I arrived in Las Cruces in good time today. Did some laundry and got caught up on a few things. Life requires maintenance. I got to thinking about authenticity. I hesitate to use that word because it is the latest buzzword. The authenticity I am talking about is authenticity of self. Let's not underestimate the strength and conviction required to be true to who we really are. Courage - it could take courage too.
I was thinking about my life and to what degree I am fully self-expressed and in what ways I am squelching myself. It's a helpful conversation to have with yourself every now and then. It's normal to get a bit diverted, too. Some people spend much of their time playing unnatural or undesireable roles.
What about you?
Self-exploration can be a good catalyst for breakthroughs. Don't get stuck in evaluation, though, it is important to stay in action too.
I am ready to reinvent my career. I will still seek to catalyze breakthroughs - that's the foundation for everything I do. That said, I can see my day to day looking very different. I have many miles to mull things over and identify actions that will help me make thing happen.
I need to take my own advice and keep flapping.
It's fun to expand our possibilities, isn't it?
And if you want to do the same, a book that is very helpful and inspiring in opening up the mind to possibility is The Art of Possibility. Read the Zanders' book to get jazzed, then Two Weeks to a Breakthrough to get moving forward.
At some of my events I have been mentioning the goofy notion of the mutant peacock as a metaphor for possibilities... Here's a brief story that explains this:
The Mutant Peacock
“In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold.” The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Kate was not listening. She scanned the room for a sign for what she should do. Nothing. Nothing at all. This place felt dead to her. Looking back at her notepad doodles, she smiled as she recalled the early morning conversation with her best friend. Alana was the only person she felt she could tell. “I have an idea that is crazy enough that it just might work.” Kate’s arms jazz danced for fifteen minutes as she explained her budding plan. Her friend’s response was a simple, “wow, you gotta go do that.”
The meeting room voices seemed artificial, like they were coming from a TV. The volume oscillated as she floated in an out. Staring through the smudged glass conference room walls she thought, I gotta go do that. The notion of a starting a company vibrated her bones and made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Goosebumps gave way to a rosy warming from her toes to her cheeks. Her body did not care that she was only 20 minutes into a 2-hour staff meeting. “Are you OK?” “Yes, everything will be great.” Kate jumped into her future with exuberance.
At this moment - this very moment and those that will follow - we are faced with hundreds of possibilities. When we step forward in time and space, many potential routes and outcomes accompany us like an entourage. Imagine a male peacock with a big, beautiful, and full tail of feathers. Now imagine the long feathers protruding to the front instead of the back. Each feather fans ahead and points in a different direction. As the bird steps forward, vibrations and wind move the feathers into new locations that aim toward new points on the horizon. Possibilities are like invisible peacock feathers that fan in front of us and adjust with every step. As we manifest one possibility, a new set of potential actions and outcomes become available. Most of the feathers are invisible but they don’t have to be.
We shape our experience and results through recognizing the myriad possibilities in play and making directionally correct choices. And we do this every day. Our success improves as we get better at recognizing and working possibilities.
A possibility is something that could exist - a potential alternative, a prospect, or a theory. Possibilities include outcomes, paths, flavors, efforts, paces, resources needed, experiences, and relationships. We are likely unaware of most of these possibilities. When we manifest a possibility, we reveal it and then make it real. To manifest means to make visible, and this can apply to tangible outcomes or intangible emotions and ideas. Our bodies react to manifestation. Kate’s decision to become an entrepreneur produced goose bumps chills and a blood rush to her head. She will likely experience many other physical and mental reactions in the coming months, too, as she explores self-employment.
To enjoy breakthroughs and unimaginable results, we need to tune our abilities to see and manifest possibilities. This starts with seeing more possibilities. To explore this further, think about one of your goals then ask yourself the following questions:
• What’s the best that could happen?
• What’s the worst that could happen?
• What are some of the possibilities between the best and worst potential outcomes?
Now assume that you have only listed a small fraction of the possible outcomes. Assume that what you have identified as the best possible outcome is not nearly the best. What else is possible? Bring people into the equation. Who might you meet? With whom could you partner? Whose lives might you affect? How might your life be affected?
Assume that you still have not identified most the possibilities. Think about what could happen in the short-term. What actions or steps could you take in the next 24 hours and how might each action impact what you do tomorrow? Assume that you have only identified a small fraction of potential actions. What else could you do? What’s possible- even if improbable – today? If all the planets aligned to help you achieve your goal, what could you achieve in the next week?
Assume that you still have not seen the vast majority of possibilities relative to your goal. Let your thinking go a little crazy. What would be possible if money was not a barrier? What possibilities would exist if you had all the right connections? What would be possible if you lived in New York City, Seattle, Dallas, or Paris, France? How might a scientist answer these questions? What if you could ask anyone any question and get a “yes” answer? What would be possible if time were not a barrier to success?
Assume that you still can’t see most of the possibilities. Ask 10 people what they think could happen and what you are missing. Then consider the following possibilities:
• I can do this and be successful.
• I need to do this; moving in this direction is an expression of my purpose.
• I can be more successful than I can imagine right now; the possibilities are endless.
• If I stay in focused action, breakthroughs will occur.
This exercise will improve your ability to identify what’s possible. That said, you will still not see the majority of potential approaches and outcomes available to you. Expand your thinking to consider many, many ways you can achieve success and make your dreams come true. Consider also, that your results might be different and better than you can articulate today.
Seeing possibility is just the start, now it is time to turn possibilities into realities. Some people approach manifestation with laser precision and focus. They select one possibility – one feather – and take actions that support and move forward this potential outcome or result. The strength of this approach is that it is very focused and will enable you to move more quickly in one particular direction.
Others take the shotgun approach to manifesting possibilities. They aim for several possibilities and do a lot of different things to move each possibility forward. The strength of this approach is that we often cannot tell which approach is going to yield the best outcome.
Which approach is best – laser focus or shotgun implementation? Yes! I advocate for using both approaches and here’s why. Every time we act, the spectrum of possibilities shifts. We really can’t possibly know which direction or action will yield the big breakthroughs along the way to success. Knowing this, we can both focus on the most likely approaches and explore other intriguing possibilities. It’s amazing what can happen when we have lots of directionally correct efforts impacting today’s reality and tomorrow’s array of possibilities.
Another reason why I like exploring a variety of possibilities is that it is more energizing and enriching than following a straight and narrow path. Life is a journey, not an outcome. We set goals and define desirable outcomes but most things in life are ongoing. Live an enriched life. Imagine a peacock with just one or two feathers. Not that interesting. Now picture a peacock with a thick plume of iridescent feathers. POW - magic!
Question: What could you this week to manifest a wonderful life?
Answer: Many things. The power is in the manifestation!
I like weekly and daily planning. Weekly plans help you set chunkier targets and map out the week. Daily planning keeps you in action and enables you to adjust your plan. You should be ready, willing and darned excited to adjust your plan because each move forward shifts what’s possible. If you don’t adjust your plan, you won’t be taking advantage of all the possibilities that you could not see and that were not available at the time you created the plan. Keep the peacock analogy in mind: You are a mutant peacock with forward facing feathers that shift with every step. Beautiful.