I am a frequent traveler and I have come to value the massive amount of time I spend in airports and on airplanes as my time, to relax, listen to music, read and respond to emails, or watch a movie on my iPad. To that end, I have developed a habit of putting on my “I don’t really want to talk to you” face, and my noise cancelling headphones in case my neighbor is not great at reading my face. I share this at the risk of being judged as anti-social, or two-faced because I claim to love to coach and talk to people, and at the same time I don’t want to be bothered with people sitting next to me on the plane. But, as I have no insecurities about my willingness to spend countless hours coaching people and doing so with undivided attention, I can tell the truth. That’s how I have been acting while traveling.
Since you are reading this post, chances are you’re on the lookout for ways to enhance your experience of leadership and life, and because of that, you’re better off than most. That makes you just the right person for me to have this “conversation” with because you and I both know deep down there is more fulfillment and significance to be experienced.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! …It is also that time of the year when you might be reflecting on what you don’t have, and what you haven’t been doing right, and you’re likely feeling compelled to close the gap between where you are and where you think you ought to be by making new year’s resolutions. (I speak from personal experience). Most of us don’t even remember what resolutions we made this time last year, probably because we haven’t thought about them for over 11 months! You could argue the statistics but I tend to believe that, by far, most resolutions are broken and forgotten about in about 14 days.
As kids, we had to be told to brush our teeth before we went to bed, and at some point, we decided that this was something we would always do. Once that decision was made, it was not a matter of whether we felt like it or not. On the other end of the spectrum, we may have had habits like playing with matches or sticking objects into electrical outlets that, at some point, we decided we would never do. Sound familiar? These simple examples represent a vast number of decisions we have made throughout our lives, whether we recognize the exact moment we made them or not.
Imagine that in all aspects of your life there is a spectrum of things you could do, and that this spectrum is divided into three sections. The far left section contains things you would never do, the far right section contains things you will always do, and in the section in the middle, which we will call the maybe zone, things that you would make a decision to do or not on a case-by-case basis.
This is a question worth pondering from time to time. Let’s face it, it happens to the best of us, we fall into patterns and live some aspects of our lives as if we were in the movie “Groundhog Day.” No matter how successful we are at dealing with issues, and/or creating new possibilities in some areas of our lives, we all have pesky problems that keep coming up—the ones we just can’t seem to gain any traction on resolving. Recurring thoughts about topics that get us nowhere take over our minds and eventually it feels like we’re running in a pool of molasses.