I have a friend who recently went to Japan. Whilst there he met a Buddhist monk who happened to be leading their meditation session. Now the thing with my pal was he had a big question he wanted answering, perhaps one that we all want to be answered “despite having it all why don’t I feel contented?”.
Having come this far he thought it would be a shame not to ask the question so he did. The monk thought for a while and then said “do more of what makes you feel good about yourself”. Simples eh?
For me this translates from the original Japanese into “do more of what makes you feel energised”. This message kind of supports something my father told me years ago: “don’t divide your life into work and play son; look at it as things you like doing and things you don’t”. Wise words Poppa, thank you.
So how does this help to get your life back then? Well I think we all end up doing things that take energy away from us (for God knows how many reasons) and not doing enough of the things that turn us on.
So here’s the skinny. Start looking at your life as being made up of a number of conductors: those that channel energy towards you (and make you feel better) and those that suck energy away from you (and, guess what, make you feel worse).
This takes a bit of doing actually but when you get the hang of it three things will happen: –
- You will work harder to avoid engaging with the things that are negative conductors – more on this when we explore saying “no” in the next GYLB blog in the New Year.
- You will more easily spot those positive conductors that make you feel good about yourself.
- You will begin to take a longer term view of those stubborn negative conductors that you can’t get rid of easily and how to position yourself to get more of the positive conductors that won’t just drop into your lap.
That last point is the one to focus on. Have you heard this one? “when you’re up to your ass in alligators it is difficult to remember that you are there to drain the swamp”. Cheery thought eh?
All of us, especially me, spend a good deal of our time and energy on the here-and-now and soon-to-be: if it isn’t pressing and proximate (and biting our ass) we just don’t have the time for it. This means that change, which takes planning and thought (just like draining a swamp does, I would imagine), does not come readily which just leaves us with those alligators snapping away.
With the New Year almost upon us why don’t you start by identifying your positive and negative conductors and doing something about them. Here are some of mine: –
- People – I am going to actively see less B1 and B3 and more B2 and B4 people (see #1 http://wp.me/pY2x4-7o)
- Work – more speaking, more writing, more small group coaching, more client liaison (B2 and B4 only), less coaching the subjects I don’t like and avoidance of work I just know is going to be trouble from the start.
- Self – I really like exercise but don’t make enough time for it. I think this must stop. I will treat exercise like a client meeting: booked and honoured.
- Home – clutter drains energy from me more than pretty much anything else. I am going to dejunk big style!
In the final analysis we won’t do more of what energises us unless we have control of our lives. That control won’t happen without our intervention and that intervention won’t happen unless we make time for it. That leads nicely into the next instalment “saying NO”.
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