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Ever Expanding Opportunities

Ever have that thought, “they’re getting ahead of me”, “they did what I was thinking about doing”, “they are better at it than me”, “I’ll never be as good as them”…the list goes on. You may not say these things, but do you have some parallel thoughts of your own?

So someone is already doing what you thought about doing, great! They are doing it better than you judge you could do it, great! They are way ahead of where you are at – GREAT!

What I experience in my life is continually expanding opportunities. There are so many facets to parenting, to running a business, to growing roses, to making love – the list is endless. Some of those ideas might be an  idea that changes how the world works, others may not or may not in a big bang way.

My point is – don’t spend a lot of time comparing. Do a little homework and then follow your intuition. The world is always expanding into new frontiers, from the pony express (days, weeks, months, years?)  to electron mail that is in (milliseconds, seconds, minutes).

Move forward. Take the risk. Copy if you have to – but get out there and then really listen to your intuition so you can make course corrections if beneficial to you and the world.

What Next People?

So, what exciting things are you intending for 2012? What really sounds good to you versus what you “should” or “have to” do? I know, you may have things you don’t want to stop doing because of the impact on your life style. But what about the incremental steps you can start taking today to move you in the direction of what you really want to do and experience in your life? Dig down and dream, feel the excitement that comes with putting your ass on the line. Dream big and then take it step by step.

Go for it!

Show Up & Get in the Game

Last week my 2 daughters were in a play at school called Nanny Claus. Our older daughter got the lead role and our younger daughter got a total of 9 words to say. Our younger started with 3 and she was proud when she was able to get more. 

In addition to the entertainment, or maybe because of this it was entertaining, I saw something in how both of my daughters participated in the play. They both had presence. Not only were they there on stage, but they showed up. You could see a playful intention and commitment in the participation.

I can see this being the case with our older daughter who had the lead role, but it would have been easy enough for our younger daughter with the 9 words to check out. She could have dismissed her contribution because of the number of words she was able to say. And yet she did not, she was engaged just as much as her older sister – and I could see how that impacted the play. She was on and she had enthusiasm to do her best and it was obvious. She added to the energy, joy and entertainment of the play.

I write about this because we all have a chance to show up. Regardless of our part in the play of life –  we can all add to the energy, joy and entertainment of each others lives.

Stand. Step forward. Show up – fully. Let others see you. Let you see you.

What can you do today or tomorrow to show up? Make it simple and easy. And then do it again.

Failure or Feedback

We make a plan based on our vision, our high level approach, milestones and time estimates. And then we begin to execute against our plan. Some of us will move ahead taking action and some of us will avoid taking action. Why might some avoid taking action?

When we take action (or don't) we get results. For some, those results can be perceived as failure by using mistakes, missed dates, unwanted outcomes, rejection, lack of support, cost over-runs, etc. as evidence (of our failure).

Perceiving results in this way can be painful, diminish our energy, lower our confidence and even be used as an indicator of our value as an individuals. What is the outcome? We avoid taking some or all of the actions we can to realize our vision.

How might we view the results of our actions and our plans that will allow us to move forward unencumbered by the fear of failure?

By viewing our results as information. Information that does not define success or failure, but information that we can use to determine how we move forward. I can be disappointed or excited, but it is not a reflection on me as an individual. I get information, I decide how I want to move forward.

Moving Through Conflict

Some suggest that conflict is inevitable. I personally cannot agree or deny that idea.

What I have seen in others and experienced personally, is that speaking our truth – wants, needs, likes, dislikes and feelings about ourselves (versus others) goes a long way toward naturally dissolving what might have otherwise appeared as a irresolvable conflict.

Trying to maintain control might look like: You are always working or spending time with your friends. (The focus is on the other person.)

Letting go of control might look like: I like to spend time with you. I want to watch a moving with you this weekend. (The focus is on the speaker.)

If speaking our truth can be so effective in resolving conflict why don't we speak it? Because it means we must let go of our perceived control of the situation or outcome of the situation. Although it may be exactly what really needs to happen we are reluctant to let go of the known and step into the unknown. And yet, there is a powerful aliveness in letting go of the known.

Do you want richer, more satisfying and loving relationships? Let go of what you perceive to be control and safety and step into speaking the truth about you.

The Art of Connection

Over the past weekend I staffed a men's weekend, a retreat of sorts, attended by a total of 70 men. As a staff member there is a lot of ongoing preparation and work to keep everything running smoothly.

With that many men and so much to do things can get intense, egos can come into play, wanting to take center stage. Surprising as this may sound, egos were kept in check and the weekend ran smoothly. It was a great weekend with these men developing connection and relationship while working together.

So what do I credit for these men being able to create a relatively ego free weekend?

Speaking up to tell what is going on for them, as it relates to themselves and others. What causes a lot of unnecessary tension and strife in any relationship is the tendency to make assumptions and to create stories about what the other person might be thinking. What I saw and experienced on this weekend were men speaking up about their reactions to others. It was about saying what was true for them, having integrity and being authentic, not in a hostile ego way but in a "this is what is going on for me" way.

Is it always easy to say what is true in a relationship? No, it is not. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage. And sometimes it is going to be messy and not end the way we would like it. So why would you want to take the risk of a messy and confrontational situation?

Because real connection and rich relationships come from speaking up rather than avoiding or withholding. Do you want to really enjoy a connection with another individual – take the risk of speaking up. I find that 90% of the time my relationships become richer, deeper and more satisfying.

Learning how or getting better at saying what is true for us is an art. It takes practice and like creating art – each attempt is likely to be unique and to turn out as we would like through our repeated practice.

Creating New Habits

Most people would not expect or be in shape to run 5k or 10k with ease without some preparation and some regular exercise. Nor would you expect to run a marathon without preparation. Our bodies and minds need to prepare, to strengthen and adjust to each incremental increase in distance. And, with any significant challenge it takes intention and commitment – over and over again.

Not so different than physical development, making significant and even minor mental shifts require preparation, incremental strengthening and adjustments. And as with a physical challenge like running long distance, it will take intention and commitment, over and over again. The more significant a mental shift is for us the more important these characteristics become.

Is there something you have wanted to create or change in your life? Create support for yourself with others and GO FOR IT.

Isn’t your life worth it?