My 4 year old skips everywhere. It confounds me how in one moment she can be screaming bloody murder with the water works on full steam and the next moment she can be bounding for the next activity, at the height of a joyful prance. I guess this is the definition of true resilience.
It’s not as if it’s harnessed in any way….it’s so natural that it just sort of falls out of her. So, when I, like the smarty pants that I am, try to mimic it, subscribing to the fact that it will manifest the same resilience in my world, well….I just look like damn foolish.
I guess the whole thing has me looking at resistance a little bit differently. This came to me as I was running this morning, as I’m dedicated to do 3 times a week no matter what! Don’t think that commitment to running wasn’t initially met without resistance either, because it was. It’s not easy finding that time for myself in a busy day, but what I’ve found is that the hour I dedicate to running, thinking without interruption, praying, and writing in my brain makes me about 100X more productive the other 18 hours of my generally non-stop work-filled days.
So, I was running today, which I do with no Ipod, no Iphone, no distraction or friend to chat with, and no expectations and suddenly I found myself attuned to the smell of the late season clover, sound of the secadas, the wind in the leaves as it swept over the miles I could see, the birds chirping, the geese wings flapping above, the bees buzzing to my right, my sneakers as they hit the gravel at an even pace, my breath- all was synergistic. Like a puzzle, it all fit into a nice neat package of a fully realized moment in time.
Then, from out of nowhere a motor revved, a plane flew overhead, and it was an assault to that moment. I couldn’t help to think, because this is what this hour for, about how analogous this was to my business day. All that noise, but such important messages in each succinct piece. Competition of individual messages to be heard in a noisy world, that when listened to, in an attuned moment make complete sense. As a runner, in that moment I could hear it all, including the assault. But in the same moment, I was able to assess the assault, tune it out, and continue my momentum. Of course, just when I thought I had it all under control, I rounded the corner of a steepened hill and I was nearly rendered breathless when met with a wind that would barrel me full force for what would be another mile
It was in this resistance that my mind took me to my work. Ah, I thought, this wind is the negative self speak my clients have when they come to me with viable ideas and no self confidence to implement them. This wind bespeaks of naysayers and competitors trying to knock pricing into a commodity mode. This wind is trying to slow me down until my momentum merely becomes a race in time for a motionless end to my success at mental clarity. But then it came to me, my daughter…prancing along like a pony. Just Skip, the little voice inside my head prodded!
So I did.
And as I skipped, the wind that had been rushing against me fueled my prance and I found I was moving faster instead of slower. As I skipped, I began to giggle and then laugh forgetting entirely that I had been out of breath from the previous 4 miles. What a fool I must have looked like, I mused, at which point I decided to pull out all the stops and put my arms out like an airplane and zoom my way through the last half mile of the trail. When I skipped and zoomed into the parking lot, where I generally show up looking haggard albeit with an unparalleled mental clarity, I arrived joyful…feeling like I could take on another 5 miles. Well, almost. Most importantly I had this revelation about resistance, and how if you take it on like a wrestler in the ring, it can be USED as a piece of the puzzle to get you to your goal. So the next time you feel like you just can’t go that last mile, just approach it differently. What’s there to lose? And man oh man, there’s way too much to gain not to try. So, when you are next faced with resistance either from a colleague or a prospect, just skip!
Note to reader: As a practice, my business is fueled by experience. The anecdotes I often share with clients and seminar attendees have often been the moment of revelation for me or someone I work with. Associative learning is a wonderful strategy to understand new concepts in a rapidly changing world. Learning by anecdote and metaphor enables a level of understanding one might otherwise never get if forced to learn a new language and skill set.