Since my last blog, I hope that you’ve found more moments to listen and less moments to talk. Today’s entry connects to that hope in an ironic way. As I’ve gone from conversation to conversation with clients, family and friends, I’ve learned that, no matter what research or story I may offer (let alone listen to), at some point, I can’t do any more to help than to hope.
Yet it’s what we do before I rest on hope that matters.
Early in our work together, your imagination will be engaged. Literally, the first time we meet, I ask you, “What does success look like at the end of our work?” Your answer builds a sense of strategic optimism and grounds us in the always-important: Why we’re doing what we’re doing. That sense can build the necessary resilience it takes to sustain your effort, especially following the inevitable setbacks ahead.
In my early years of coaching, I believed identifying success with you was enough.
That all changed when I found a quote from President Kennedy.
“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
I suggest you read that one more time. Comfortable inaction.
Most people I know are more than half full of comfortable inaction. Now I make sure that you and I talk about your comfort by turning it into a second question:
In contrast to your vision of success, what will things be like if you choose to not change….to do what you’ve done up until now?
We make sure that we put your two answers side by side as a guide to our future conversations, looking with clear eyes at what happens when you choose to act.
Are you moving toward your described future success, or are you resting comfortably?
Purposely hard homework: Find that imagination of yours and write one paragraph that describes what your life will be like in six months if you rest in your comfort.
Then, stay in that same imagination and describe what could be accomplished if you invested yourself into six months of sustained new effort.
I invite you to be candid and look with clear eyes. However, I can only hope….