Tag Archives: Finding Your Way
An Easier Way to Find Your Way
Have you ever set a goal for yourself that left you feeling less than fulfilled when you actually achieved it?
Maybe it was a target you wanted to meet, a possession you longed to acquire, or a promotion you were hoping to receive. You kept your eye on the ball and hunkered down to do whatever it took to get there. When obstacles presented themselves, you busted through them and may have felt as though you were repeatedly banging your head against a wall. “The reward for your exhaustion would be the sweet taste of victory in the end,” you may have told yourself.
I did. And when I got to the top of the hill I was climbing I realized the mountain I was scaling was not mine, but someone else’s.
What if it didn’t have to be that hard?
Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t expect to be carried around on a stretcher, nor would I want to be. But I do think it’s possible to enjoy the journey a little more. And if we didn’t insist on having to blaze the trail in front of us, we might find that off in the distance a lovely path is being revealed – if only we would stop long enough to pay attention.
When I take on new clients, they are often in the same state I have often found myself in. They have worked hard to get somewhere, but they know in their hearts there is something greater available to them. Perhaps they haven’t been getting the results they wanted, have been experiencing a great deal of stress or even burnout, or are just ready for a change. During times like these often the best thing we can do is not to speed up, but to slow down – way down.
If the path you’re running on isn’t getting you where you want to go, moving faster won’t do you any favors.
I have found over the years that the best leaders are not those who have all the answers, but rather those who ask the best questions. What are the possibilities? What are the opportunities? How are we uniquely positioned to make the most of them? In what ways can we leverage our strengths to rise up to our challenges? In asking such questions, these leaders bring to the surface answers, insights and knowledge people hold inside that allow great things to happen. Rather than imposing a vision on others, they allow it to develop collectively, with the knowledge that they can’t possibly see and accomplish everything singlehandedly.
Before these great leaders can do this for others, they must do it for themselves. So I challenge you (and myself as well) to focus on asking the important questions and to be still long enough to hear the answers.
In Native American cultures, young adults are sent on vision quests. These rituals involve sending the youth on a journey, packed with provisions that allow basic needs to be met. Instructions are simply to wander around and find a place that calls to them. Upon doing so, further direction is simply to sit and reflect. The belief behind this is that we do not necessarily need to actively find our vision. When we quiet ourselves and pay attention, our visions find us.
In our complex society, few of us have the time to go wander around the desert and sit for indefinite periods of time. So we need to make the time in our busy schedules to connect the dots. This may be a few minutes here and there. You may find yourself repeatedly daydreaming about something, or playfully entertaining an idea or possibility that will not allow itself to be dismissed.
These are critical pieces of information that, like pieces of a puzzle, will eventually come together to reveal a bigger picture. Pay attention to them, and do whatever is necessary to nurture and protect them. Capture these thoughts on paper or in your computer and add to them as new ideas continue to emerge. Some of these nuggets will become more valuable to you than others – like gold in the miner’s pan, they will begin to shine amongst the grains of sand.
Notice also the synchronicities that occur all around you that help make your visions real – chance encounters with people uniquely connected or qualified to help you, valuable information that effortlessly comes your way, and little serendipities that allow you to feel as though you are in the flow of something bigger than yourself. Chances are, you will be.
Enjoy the ride!
This article contains an exerpt from my new book The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be, available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
For more on Finding Your Way:
Deciphering Signs, Synchronicities and Meaningful Coincidences
In Search of Greatness: Finding Your Zone
Businessman picture by Nikola Hristovski from Dreamstime.com.
Jigsaw picture by Jasenka from Dreamstime.com.
Why I Can’t Promote My New Book Just Yet
A NOTE FROM DIANE:
I almost didn’t post the above video. It’s personal. And it was recorded in a fragile moment. But then I remembered how comforted I have felt by messages from people who were courageous enough to talk about the challenges and frustrations they were working through. And I decided, the hell with it. I’m going to put the video up. If it lifts the hearts of just one or two people, it’ll be worth it.
If you’ve ever been in a spot where, despite having access to an overwhelming amount of information and people that seem to have it all figured out, you just can’t seem to find any answers — know that you are not alone. And please also know, that you too will find your way.
Here is the written version of what I said in the video:
People have been asking me, What have you done to promote your book? Do you have a publicist? Are you going on tour?
I wrote this book — The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be. It took me six years to write it. It’s been out for three months. And I can’t get myself to promote it. I can’t get myself to do anything with it. And I know that I should.
So the other day, I was watching a webcast from someone talking about how to become a best seller — how to become a trusted advisor. And I began to fill my head with all these things I thought I should be doing. I found myself taking copious notes. And I got to this point where I couldn’t watch it anymore. I had to turn it off. Something got into me and I literally had to go cry. And I cried so hard I almost threw up.
After all that passed, I realized that the reason that I can’t promote my book yet is that I’m looking so hard outside of myself for people to tell me what to do in an arena where I don’t feel like I have the answers. And the irony is that the book I wrote is about how to trust your inner wisdom and how to navigate through your challenges and your uncertainty.
And so when I got done crying I had to start laughing. Because it’s kind of funny that I actually already have the workbook I need. It’s right here [in the book I’ve poured my heart into for the last six years].
The truth of the matter is that this book isn’t really as much for you as it is for me. And before I can really promote it — before I can feel as though it will be of value to people, I need to live it. And that’s what I’m going to do.
For more on finding your way:
Finding Your Answer in the Midst of Chaos
From Frustration to Fruition
Leading Through Uncertainty
Embracing Life’s Uncertainty
Enduring a Stormy State of Mind
The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be