From the archives October 20, 2006
I’ve been much busier lately. I’ve been getting out more, experiencing more, working more, and enjoying the ride. As a coach, I’m challenged to create my life daily rather than just go about life’s repetitions every day. Going about life’s repetitions for over a decade led to me waking up one day wondering, “How did I get here?” I hear similar views and feelings from many people. I read about it in the papers, see shows that reflect a similar reality, and meet folks at the coffee shop lamenting the same meaninglessness. Meaning in life is important. Rather than talk about meaning and purpose today, as I’ve usually done in the past, I’m instead going to talk about creating my life daily.
As I said, I’m a coach and one would expect a coach to have their shit together or to at least know their shit. A pun or two inadvertently enjoyed there. Now some of you are chuckling and yet, I wonder how many of you are also surprised to learn that a coach has problems? Well, again this would be a matter of perspective.
My business history involved problem-solving and creating and managing change, and these were two of the most common themes and talents I exercised naturally for more than a decade. I was good at what I did and I was good with people. I never saw what was impossible and only focused on what is possible. I rarely took ‘no’ for an answer and frequently inspired other’s perspectives to find the solutions. This is where a problem perspective has the opportunity to transform into seeing what is possible. This is a crucial moment of recognizing the power you have with choice. Choice has less to do with outer outcome or circumstances and more to do with inner being.
Being at choice is important to creating my day. Each day I wake up knowing what I don’t want via past experiences. This allows me to reframe the ‘don’t want‘ into a powerful positive ‘want‘. Stating verbally what I want energizes and strengthens the ownership I have for creating the life I desire. It’s useful to be specific as possible and yet, without data we have little information to be specific with; worse still, with bad data – bad experiences – we have incorrect or incomplete data to state what is wanted. Nonetheless, this exercise opens up power, choice, and possibility for what is to come on this day.
Embarking upon the journey today, I welcome each and every experience and social interaction. Where situations offer it, I am able to articulate and reframe where necessary what I do or don’t want in a given area of my life. Without specifics for what I do want, I may substitute the tangibles with intangibles; qualities that will satisfy my inner spirit. This exercise, being new in action or objective, may require some blind groping initially that are full of intangibles; until enough experience has yielded the information that allows you to clarify the tangibles. This is the art of creating your life.
It is knowing that you are at choice at every moment of every day. Even a non-choice is a choice. Every mistake or bad experience is useful information that offers insight into right action for future choices. Again, knowing that you are at choice allows for mistakes without self-blame. Instead, mistakes are met with gratitude and embraced to enact change that will bring about more positive experiences. Where the future cannot be envisioned, I can project my want with intangibles such as joy, fulfillment, love, or whatever other descriptor that will shift my energy to focus on the power of wants rather than the negativity of ‘don’t wants’. Then I enjoy the journey and the process and embrace the natural unfolding of me and my life. Do we ever stop learning about ourselves?
Try using any combination of the following to help you create your day:
What do I want?
What don’t I want?
Repeated intentionally: What do I want?
What is my passion?
What is my purpose?
What brings me joy?
What causes me to forget the time?
What do I want more of?
What do I want less of?
State as often as possible what I want.
Notice what I’m doing and how or who I am being.
Notice qualities, traits, characteristics, etc. about self and others.
Observe my beliefs and emotions:
Are they serving me?
Am I serving them?
What is it costing me?
What am I saying Yes to?
What am I saying No to?