Sometimes it’s not obvious how this advice applies – especially the second point – so if you aren’t sure how it would work for you and your talk, contact me and I’ll help you see it.
Some years ago I was invited to do a TEDx talk on creating a world without borders.
I am reminded of this often when I help clients to create a life without boundaries.
Borders and boundaries both emerge from the same thinking.
It is an insidious kind of thinking that keeps one always on edge, always needing the borders and boundaries, and thus keeping oneself in place.
When you see beyond this thinking though – whether we are discussing time management or human movement – borders and boundaries both become irrelevant.
Repetition is the mother of all skill.
Many people get bored doing the same thing over and over and over again.
However, if you don’t have consistency and repetition, then you won’t develop mastery or excellence.
So how do you overcome the boredom?
The answer is not in ‘overcoming’ the boredom. One need not ‘feel the boredom and do it anyway.’
Boredom actually only occurs when you see nothing changing. Thus boredom is the result of a focus on sameness.
If you want to achieve mastery, then you need to shift your focus to difference.
In the pursuit of excellence, while you’re repeating the something over and over again, most of the difference will be subtle.
Despite it being subtle, if you focus on what is different, you will see difference, you will stay engaged and you will never be bored.
“DAAAAAD! DAAA DAAA! DAAAAAAADD!”, he screamed at the top of his lungs.
It was 5:45am. He was half asleep and still in our bed with his mother and I had just gotten up to begin my day.
For the past two hours he’d been waking up, moaning each of our names, most likely from night terrors.
This time though, he was screaming bloody murder. I’d never heard him scream for me this loud before.
My heart jumped into double time, I turned and dove back into the bed next to him.
“It’s OK buddy. I’m here. Daddy is here. Daddy loves you, “ I assured while cuddling him and stroking his hair.
His eyes were still closed, but as he snuggled into me his screaming for me slowed and stopped.
I remember my friend Rich telling me once about when his son first called for him by ‘Dad’ from another room how it was a moment of realizing on a deeper level that he was a father and that he had a son.
When this morning, my boy – whose dream had most likely been influenced by my leaving the bed – screamed for me, it woke me up to a new depth of my fatherhood. The way I turned and jumped back towards the bed, even though intellectually I knew nothing wrong, was so primal; so fatherly.
I love meeting this part of myself. A part that had been there my whole life waiting to be activated.
The father inside me.
When my son was about a year old, I once covered his ears while a firetruck was driving by us with it’s sirens blaring.
Since shortly after this he has taken to covering his own ears whenever he hears a siren.
Most often, at first I wonder why he is doing it.
“There are no sirens right now…?”
But when I finish speaking the thought that things aren’t right, in the silence of my confusion a very distant and faint siren can be heard. Blocks away, maybe even the next town over.
Without a barrage of thoughts firing inside my head I am so much more available to experience the depth of what is actually happening around me, right now.
And so these moments when my boy raises his hands to cover his ears for the siren, I am taking as an alert to the profundity of his presence and a call for my own.
While there is great power in seeing how one may be living life as a victim of circumstance and learn to instead own their destiny, the idea that one can own anything is actually double edged.
Anyone who owns a home knows that, in another way, their home also owns them. Maintenance, mortgage, taxes…it never stops demanding of you.
The owner is also the victim.
What I see is a third stage which transcends victimhood and ownership all-together…
When I was younger and travelling, I sometimes carried a knife. I carried it for defence in case I met violence.
After a while I stopped carrying it though. I had gotten a sense that by pro-actively protecting myself against potential violence, I was also carrying violence with me.
While journaling just now, I was exploring how I might meet a recurring situation that creates tension for me and I was reminded of the knife.
With my inquiry I had been looking for a dependable solution; something I could do that handled the situation in an effective way. When I remembered the knife, two insights came.
First, my lack of an effective response in the moment is actually due to my state of being. Being tense was narrowing my focus. A relaxed and loving state of being is the only place I can truly respond creatively from.
Second, although the situation appears to be recurring, it is not because every familiar situation also has a uniqueness to it.
My experience has been that being unarmed (not having my knife with me) is very different from being disarmed (choosing to leave my knife at home).
With the former, I simply felt less able to protect myself. With the latter, I carried an awareness that much more is possible – ‘more’ that I could not access with a knife in my pocket or a ‘how’ in my mind.
To live life disarmed is to meet every moment with not knowing.
And surrender to the present is the path to the infinite.
Most everyone has heard the idea that you are the average of the people you spend the most time with. Most often this is applied to income in that your income will Be the average of your 5-10 closest friends.
There is interesting research that shows how it is not only the case that your friends influence you, but also your friend’s friends and your friend’s, friend’s friends. This works not just for income, but political beliefs and even your waistline.
However, it struck me recently like a ton of bricks that there is a whole other side to this. One I’ve never heard anyone talking about.
Competitiveness gets a bad wrap. My process of accepting that I AM fiercely competitive has been to discover more nuance in what competition actually is (or can be).
Here is one of those nuances…
Are you inadvertently putting your Netflix subscription above your relationship?
Just asking…since I realized I was! 😳