Several weeks ago I received the following message from one of our readers. My heart went out to this troubled soul who wrote:
"I've come to the point that I believe in nothing, my self esteem is in the gutter, and I don't know what to do with the rest of my life. changing careers and going back to school just seems too daunting. I need the line of work that I'm in to pay the mortgage even though I think I'd rather be doing something else."
So I wrote back:
"My heart goes out to you. It really does.
I'm wondering though — are you ready to do something about your situation? I know this may sound overly dramatic or confronting but I'm going to ask it anyway. Have you suffered enough in your present stuck place to do something that will be effective in moving forward?
I know how daunting these dark night of the soul experiences can be. If you don't believe I know, download the book excerpt from my home page and read the intro. I also know that we all have different 'thresholds of pain' and until we reach our limit, it's tough to make any real or lasting difference.
Are you there yet?"
Perhaps I was too much on the ruthless end and didn't balance it with enough compassion, but to date I've not heard back. But I've kept this person in my prayers, and just this past week I read the following coaching joke online:
One. But the light bulb has to want to change.
Kind of cute, yet in another sense it's no laughing matter. Change is tough for a lot of people. But is there a way to make it just a little bit easier…maybe even a lot easier?
Maybe it's time to quit trying to change your life, and begin to create it instead.
The Creative Tension of the Gap
The number one 'coaching tip' I would offer to our friend who finds himself quagmired in his life right now, and anyone else wanting to make changes but not knowing how would be to shift the frame from 'wondering how to change' to asking the question:
"What do I want to create?" As Robert Fritz points out in his book, The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life, it is a vitally important question to ask.
When you ask it, it begins to move you out of the circumstances of your life and into a new future. You see, as long as you're stuck in the circumstances — "I hate my job but can't afford to quit, I'm not getting along with my spouse, I don't know what to do with my life, etc. then the best you can hope to do is to get creative with your problem solving. And problem solving, even creative problem solving isn't creating. From Fritz:
"When you are solving a problem, you are taking action to have something go away: the problem. When you are creating, you are taking action to have something come into being: the creation. Notice that the intentions of these actions are opposite."
So, what do you want to create in your life? Step out of the current circumstances of your life, whatever they may be, and step into the future, and create a visionary reality for yourself. What do you want to create your life to be like? Don't worry about the 'how to' at this point. Just have fun creating. To spark the flame of your creativity, ask yourself the question:
"If money, time, talent and resources were unlimited who would I be and what would I create my life to be like?"
Sit with this question in meditation and prayer. Talk with your loved ones about it, ponder upon it, write about it. Have fun with it. Don't worry if at first nothing comes up clearly. Often times our creative dream machine needs a little oiling. Just hang in with it for awhile and see what begins to be born.
A Few Purposeful Pointers
Here are a few suggestions for making your visionary reality a tool for attracting the resources that will make the vision a reality:
1- Imagine you've stepped into the future when your life is really working and then describe what you see. Include what it feels like, smells like, and even tastes like. Since you're standing in the future as you describe it, write it in the present tense.
2- Make it as detailed and multi-sensory as you can. Swing out and really have fun with the description.
3- Focus on what's present rather than what's no longer present. For example, rather than writing, "I'm no longer feeling stuck in a job I hate," try writing, "I love the work I'm now able to do that not only provides me with plenty of money for all my needs. It also allows me to express my creativity and make a real difference in the world." Can you feel the difference.
A Blog Bonus
I would really love to read some of your visionary realities so here's what I'm going to offer in the spirit of being of service. To the first 10 people who post their visionary reality on the Living & Working On Purpose Blog, I'll give you your choice of either of these special reports:
1- ** Purposeful Prosperity: Living a Life of Mindful Abundance Balanced with Simplicity
** Transforming Overwhelm to Joyously Experiencing the Fullness of a Life On Purpose
AND those ten names will go into a hat and the one I draw out will win a copy of either of these books:
I know it takes courage to put your dreams and visions out into the world, but I'm hoping there are at least 10 people that have the courage and will take the time. The posts don't have to be long. A good paragraph or two will do, or a summary of what you've written. Just let them be heart felt. The point of the exercise is to inspire you to step into a bigger possibility for your life. The possibility of creating your life on purpose.
Post your visionary reality right here under comments.