How is your 2013 going? Are you coming up short on your hopes? Or exceeding your expectations?
I am writing this on a flight across the pacific. At 38,000 feet I get into the zone. And I am going to treat myself with some reflective thoughts over dinner. At this point in the game, reflecting is a form of celebration and how I choose to approach my birthday.
There is something thrilling about being on the move, traveling and visiting new places. New places open you up to experiences you did not anticipate. New situations help you stay or become versatile and agile. Meeting new people stimulates new conversations and learning. And new opportunities liberate your talents and creativity.
In the last few weeks I've worked with different teams in Phoenix, Sunnyvale, Naples, San Ramon, Houston, Jupiter Island, and Shanghai. I work with people who are the best in the world at what they do. We work on creating new futures for their businesses and organizations. It is thrilling work because I get to peer into multiple futures through the executives I work with. And through their breakthroughs I get to experience possibilities I could not imagine on my own.
Think about this idea. You can realize the potential of your accelerating universe. You can participate in not just one but multiple futures through the people and teams you help and lead. I do not mean this in metaphoric terms, but in actuality.
We are indoctrinated by the material world to think we can only be in one place at one time and can therefore experience only one single future. But the greater thrill is experiencing multiple scenarios and bridging multiple futures through the contribution you make to others. I promise, I did not fall off the deep end. You have the ability and the potential to bend time and space by and through the contribution you make to the lives of others.
Please forward this KEY to friends, family and associates.
Spring Reboot 2013
Now, it is the time of year when you may need a spring reboot. Are you operating in your optimal zone? Do you need to adjust and recalibrate your focus and effort?
If you tolerate suboptimal environments and practices, you allow in compromise that's hurting your well-being, joy, and capacity for growth.
The most prevalent reason people settle for less is a lingering subconscious belief that they do not deserve better. This false belief is rooted in feelings of low self-worth. And low self-worth and esteem are themselves a false belief internalized earlier in life from distorted impressions or values. Whatever the case is, spring or life reboot is about clearing space for better and greater opportunities to find you.
Now I am not talking about avoiding struggle. Struggle and challenges are essential ingredients in the sauce of a life well lived. But if you struggle today with the same challenges you faced a year ago, and three and five years ago, you have allowed stagnation into your life.
Progress is not a challenge-free life. Progress is working on new challenges and discovering new capacities you did not know were latent in you.
What are some of the essential elements that make for joyous and happy living?
Here is a short brief:
- Take command of your situation. Refuse to be at the mercy of events.
- Create a high degree of autonomy so you can work at your optimal cadence.
- Develop mastery in what you do. Whatever you do, do it well.
- Work to make a difference for others every day. You realize your purpose for being here by making your family, friends, clients, and total strangers better. Help their success. Make them better in your presence.
- Build rich relationships. Relationships are the ultimate renewable resource.
Here are five themes and practices I've put in place to propel and enhance my work and collaboration this year:
- Focus: Much is happening on many fronts and at multiple levels. It is ever more critical to separate what matters from the noise. Practice being able to swiftly shift from divergent open-ended exploration to laser focus on the matter at hand.
- Elevation: These are unprecedented times in both the complexity of issues and the velocity of change. What's urgently needed is not more of the same but an elevated way of looking at the issues. Make the complex simple by elevating the conversation.
- Courage: Have courage to be new in you; courage to be a new you with others; courage to let go of preconceived ideas; courage to say "I don't know yet, but I am sure that together we can find the best approach to this challenge." Courage to learn. Courage to trust others. Courage to trust yourself.
- Healing: There is profound healing nearby. The great secret all good doctors know is that the body's natural state is to heal itself. How you think about yourself and your life, your beliefs and your attitudes, and learning to listen inside can dramatically enhance and accelerate the healing process. In my spiritual practice I have been involved with healing for more than 30 years. I now know that the body serves as a teacher in the healing process.
- Resolve: Resolve is the essence of living on purpose. Learn to embrace what life brings to you with the determination to make the most of every situation. Resolve is what makes your net of experiences a connected and conductive Internet of possibilities. Resolve is setting in motion the process of actualizing what you are meant to be doing and then nourishing this process with consistency. Resolve means there is only one failure: not picking yourself up to make the next attempt; not taking the next step. Resolve is the mother of serendipity.
At age 13 I decided life was purposeful. I was determined to discover the purpose of living and how I could live purposefully. It was a youthful, often confusing pursuit.
At 18 it seemed to me many were entering the endless race of life with the hope to win. Joining the race appeared as a form of abdicating the purpose inquiry. Some would find success and feel they had earned the permission to reengage the inquiry of purpose later in life, perhaps at 45 or 55.
At 22, while still serving in the air force, I decided to do the reverse journey. I resolved to first work on the purpose inquiry. The material question would take care of itself as a byproduct of my pursuit. It was a prayerful intent, more intuitive than rational; more an impulse than an analysis.
At 32 I was in some ways living a double life, operating in the world at one level but not being completely in it. The parts did not connect very well and produced resistance, testing my resolve.
At 54 life now feels increasingly like an integrated whole. Not complete; not perfect; but more relaxed. And happier. I am at the midpoint and an evolving work in progress. That's the product of resolve. I am here to report that the invisible side of resolve is to surrender to the summons of possibility and accept what beckons as you unfold the scroll of living to write the story of becoming. Where living into the realization of why you are here is continually more adventurous and mysterious.
I look forward with anticipation to what tomorrow brings and how it will make me a little wiser. Freedom is discovering today how uninformed or foolish I was three months ago and being ready to embrace the uplift of new perception, permission and capability.
This is my spring reboot. Now, how about yours?
© Aviv Shahar