I was having lunch the other day with a good friend, let’s call him Dave. I had been using my mobile phone charger during lunch and before putting it away I asked Dave if he needed to use it for his own device. Dave looked at his phone and passed on the opportunity as he said, “I’m at 70%, I’m good”.

Being a curious kind of person, I had to ask him what amount of charge percentage is not ok? His answer was 50%, and he went on, “When I get to 50% I start to get a little nervous about the potential to run out of power” ……that got me thinking……

“How else does Dave’s “50%” moment affect him?”

For Dave, the trigger of 50% on his mobile phone battery moved him from being comfortable to no longer being comfortable, possibly even uncomfortable. After this point, Dave’s behaviour started to change.

We talked about it and he acknowledged that below 50% he starts to get a bit of anxiety about his phones power and needing to take action. The lower it got the more immediate and definite the action.

“Might this shift in Dave from comfortable to no longer being comfortable be showing up in other ways too?”

My 50% (which by the way is much lower for me at a level of 20% mobile power), is where I see my behaviour change and I start to be unhelpfully distracted. I can become a little agitated and/or irritable until I resolve the issue, I can lose focus on other things until this 50% issue is sorted. How interesting that this arbitrary number can affect us in quite tangible ways.

While the example of a real conversation about mobile phone power may seem flippant, I am sure you see the much bigger and broader implications. Each of us has arbitrary levels (50%’ers) where we unconsciously start to evidence behaviour that has resulted from no longer being comfortable. We can go from sunshine to cloudy and “weather worsening” very quickly with the right 50% triggers.

Our work is to look for these 50%’ers and recognise them, make them conscious and remove their power (where they aren’t useful). With Dave his light bulb moment in our conversation was why such a high percentage of battery power even mattered. 50% is still half the battery charge… seriously…

I suspect he is no longer a 50%’er.

Over the next few days keep an eye on your own 50% levels and see what you find out about yourself. Where do you shift from comfortable to no longer comfortable and what things cause this change?

The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself”, serves us in this moment. The philosopher Socrates went further when he taught, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” A whole continent away, and many years apart, Buddha said,

“A man who conquers himself is greater than one who conquers a thousand men in battle.”

All great quotes that prompt us to make sure we work with and on ourselves. I could load a few dozen more quotes but I think the point has been made.

Let’s get to it, and keep our eyes open…on ourselves.

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