Who (and what) are you voting for? | Lisa Steingold

Who (and what) are you voting for?

If you’re reading this from a part of the world other than South Africa, this image won’t be funny nor will it even make sense but when my dad sent this to me on WhatsApp I burst out laughing.

On a serious note General elections were recently held in South Africa. On an even MORE serious note, from my father’s point of view, Liverpool beat Barcelona 4-0 in a landslide victory in the same week. It’s the happiest I’ve seen my dad in a long time. Thank you Jurgen Klopp for bringing joy to our home.
I refuse to delve into the politics behind the elections or into the political climate in South Africa. Firstly there are many more well known and qualified individuals doing so and secondly I have no interest in doing so. I also have no interest in dissecting Liverpool’s chances against Wolverhampton this afternoon or how a Man City win could catapult Liverpool into an overall league win; the first in 29 years.
What I do want to talk about is…


Just kidding! We’re not going there either!

I do however want to talk about voting. The Cambridge dictionary defines a vote as “to express your choice or opinion, especially by officially writing a mark on a paper or by raising your hand or speaking in a meeting”

The British public voted for Brexit but before we commence pointing fingers, let’s talk about the votes we make every day. Each and every day we make thousands of seemingly small and inconsequential decisions but are they? We may not mark these decisions on a piece of paper but by our actions we vote. We vote with our money, we vote with our time and we vote with our opinions. We vote for brands by supporting them. We vote for people by the time we spend with them. We vote for our desires and goals by our actions…

And it applies in a professional context just as much! We vote for results with the suppliers and tools we utilise. We vote for outcomes by the activities we spend our time on. We vote for results by how we invest in customers…

We think they’re inconsequential but are they? I think not. Popular social narrative will involve “the universe” as some fatalistic element that results in our fate. Without doubt we have no control over this “fate” otherwise known as external factors but we have alot more control than we might think. I don’t mean controlling your thoughts or thinking positively. Indeed God no! Often we’re voting as a result of deep conditioning that may require the assistance of a therapist to understand but we’re in control in so much as we are ready to become aware of such “votes” and to ask the questions that bring them from the deep unconscious up to the surface.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed is that we tend to vote, often, in direct opposition to what we say we want.
I want to, or say I want to finish editing my book yet I vote to spend my time cycling or seeing friends. I say I want to speak Spanish but I opt for a Netflix series when I could be listening to a Spanish podcast… and so it goes. Then I just shrug and say “oh well, there just isn’t enough time” but is is true?

We have to learn to ask ourselves the REALLY hard questions

Many of us are on some kind of continuum in relation to the awareness of our desires and consequential votes. Some of us don’t recognise we’re voting every day. Some of us recognise we’re voting in stark contrast to what we say we want. As such there’s a range of commentary in the form of books and tools. Books like “Nudge” have helped the cause, so to speak, to raise awareness around our decision making and how we’re often not as logical as we might think.

Yet even those I’m an avid fan of Nudge, the work of Dan Ariely, Daniel Pink and the thinkers of our time who inspire us to think differently, I’ve had to get into a habit of asking myself tough questions. And let me tell you, I hate it! I do, I don’t love the fact that I’ve duped myself into acting in a particular manner and worse, justifying it to myself.

But I’ve realised if I want to do the work I do or live the way I want, there’s no other choice really. I have to be conscious about what I’m voting for. So if you’ve made it this far into the blog I can only assume you agree with me and want to know some of the hard questions that create the kind of shifts that equal a Liverpool winning the Premier League make.

  • How do I spend my time? What does this say about what I want and the person I am?
  • How do I spend my money? What does this say about what I want and what I believe about money?
  • What do I get out of ‘voting’ this way? I.e. if I watch Netflix instead of learning Spanish, what do I get out of it apart from an easy night in?
  • Who are the top 5 people I surround myself with? What does that say about me?
  • Why am I afraid to vote differently?

It’s just a thought I had today driving back from a cycle. Incidentally I’m trading in cycling for writing for the winter.
Have a power week!