Last weekend, I spoke with a close friend and colleague who is also a successful comedian. She had just finished two nights at an important show. She shared her excitement over her performance as well as a bit of disappointment it was over. In the midst of her storytelling, something clicked. She paused and her tone shifted.
“The thing is, I don’t want to admit this to myself, but the joy is really in the process,” she said. “The process is the part I really love.”
And she’s right. We spend so much energy thinking about the performance, the event or the interview. We envision ourselves succeeding and work tirelessly to get to that point. We believe the work will get us to the end result, where we’ll finally find the sense of accomplishment we desire. But that’s just a story.
The real joy is in the process.
Earlier this week, I spoke with a close friend and colleague. He’s going through stuff. I’m going through stuff. We are all — always — going through stuff.
We are infinite beings, continually growing, shifting and changing.
In our culture, we often assume the process of going through something means we have issues or problems. Maybe we do. But that’s okay. Because going through or experiencing life’s challenges simply means we are in process and alive. If we weren’t going through, we’d be hitting a wall. And then we’d have a real problem.
In the midst of our conversation, my friend said, “I just want to have inspiring conversations and talk about great shit, not my personal shit that’s in the way.”
And then it hit me. “This is the great shit,” I replied.
This is it. The ups and downs, back and forth, gain and loss, ebb and flow of life — this is what we are here to experience, discuss, process and share with others.
This is your experience, your reality and your story.
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People decide to work with a coach because they want to create a different result. They have good lives, but they want GREAT lives. They like their job, but they want to love it. They’re content being single, but they’d be really happy to be in a loving relationship. They have a dream for a new business but they want to make it a reality.
In coaching, we say that people do the best they can with the tools they’ve been given. You are where you are because of the tools (education, training, support, books, workshops, etc.) you’ve accessed through life thus far. To take it to the next level, you have to acquire new tools — new ways of thinking, acting and believing.
But this is precisely where most of us get stuck.
Most of us think that if we keep doing what we’re doing and just up the ante, we’ll get the desired result. We treat ourselves as if we are never-ending tubes of toothpaste. Let me. Just. Squeeze. A little. More. Out.
When I was living in New York City, my favorite boss would often send this Einstein quote to our sales team: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” I didn’t fully understand his point until now.
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