Archives for October 2010

Sometimes You Have to Drop Out to Drop In

Whenever we have a series of overcast and rainy days, it’s easy for me to succumb to the gloom and start to feel down. I began to feel sorry for myself this morning when I assessed that I’m not where I want to be on my life journey in a number of ways.

Yes, I’ve enjoyed many wonderful life experiences and reached many of my life goals. As a matter of fact, I now focus my work on helping others create happiness in their lives. And yet, because I’m human, I get sometimes get seduced into looking at the glass as half empty sometimes instead of half full.

When I get into such a funk, I don’t like it at first. Sometimes it hurts a lot. But then I realize that it is a blessing. It keeps me humble and it gives me a project from which I know I’ll eventually emerge as a stronger person and a better coach and writer. Not only that, my seeking for solutions causes me to test the many techniques I know are available. That way when I share ideas with you, they come from a real place, not a theory.

One thing that I do when I get into these moods is search for motivation and words of encouragement. This morning I was drawn to visit one of my favorite websites, TED, Technology Education and Design and there listened to Steve Jobs when he delivered the commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. I’ve heard it before, but evidently needed to hear it again.

The point that resonated with me was the idea that sometimes you have to drop out in order to drop into what you are called to do. I think about that in my life when I think of endeavors I abandoned because I no longer had passion for them. There are other times when a project appeared to be a failure, but later I saw that it freed me up to something even greater. He urges us to trust the process and the path we are on when we follow our passion.

I invite you to listen to Steve share three poignant stories from his life. Draw from his stories the lesson that will make a difference in your life.

Discover Yourself: Take a Vacation

Headed to lunch in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard, MA

Headed to lunch in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard, MA

When you set out on a vacation, you probably look forward to exploring new adventures, meeting new people and visiting intriguing places. All of those are likely to happen, but the most important discovery will be what you discover about yourself.

Since I’m just returning from a vacation connecting with new and old friends on the East Coast of the USA, I have recent and firsthand experience with self-discovery. Here is one thing I discovered.

There is peace in letting go.

Although I’ve been able to be flexible throughout my life, until now I’ve always thoroughly planned everything, including vacations. I had never taken a vacation without knowing where I would be sleeping each night, until this one.

My key plan was to observe the fall foliage in the mid-Atlantic states and visit a friend who was also my oldest daughter’s first violin teacher. I set aside two weeks and set off to meet my friend, Nancy, who lives in New Hampshire and who would be my first host.

Nancy was a little reluctant to tell me how things had changed in her life during the months since we originally planned my visit. Due to two major deaths in her family and a number of other changes, she was in transition so that meant that so was my vacation. I discovered that planning our stays and visits day to day was surprisingly peaceful for me since I couldn’t worry about what didn’t exist yet.

Because we were both flexible and open we stayed with very welcoming relatives along the way, landed a great hotel deal at the last minute in Boston, and due to a threatening storm took a train during part of our trip. As a result we enjoyed a trip that was far more enjoyable because it unfolded as we went along.

Even if you’re a planner like me and prefer to have everything clearly laid out before you begin, I encourage you to loosen up a bit and trust the Universe. We are not in control as much as we think we are in the first place. So relax, enjoy the scenery, the ride and embrace the surprise treasures along the way.