At the age of eleven I grew up seemingly overnight. My dad, who was then 41, had a stroke. Everything changed for the family. Dad’s recovery was slow; he was able to return to work in about six months with only limited residual impact.
For me, it seemed like my childhood was lost and I became more diligent and responsible given dad’s limited capacities. I felt the need to be strong and dependable to help hold the family together. Doing so seemed to please my parents very much, and I continued to play this role as I launched my own life and became a husband and father.
As our two children left the nest and Wendy and I became grandparents a few years ago, a spark of discovery returned. Observing young Weston — and little Ella now that we live 20 minutes away — has rekindled new sparks of curiosity and wonder in all of us.
Where do you find yourself seeking guarantees and sure things in your life? How has doing so diminished or snuffed out your spark of discovery? Where and how can you rekindle this sense of aliveness throughout this new year?
“Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.”
—Marguerite De Angeli, 20th Century American writer/book illustrator
Image from Amazon
Being persistent and staying the course is a solid approach to discovery and achieving excellence, offered to us all. These days it seems fewer and fewer of us take this approach. It appears that the pursuit of/grasping for pleasure and comfort and the avoidance of discomfort and pain has softened many of us to far more frequently pursue the paths of least resistance.
Over the years I’ve been repeatedly introduced to the Japanese concept of IKIGAI, which is defined as a central purpose or reason for being. Two of the most common perspectives on this topic relate to either a societal or personal view of life that can drive our daily pursuits.
What is your personal or societal IKIGAI? How has or can it fuel you to follow more of the long and difficult walls of life until you discover and open the doors to your destiny?
“When your past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing to say.”
Image from Unsplash by Hadija Saidi
Or maybe it does.
Most of us have had the experience of meeting with an old friend or former schoolmate, in which the stories and discussions reoccur like Groundhog Day. It’s like a record that keeps skipping back to play the same old tunes.
In such situations, we often tune things out and feel our lives wasting away because we’ve already been there and done that.
Alternatively, what if the lessons of the past were never fully learned and they present themselves again, hoping you have new lenses to see what you may have missed on the first, second, or third go-around?
Discovering what’s new might actually be more up to you than what appears frozen in time.
What would be the value of not always using your caller ID when you see a call from your past? How might you listen differently to discover new value in their messages?
There is at least one bright spot in our economy as a result of the pandemic having kept many of us home. Game sales of all types are rocketing!
What indoor, outdoor, high-tech, low-tech and even retro games from your youth have come off the shelf in your home?
For many families, the good old-fashioned jigsaw puzzle is making a comeback. Puzzle maker Ravensburger’s sales rose 370% in March!
Recall a time when you completed a puzzle with others, especially if those others were children. How did they act and react when you filled in the blank spaces compared to when they discovered the missing pieces on their own?
Where are you taking it upon yourself to fill in the blanks for others in your personal and professional communities?
Where would letting others fill in the blanks be the best strategy to take today?
“My joy in learning is partly that it enables me to teach.”
—Seneca, first century Roman philosopher
Image from Unsplash by jeshoots.com
My coaching relationships begins with several “discovery” sessions in which my clients crystallize and clarify what they wish to learn and how they intend to grow.
I often joke with them that they are pursuing “A PhD in Me” through this unique and customized relationship.
In the early stages, they may look to me or others they respect and watch how we lead, manage, coach, or communicate. Very quickly they begin practicing and engaging in similar efforts to further their mastery journey. Soon after, or even at the same time, I encourage them to play the role of coach, mentor, or teacher to share what they are learning with others.
Where and with whom can you be a teacher to more joyfully experience the pleasure of learning and contribute more of yourself to others?
“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.”
—Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism
Image from Unsplash
No quote captures my business and personal coaching work purpose better than this one!
A large percentage of people I work with in the business world rarely experience a perfect fit between who they are and what they do.
I see this most often when people seek coaching because they have a heightened awareness of this gap in their fulfillment and satisfaction, and choose to make an intentional transition with this huge chunk of their life.
To put you in closer touch to the work you are meant to do, consider reading these books: