When you lead are you at the start of the equation?
Does this happen to you ever? What you want to do does not seem to eventuate. Then when you sit with it longer you realize that you probably needed what you thought you wanted to do not to happen. It's a bit of Murphy's Law meets Law of Attraction. If this does not make sense then just consider we teach what we most need to learn.
Time to practice what I tell others
Let me be open with a bit of personal disclosure to start. In my case, I feel that I strive to work from the place of creation, not reaction. However, for years I have teetered between the two and now firmly want to declare it's time for creation. Saying this out loud to you, I notice that at times when I look back in my life I can get caught up in bouts of negativity. The negativity stems from me wishing I did things differently or took another path. It is not about regrets. It is simply an experience like weights holding me down, acting as reminders, tugging and pulling me back. What then happens is I sometimes end up filtering opportunities or situations through gray colored glasses. Instead of being my positive, upbeat, go with the flow self I end up being the nay sayer. Never the naysayer to others, just me.
In practical terms what this means is I start alot and stop dead in my tracks. Yes that is the feeling. Imagine seeing a balloon or a flower floating in the air. You run and chase it, entranced by the beauty and randomness of it's appearance. Only all the sudden you realize that the rest of the world is watching you chase after this dream. From their perspective you look a little crazy or wacky. As soon as I get a scent of this viewpoint I come crashing down. I dig my heels in the earth and drag myself to a screeching halt, building up piles and piles of mud in the midst of it all.
Stuck trying to go anywhere
So imagine I sit here all metaphorically covered in mud, sitting on my bottom going nowhere. That’s me sometimes. Meanwhile the beautiful baloon/butterfly/flower floats or flies off to someone else. It is not that I missed my opportunity. No I missed an opportunity. I got scared and I stopped. I worried what other people would think. I worried that I would not be good enough. I worried that I am not up to the task. At another level the self doubt crept in and said ‘who am I to do this?’. Honestly I can have these kinds of conversations with myself.
I share this openly with you because I believe we all do we just don't let anyone else know.
It is really easy to talk your self out of an idea. Really easy. Sometimes it feels like unless you are Richard Branson or Bill Gates your track record may not get you off the ground at all. I have lots of ideas. Only they tend to hang out around a dinner party conversation, a coaching session for me, a coffee with a friend or the section of my laptop entitled ‘dreams and plans when I get my act together’.
The frustrating thing about all of this vasciallation between can and can't, is that I know better. I know so much better because I look at all the people around me whom I help or connect with in whatever way I do. It doesn’t have to be formal in a coaching session or workshop. In fact it’s probably the most inane informal moments that give me the greatest reward and high. I might take an extra 10 minutes to listen to the story of a stranger, share some inspiration, see their eyes light up and their body stand tall and I know. I know I did my job. I move on and get going. I don’t hang around waiting for thanks or acknowledgement. This work is not about that. Like I said at the start, we teach what we need to learn.
Intention creates possibility
So now I want to take 'this work' to the next level. I have enjoyed a lot of time helping people just by being present and in a conversation, ad hoc unplanned. I want to do 'this work' planned and with intention. Why? Because when the work is done with the power of intention behind it from both sides the results can be exponentially fabulous. Yes I said fabulous. How else can I describe what I see as possible?
So what is it I see is possible? I see people turing on. Turning on the switch that lights them up and gets them out there doing what they love. It could be anywhere. There is no boundary or limit to what a person can do. We all need people in a variety of situations and a variety of places so it’s best not to single anyone out. I think it is tempting for some of us to highlight one career path over another. We might do so on grounds of glamour or status. Yet really it doesn’t mean much. So the guy driving the movie stars to the Oscars to me is just as important as the person receiving an Oscar.
The first counts in this equation
Why? One person is making the other person's world better so that the other person can make the rest of ours better. It’s a simple addition equation.
Hard to compute, probably, if you feel like you are in the middle.
But what if we started with you as the first digit in the equation? What if in whatever kind of work you do, no matter the status nor influence, you are the initiator. Unless you start nothing will happen. There will be no richochet effect, no ripples outward, no chain reaction. That’s it. You are a fuse waiting to be lit.
What does it take to get you going? What does it take to get you started on your path? What does it take to get you off your butt to start doing what you came here to do?
Well I suppose seeing some other people doing the same? Or is it more than that?
Elusivity of dreams is our imagination running wild
Maybe the butterflies and the balloons we are chasing are not what they seem. Maybe these are just reflections in a quantum version of time saying we are actually living our own dreams out of sync.
So now let me take this up a notch. Imagine you are free to run and chase your dreams. Imagine nothing is holding you back. Imagine that when you look around instead of seeing the naysayers and doubters you see crowds of others cheering you on. Then you see something amazing. As you keep running and chasing after your dreams you start to see everyone along side you doing the same.
Now I know what you are saying by now. This is a nice waffly little random piece of writing but let’s get to the point. What is my point?
My point is that we don’t have to chase dreams because if we start doing what we love right now we are living our dreams.
What’s my dream?
Simple. I want more than anything to inspire influential leaders to create and make positive differences in this world. I want to do this through my writing and coaching and teaching. I say this all the time. Well I am doing this. I may forget sometimes. I may focus by looking too much in the rearview mirror and not around me now. But I know that I am doing this now. Perhaps not at the scale I would like but I am living my dream.
To do the work we are here to do is not an elusive unattainable achievement. It is in fact a daily choice and action. Every time you think and act is an opportunity to live your dream.
Dreams are about living now
So let’s go back to our driver and Oscar nominee story. What could possibly be the dream of the driver? What could possibly be the dream of the Oscar nominee? How are each actually living their dream right now in this moment?
What would be an obvious answer? Well maybe to win an Oscar. Then what? The moment comes, the moment goes, the trophy goes on the mantle. Then what I ask? Is this really the dream? To chalk up memories of moments in our life? I don’t think so. This just fills scrapbooks and provides more content for our dinner party conversations.
No I believe that in each situation a person is living their dream each breath they take.
I am alive. You are alive.
I am breathing. You are breathing.
I am in this world experiencing it in all its variety. And you?
But what about you?
Lets perhaps make this a bit more relevant to you now. So you are likely not an Oscar nominee nor a limo driver (or maybe by some random synchronicity moment you are). What you are more likely is a business leader or business owner. You make decisions every day that affect others. You create the ricochet. You are the ripple starter.
Yet are you aware of your own impact?
Are you aware of the power and influence you really have in every choice, in every decision, in every act of living and breathing your day?
What is holding you back? Are you like me digging your heels in the mud? Or are you checking what others think all the time? What is it that is in your way?
If these questions got your wheels turning, I would really like to know. You don’t have to answer here. This is a public place. I would probably not do so myself unless I felt the importance of sharing as an example for others like today. Yet if you get inspired drop me a line by email sometime.
If you think writing an email is nice but you need more help then this is what I do. I help you get unstuck and on your way. This simplifed almost crude expression is what I mean when I talk about conscious leadership. It’s getting on with living your dream now, not later, not in retrospect, for the benefit of you and the others in your equation. Sounds simple but as I know how hard it is myself to get stuck I also know what it takes to get unstuck.
What I notice in my own experience and that of others is that when asked the right thought provoking and soul stirring questions something moves. It is the unexplainable aspect of a personal shift that gets us going. I want this for me. I want this for you. I want this for everyone. It would certainly make life a whole lot more interesting, enjoyable and fun for all.