As we are opening the new year and I am reflecting on all that is happening in the world, I keep reflecting on a theme that’s central to our coaching model:
You can’t control what happens to you on your hero’s journey… but you can choose how you respond.
This is an idea many of us have heard. And right now we’re all getting a masters level class in this idea and how to apply it in our lives.
There’s a famous quote (which is often misattributed to Viktor Frankl) that speaks to this theme:
“Between stimulus and response there is space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
The question becomes: how do I choose how I respond? (Especially when I really don’t like what is happening?)
Think of this like a muscle. You can build the muscle of choosing how you respond. I say what we all need are some tools to support us to build this muscle.
One way I’ve learned to build this muscle is through clearing up unfinished business. By clearing up something incomplete, I am demonstrating that I can choose where to focus my energy. And it has the added benefit of helping me free up energy for the next task in front of me.
For example: Is there a call I’ve been meaning to make? Have I been meaning to pay back a friend who lent me money? Do I have an important email that has been weighing on my mind? Even something as small as cleaning out one drawer in my desk can do this trick.
While these actions are not about how we respond to unpredictable situations, these kinds of actions will prepare us to choose how we respond when something unpredictable happens.
There are schools of thought out there that say we can “think our way to success.” At ACE, we say that thoughts are good, but that authentic, focused action is what will support you to make the kind of difference you’re here to make.
And for those of you who want to coach others to this kind of focused action, the best way to do so is to become intimately familiar with it in your own life.
I invite you to try it out. What’s one small piece of unfinished business you can clear up by the end of the day today?
Once you do, ask yourself: what’s my energy like right now? How might this prepare me for choosing my response during a more unpredictable situation?
If you are inspired to reply to this email and share your reflections to these questions, please do so (even if it’s just a couple of sentences)!
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And if you are interested in developing your own capacity to choose how you respond, either personally or as a coach for others, I invite you to take a look at our upcoming course schedule:
We have a few options for joining the Mastering Life’s Energies course in the next couple of months: