The Origin of the word "Worry"

Recently I have been putting an extra emphasis of focusing my thoughts on the future and the future I want to live into.

Part of that process has been for me to notice when I believe thoughts or entertain thoughts that aren't a part of my desired future.

For example, recently I decided to study the concept of worry (so that I could find antonyms of the word in which to redirect my thoughts). 

The word "worry" was in part developed from the concept of "to harass by rough or severe treatment (as of dogs or wolves attacking sheep)."

So, after understanding in more depth, I then went on to explore antonyms and I found this: calmness, certainty, cheer, comfort, confidence, happiness, joy, pleasure, sureness, trust, unconcern, advantage, contentment, peace, reassurance.

If we can choose to focus on either worry (wolves attacking sheep) or joy, which will we choose? 

If you could consistently shift your focus to joy, would you want to know? 

CEO of your Life

I hired a new coach recently. His name is Jon Roberts. And he had this idea.

We would treat the coaching sessions like board meetings.

For the period of our coaching (6 months), we were to focus the board meetings on the growth of the revenue of my company.

My coach, Jon, would be the Board of Directors, and I would be the CEO.

If you are familiar with the Enneagram Assessment, I most identify with characteristics of an Enneagram 7.

Setting up the coaching like this was just what I needed.

Enneagram 7’s typically have a tendency to struggle with the details and disciplines of running a well-run business.

And so, Jon, knowing me, knew that for me to focus on the details would be a good stretch for me.

We are only about 6 weeks in, and the results are beginning to shift in many ways and I’m beginning to see the gaps in my “business.” I’m beginning to see some of the details of my business where I am leaving value on the table.

And the weird thing is - I’m starting to fall in love with the details quite a bit.

INSIGHT: When you get really ultra clear on the details - it will expose the gaps, blindspots, and weaknesses of your business and/or life.

Therefore, I’m seeing all of these gaps. It has been challenging, but also so so helpful.

I read this quote recently: “Only the disciplined are free.”

And I’m finding it to be more true than ever.

I’m becoming a great CEO of my business and life and choosing to enjoy the process.

And I think Jon is enjoying pressing in on the details (as any chairman would), along with advocating for me in ways that few people in my life ever have before.

I’m grateful.

If you treated your life like you were a phenomenal CEO and had an incredible Board of Directors - what difference would that make for your life?

One way to explore and discover what you want

For this exercise - I highly recommend blocking out at least an hour. (I’ve done this in 2 and 4 hour chunks of time). I know, this may sounds like forever. But, as you think about it and read on, you are going to be thinking a bit about the rest of your life. And thus, I think it warrants the investment of time. It’s ultimately up to you - but most people I know who are successful AND happy AND fulfilled/satisfied spend time doing what I describe below.

Note: this is somewhat intentionally open ended. It’s meant as a brainstorming and thinking time.

I don’t think we spend enough time just thinking anymore due to bouncing from thing to thing to thing. We don’t stop and just be bored because there is always a text to respond to, a Netflix show to binge watch, instagram stories to see, etc.

Here is the exercise:

Find a place where you can be completely free of distractions.

Set a timer for 1 hour, 2 hours, or perhaps 4 hours if you dare.

The only things you will need are paper and pens.

Go in with no expectation. Sometimes I write quite a bit. Sometimes I don’t write at all.

Be fully content from the beginning that you don’t need to walk away with any answers. I’ve had times I’ve done this and had huge breakthroughs and revelations. And at times I’ve just allowed my mind to wander. I have found that the more I surrender to what I think needs to happen, the more relaxed I am, and thus, the better my thinking is during the time.

Then - sit there and just think.

Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What do I really, really, really want?

  • What am I capable of?

  • What do I really WANT to be capable of?

  • What am I afraid to say that I want?

  • If I could leave a multigenerational, positive legacy on the world - what would it be?

And just sit there and think about these things.

Why People Don't Hire A Coach

blind-spot.jpg

I’ve been thinking about this concept of our weaknesses and blindspots a lot recently.

I find that many of us, myself included, can tend to walk around as if everything is going really well in our lives.

Most often, if you ask someone “How’s it going?” - they will say “Good” or “Great” (or sometimes “Busy” which I think conveys “I’m so important that I’m busy - so at least I’m good enough that things are busy).

I’m not saying this is a bad thing in any way. Of course you aren’t going to dump your struggles on the coworker who asks you how you are doing.

But do you have someone in your life with whom you can wrestle through things intentionally. Sometimes just to have a space to talk things through and other times with a focus on strategically planning ways to solve the issues with which you are wrestling.

This could be a coach, a therapist, a good friend, or perhaps someone in your family.

Note: I argue that it is most helpful when this person is skilled at knowing when to give you space to talk things out and when to invite you into a deeper sense of ownership, commitment, and strategy.

I find that most people don’t have someone in their life like this.

Someone with whom they can expose their weaknesses in a strategic setting.

And my sense is that people would almost rather walk around as if everything is going well. (Even though, based on results, externally and internally for that person - things aren’t going well).

Imagine a scale from 1-10 (10 being things are incredibly amazing overall).

My guess is, if you really looked into it with people and they got honest with themselves, most people are hovering around a 5 or maybe 6.

Yet they walk and talk like things are an 8, 9, or perhaps a 10. “Things are great!”

And when I ask someone either in a coaching session or a training, most people say explicitly that they would rank things at a 7.

So I walk around, I know that my life is at around a 5, I act as if I’m a 9, yet when asked, I’d say a 7.

Because a 7 is low enough to be honest without seeming arrogant, but not so low that you have to do anything about it.

As you read this, I invite you to, rather than asking if my assessments are accurate - ask yourself how thinking this through could be resourceful for you.

My sense is, that one of the reasons people don’t hire a coach is that they don’t want to expose their weaknesses (the ones they are aware of and the ones the are not yet aware of). Often times this weakness is that they don’t have a clarified vision and don’t want to put in the effort to create one.

I find that people feel quite comfortable hiring a therapist. And I think this is a good thing. But I find that, typically, a therapist serves a different person than a coach. The therapist isn’t going to push you (generally speaking). It’s a place to talk things out. I’ve had therapists and I’ve had large breakthroughs with therapists. I have one right now as I write this and I love it. But it’s a different space than a coach.

And for some reason, I think people are more comfortable hiring a therapist because they are content with just talking things out.

They don’t want to acknowledge the resourcefulness (notice I did not say absolute truth) of the quote “We don’t think ourselves into new ways of living, we live our way into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr

People choose not to work with a coach because they don’t want to expose their weaknesses and blind spots and then actually be required to go and do something about them. They find the status quo too alluring.

And further, I find that people don’t realize how powerful they can become if they’d only do so.

It’s not that they’ve tried it and found it difficult, it’s that they’ve called it impossible and thus not tried.