Archive for November, 2009
Tuesday felt like a good day. I made my commitment to my project and moved from one thing to the next and it all seemed to fall into place. Since then I’ve been spinning my wheels, waiting passively for something external to move me onto the next thing. Waiting for magic.
I’ve been thinking, it’s a bit ironic that I’m saying I’m committed to creating a workshop about what to do when you don’t know what you want, and here I am, not being able to identify, in the moment what it is I want to do, and getting very stuck in that. Perfect, of course.
One of the ideas I want to get across is that everything you need is in your life right now. So, if I apply that idea to my life what do I see? What opportunities have I been missing while I’ve been waiting for something else to jump up and bite me on the bum?
Remember, I’ve taken advantage of the cosmic hint to write an invitation letter (described in my post about little struggles), and then got hung up because I couldn’t seem to finish it. Then the waiting started. I’ve been making a note of the 30 day challenge “homework” but haven’t taken any action related to it, because I didn’t know what to do. And then it struck me, I didn’t know what to do next because I didn’t have a plan.
OMG The “P” word.
And then the s**t really hit the fan and I came face to face with the truth that is my fear of running this coaching programme. Having a plan suddenly makes it real.
I’d forgotten the difference between intention and commitment and how “You’re not really committed until you’ve proved it by putting in place a supporting structure. Until you do, anything you think you want remains an intention without the power of true commitment and, consequently, is unlikely to materialise.”
So, now I have a choice, do I want to stay stuck and pretend to be playing the game or will I take the next step and create a plan? I choose to re-engage in my project and create a plan. So, once again, I reset my commitment to enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’.
This morning I received this email and thought it a paradox worth pondering on . . .
I am trying to assist my son in understanding a couple of distinctions, which seem to be a bit paradoxical.
I would like him to not focus so much on “outcomes” of games, situations, etc. and enjoy the ‘game’ itself..
On the other hand, trying to teach him to turn ‘not so fun’ tasks or situations (cleaning room, chores, etc.) into games to make them fun, but then these turn into ‘outcome’ games (winning, finishing first, etc..)
Is there a ‘simple’ way to demonstrate the two distinctions without this paradox?
Here’s my reply:
Your paradox got me thinking . . . and I realised that this is exactly the same thing that I am experimenting with, albeit in a different form.
Why can’t your son/you/we focus on the outcome of the game – winning, as well, if that’s important – AND enjoy the process? It’s not an either/or but a both/and.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with winning itself. It only becomes a problem if that’s the only thing you’re focussed on or you NEED to win in order to feel good about the game/yourself.
How about talking to your son about this paradox and asking him to help YOU learn about it. He may well “get” it faster than you as his ideas are likely to be less entrenched than yours. Set up games together where you play and explore and there are no right or wrong answers. Have a competition to see who can clean up their rooms first and then talk about what it felt like, what still puzzles you. How you could do it differently next time.
It always frustrated me how my son’s infant school had this non-competitive sports day thing. It just doesn’t reflect real life. I was always banging on about letting them compete and have the experience of winning or losing and then help them with the feelings that result. That would be so much more useful than trying to wipe out the idea of competition in the adult world they will find themselves in. Not even adult, as soon as he got to age 7 and he went to junior school, winning was back on the agenda again anyway.
So, what am I trying to say here . . .
It’s not the outcome itself that’s the important thing but how we feel about the outcome. And our thoughts dictate how we feel.
And, as George says enjoying the process is what it’s really all about. But it’s not an either/or.
What a wonderful opportunity to introduce your son to the idea of both/and and for you to learn this stuff together.
Oh yeah . . . and if winning matters it’s better to fess up and play with that than to pretend it doesn’t. It’s the difference between storming out of the room pretending you’re frustrated with the stupid game and winning £3 in a bet you really lost. I know. I was that winner.
I was getting a bit bogged down this afternoon and growing dangerously close to struggling again so came to my blog to have some fun. But, horror of horrors, I didn’t have a “fun” category. So decided to rectify that immediately.
Dipping into my Inspiration file, I chose this video to start the ball rolling. Never fails to make me laugh.
One of the rules I set for myself in creating my 28 Day Challenge is: “I will not struggle nor suffer”. Now, when I wrote that I was thinking of the times I’d gone round and round in circles, sometimes for weeks on end, trying to work something out or make something happen. And one thing I am sure of is that struggle never gets me anywhere but stressed, frustrated or feeling depressed. Hence, the rule.
So, on Day 1, everything was fresh and exciting and I was open to possibilities and very much living in the present. I set my goal and then let go of it, while I got on with the business of taking action from the moment – just doing the next thing. Eveything was hunky, dory. The next thing came and went, listening to the audio of ’Creating the Impossible’, responding to emails, putting my intention out into the world by writing about it etc.
After lunch I wasn’t sure about the next step so decided to go for a walk and then go for a coffee where I would brainstorm some ideas of what the coaching programme might actually look like. But just as I was leaving I received an email from my coach, responding to my 28 day challenge. It said:
“Gillian. For one thing, you’re a very persuasive and beautiful
writer…you can really express yourself well….SO create
a POWERFUL letter of invitation…I filled a mastermind
group of 20 people at $10,000 each, and I did this
twice, by sending a letter.”
So, there was my next step.
I went for my walk, went for a coffee and sat with my pen and paper made my first stab at a letter of invitation. Now, what was interesting was, I don’t really know what a letter of invitation is but I just settled myself down and wrote. My first few attempts weren’t good but I reminded myself that ”this is just a game”, “I don’t actually have to run a seminar if I don’t want to”, “this is all in the future and all I’m doing is playing around with an idea right now”. Then eventually a “letter” began to emerge and I had fun creating it.
So, fast forward to yesterday, when I listen to the next Impossible Challenge audio and settle down to do the next thing. But yesterday’s “next thing” just didn’t seem to flow and, I realise now, that that was because I’d unknowingly already decided what that next thing was. My invitation letter was only half written so I’d simply assumed that the “next thing” would be the completion of that. And, all day, on and off I struggled with trying to write it. But it was very subtle. I wasn’t sitting down and saying to myself “this letter must be finished” but I was, unconsciously, thinking that and, as a consequence I probably missed an easier “next thing”. And by easier I simply mean, one that flowed more. And, I didn’t get much further with the letter.
So, today I reset my commitment to enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’ and I reset my commitment to doing so without a struggle – be it little or large.
Hmmm. So what’s the next thing? . . . Breakfast. Easy!
There’s 28 days until I fly back to Phoenix and to the final weekend of The Coaching School and I want to draw together all that I’ve leaned so far and set myself a new challenge.
When I got back to the UK in July I was creative, brave and playful. And high energy. I followed the twists and turns of my process through the Coaching School, sometimes feeling low and others excited and then landed, most recently, in a place of giving up trying to make things happen. Here I found a lot more peace and a deal of appreciation for what I already have. But I also felt reactive rather than in charge. So now I’m going to experiment with combining the two.
I want the energy of playing big combined with the peace of living in the moment. I want commitment to a goal but without attachment. I want to live from no history. Just today – anew! Just me and My Way. Whatever this game of life is or isn’t, I’m going to play My Game by My Rules.
To give me some structure to make this easier I’m going to do Michael Neill’s Creating the Impossible Challenge again. That way I will have a focus each day so, if I get stuck, I can more easily get moving again.
These are My rules:
- I will not struggle nor suffer.
- If it’s not fun I will find a way to make it fun or not do it.
- I will not care what others think of me.
My Impossible Goal is:
To enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’
That seems pretty impossible from here since the programme doesn’t exist yet. So it’a a good choice.
Part of the challenge is to take 100 steps towards your impossible goal so this is Step 2 – announcing my commitment on my blog. Step 1 was announcing my commitment to the Coaching School group.
Expect more soon . . .