miss happiness.

Lets have a short look at the job you got! Whenever you search for a new job, you can always ask you the following two questions:

  • Is the work philosophy of the company fitting to me?
  • What can i learn in this job?

Whenever the work philosophie fits to you, the chances are higher, that you can give while become more energized. That doesn’t mean, that you completely have the same values like the rest of all bosses and employees, it points more into the direction, that it fits together without making to much discomfort. So most of the time peaceful conversation about ways to go should be possible and valued by your peers.

The other thing you can always ask yourself is what you can learn. Whenever you ask yourself this question, you become open for other opinions and impulses. This gives you the great chance to really listen and embrace to improve yourself! When others feel this openness, they feel more free to talk in clear words their real opinion. That is a great way into working better together and creating more space for improvement and happiness.

Conclusion

We’ve seen a lot of kinds of virtuous circles and a bit of how to create them. So now i want to roundup my thoughts with this call: go out and create as much as possible virtuous circles in your life and the lifes of others! If something doesn’t works at the first try go a bit simpler or smaller and try again. Talk out loud whenever you feel the idea of telling people about an idea for an energy loading interaction! Just go out and be the improvement you think the world needs.suche aktiv Engelskreislaufe in deinem Leben!

Which circles do you recognize in your life? Are there more positive or more negative ones? Were or are you able to influence them to a positive effect? How is it with others? Do you see what drives them around for good or bad? Have you already created self-aware a virtuous circle? Let us know how and what experiences you had by leaving a comment here!

Thanks for reading and have fun creating your own virtuous circles!

Management 3.0: #1 Kudo Cards

You may have heard about the Management 3.0 system. It is a set of games, tools and practices, which helps managing oneself and organisations. In this little series i am explaining one by one some of these parts of the system and share my experiences with them. Lets dive right into the first part: the Kudo Cards!

Kudo Cards & Kudo Box

The Kudo Cards are a set of cards (you guessed it right ;)). On those cards some kind of compliment sentences are started and there are some empty lines to fill. Example compliments are “Well done …” or “Great job …”. Thats it. Your job is now to think of your colleagues and pick an event or quality which you really like and fill the empty space with your own words. Afterwards you can either hand it over directly or anonymously. For the anonymous way there is a Kudo Box. It is like a mailbox, where you can throw in your mail and then it is up to your organisation how to ritualise the handover. In our company we do it as one point to hand out the Kudo Card to the adressee. But he is free to only read it alone or to say thanks how he want.

Our Kudo Box with the great Kudo 2.0 QR Code Video Kudo Card.

My experience

When i introduced the Kudo Cards, i was just thinking, that they are a great idea. As i am, i handed my first set directly to the recipients and did not think about what they could think about it. So i didn’t installed a Kudo Box or a ritual, because in my eyes it was like positive things could be told face to face. Damn was i wrong. As a direct reaction to my announcement three guys came to me and asked why there is no Kudo Box. Asking them why they want one, brought up, that they are shy and don’t want to hand them directly. So our Kudo Box was born and the ritual was introduced, which made these shy ones happy.

To accelerate the usage of these ideas i started writing cards for the ones who deserved it before the company retrospective. Everyone who got one card was happy and proud in this moment. It was a great experience to see, what a little compliment in front of everybody else can do. Some where infected by the idea and also wrote compliments for others too. They mostly gave them directly or brought them to the desk when the recipient wasn’t there. One great idea was a “Kudo Card 2.0” with a QR code. Behind the QR code was a link to a YouTube video with an old german ad celebrity telling you what a marvelous colleague you are. At the moment the Kudo Cards are somehow in a hibernation. Since more than two months there is no card in our box. But i don’t stop to remind my colleagues and hold up the ritual of opening the Kudo Box while the company retrsopective.some gave the Kudo Cards directly to each other some over the Kudo Box

Conclusion

First of all i really love the Kudo Cards. Having a little positive wall near my desk keeps up my moral and helps over heavy situations! This experiment helped me learning things too! First a real obvious one: not everybody is as extrovert as me with compliments and feedback. Second they last much longer than the short term experience of a spoken compliment. Don’t get me right, if there’s something working well your rule of thumb should be to speak it out loud as fast as you can. Last but not least there is a big influence of just having this instrument in your company, organisation or tribe towards a positive way of thinking. Only some cards make a difference for those who get them. They walk around with a better mood for a while and give this happiness into a virtuos circle.

I absolutely recommend Kudo Cards for you! 🙂

Do you have any experiences or want to say anything about this topic? Just leave a comment, thanks for reading!