I held a few coaching sessions recently that brought to mind the need for many of us to hold on to something solid during our exploration of future possibilities. While it is important to keep a strong intention about what we want to create, it may feel, in the moment, like we are swimming upstream in deep waters. Wouldn’t it be lovely to rest our feet on solid ground… at least for a while.
As each client peered down from their Purpose, i.e. “What am I here for?” a few levels down the Levels of Thinking (reference Robert Dilts and Louise Lebrun)to the level of Competence/Strategies, i.e. “How can I do what I am aspiring to do”, I noticed they were able to explore exciting avenues in a way that felt tangible and more secure to them.
For example, if as a young person I aspire to connect young professionals in a big city to a community on a human scale, and I happen to have a passion for high quality food and wine, I may consider How to’s such as: Developing my knowledge about the industry; Developing my connections with my future clientele through social networking; and Acquiring enterpreneurial skills. Strategies tend to come mostly in threes for some funny reason, and are big buckets of related activities that help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. But instead of starting from ‘here’ and scratching your head about getting to ‘there’, you start with the dream, and align what you are planning to do to your calling.
For this young person, the process of becoming today what she is aspiring to be, and engaging others with that intention fully present, will have very different results from the incremental change she was creating by continuing to think about a future perfect from the opposite side of the fence.
Another young man felt that testing out strategies in a new field without losing site of his bigger intention enabled him to consider his future with less fear and feed the fire in his belly with every new encounter. He noticed that many of the steps he was considering built on one another. When speaking passionately about the ‘How to’ within the context of a bigger purpose, resources begun to appear he had not imagined were out there.
With a third client we called it Decloaking, i.e. actually bellying up to the bar about your intention and identifying some streams of activities that help you discover more about yourself in addition to your possible endeavours.
By the way, I have learned for myself that my best strategies have usually been staring me right in the face all along.