Sunday, December 11, 2011

How Long Will It Take?

A friend and I, by an outside view, could appear to be our own private book club. It’s true; we are on a path that has us reading some of the best books on the shelf to self improvement. Yet we are serious in our efforts. We are learning so much about ourselves. What we believe a thing to be, how we came to believe a thing to be, what we believe ourselves to be, and how we are challenging the very nature of all these beliefs. Mostly, what I am discovering about myself is how the beliefs I hold are not “global” truths about a topic, but really some fabrication of my own mind. I had never challenged or even considered some of these beliefs to be challengeable. Sound confusing? It sometimes can be, even for us on the journey.

My “new year of resolutions” is coming to a close. It’s been an excellent year for challenging myself, and seeing where I have come from and where I am now. Most notable to me is the realization of just how many fears hold me back, keep me from where I want to be, and once even resulted in illness. The thing about fear is that we don’t walk around saying to ourselves, “oh, I have to stay away from that because…” . We keep our distance from many things in the course of the day out of fear and never recognize it IS fear. We are blind to ourselves in this way. So imagine my shock when out of the blue, it occurred to me that one of my goals has been elusive because I’m walking around with an unacknowledged “fear” of my own.

What my fears are and toward what topics are not really relevant, only that I am now recognizing I have them. I learned the hard way in April, after a bout of shingles, and that I might possibly have brought this on during a period I considered close to crises. The crises of course had been a manufacture of my vivid imagination. Much of it was my own mind playing the fear game of imagined outcomes. Most of what we fear it turns out is what we “think” could happen up ahead. I had a lot of time to think during the illness, and decided to “get over myself” so to speak. I got back up, walked back into my life, and looked each day in the eye. I don’t assume any particular outcome anymore. I visualize what I want, not what I don’t want.

On the path to “better” there are humorous moments too. Like the constant reminder not to give up too soon.

“It will take two years to reach your goal” my friend is always saying to me.

He’s trying to keep me bolstered in the realization that our progress isn’t always visible in the day to day things, but over time looking behind us we can see the tremendous progress we have made. The two year mark was reinforced last week while my husband was watching golf. Tiger Woods had finally won his first tournament since the big scandal. When was that? You guessed it. That was exactly two years ago!

With the new year approaching I realize that I will need to extend my “new year of resolutions” at least for another year. I’m going to do as I do in business and assess where I am, make modifications where needed, and set new goals. But the journey will continue. For as in the words of my dear friend Lee Mowatt, “our up ahead has to look better than our behind.”

Reading List for your own journey:

360 Degree Leader by John C. Maxwell

Attitude is Everything by Keith Harell

Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

Developing The Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Go Put Your Strengths To Work by Marcus Buckingham

Healthy At 100 by John Robbins

Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley

Linchpin by Seth Godin

Maximum Confidence by Jack Canfield

Meditation in a NY Minute by Mark Thornton

Mind-Mapping by Michael Gelb

Quantum Memory Power by Dominic O’Brien

Ready for Anything by David Allen

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C Maxwell

The 7 Habits by Stephen R. Covey

The Angel Inside by Chris Widener

The Biology of Belief by Bruce H Lipton Ph.D

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

You Don’t Need a Title To Be A Leader by Mark Sanborn

You, The Owner’s Manual by Roizen and Oz

1 comment:

Deb said...

Read this just before I left. The two year rule seems to always apply even when we try to speed things up. We'll see where we are in two years, hopefully farther along the path than we see currently!

Great post.