Facilitator Journal | Issue #0514, November 15, 2011
As I'm getting to know Madison, I've been meeting quite a few new people. When we meet, many of them ask, "What do you do to stay busy?" I used to be a bit embarrassed to answer this question honestly, but lately I've been more frank by responding with something like, "Well, I haven't been what you would call busy for quite sometime.
From what I hear out there, most people are VERY busy. I used to be too so I know what that's like. I remember that sometimes I felt good, or even important when being busy. But on the other hand, part of me would yearn for more free time and space. The Judeo-Christian culture has defined busyness to be next to Godliness. In my experience, busyness can be used to avoid ourselves and our lives and actually cut us off from Source.
This is subject is becoming even more pressing of late. We get so busy doing things that we often miss the source of the problems we're busy solving. Further, our busyness can get us so disconnected from our natural guidance system, that we need motivation programs and gurus of every ilk to tell us what to do.
This week's article, Getting to the Bottom of Yourself speaks to an experience I had one day last year where my body just made me STOP. And in that space, some insights came that could be useful for us as individuals as well as group leaders. I hope you enjoy it and as always, I look forward to your comments!
Facilitating at a Distance coming the week of December 5th: Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. See details at the end of this issue.
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Getting to the Bottom of Yourself
Not everything we learn is useful
This morning I got up with virtually no motivation to write this article. I've been working for about three weeks straight in front of this computer. When not writing or emailing, I'm reading about the latest solutions and strategies designed to answer all of life's problems. The last thing I felt like doing was to add just one more piece of advice to the growing pile.
long walk will help me recover a fresh perspective, but that did little good this morning. After the walk, I was compelled to sit down and meditate. Over the next half hour, motivation returned along with some insights I thought worthy of sharing.
We humans are designed to take in only so much before the necessity to empty ourselves. Yet we are embedded in a multi-media jungle where we're bombarded with information and mental distractions 24/7. Everyone is vying for our attention, offering an infinite supply of messages telling us what to do, to get what we want, so that we can be all we can be. And many of these messages offer to teach us how to be even more cunning in attracting attention in this increasingly dense info jungle.
While many of these sources offer perfectly good advice, none of them are walking in my shoes. None of them know what's right for me right now. While sitting this morning, it took some time to peel off multiple layers of unnecessary ideas, perspectives, and beliefs, to reach my quiet center. When that happened, I felt the burden lift and rose off the coach to write this article.
Today I'm not going to tell you what you should do. Instead, I offer only a few perspectives to point the way to undoing.
Excavate for Clarity. If we are truly leading groups to help them find what works for them, there is precious little we need to be adding to their equation. We may be serving them better by helping them unload and unlearn and then see what's left. I suppose this is why venting or check in's can be so helpful for groups. What does your group need to dump?
Examine Your Operating System. The planet has be operating on autopilot for thousands of years. Old beliefs passed down from one generation are readily adopted and enacted by the next. So few of us examine who's lives we're really living. When was the last time you examined the most basic assumptions about who you are and what you're doing? You know the ones. The assumptions so basic you consider to be facts, and don't see a reason to question. What if at your next meeting, you asked people to spend a few minutes questioning the obvious as a welcome activity?
Missing Motivation is Information. There are numerous techniques designed to motivate others. But when we're not motivated, perhaps what we're unmotivated to do is best not done, at least for now. Or, maybe there's a message inside that needs to be heard. Often the best way to hear that message is to stop doing, be quiet, and listen. Healthy motivation is not forced. It arises from within. What quiet little voice is waiting to be heard in your group?
Seek Questions as Often as Answers. Compelling questions can open and orient us. In fact, the purpose of an organization's Vision statement is to do just that. A compelling vision shows the direction to walk toward an impossible dream. A dream so big that it can never be achieved. A space so large that while it offers direction, it can never quite be filled. It serves as a vacuum of sorts into which healthy motivation can flow. What question would serve your group to live?
Add Your Comments
Do you need to do some emptying? If so, give yourself some time to unload and offload the burden of what you think you know. Let me know what happens. Just click on Add Your Comments to share your questions, feedback, or experience on this topic.
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