Goalsetting 101 – Motivation & Perspective
At this special time of year when the possibility of a ‘new start’ often brings us extra energy and motivation to embark on various categories of personal work – perhaps in areas of achievement, focus, resolve, adventure – we’re about to explain to you the phenomenon of the New Year’s Resolution process, and why your chances of success are magnified this year with Dr. Bill and Jan Whyte here as your coaches!
Through the Holidays, and actually at any time we are relaxing and able to take more time off work or away from our jam-packed routines, we can enjoy the much deserved down time. We may have time to watch TV and be reminded by commercials, regular shows and movies that there is ‘another’ life out there. We may see something we would like to acquire or some personal presence or behaviors that we would like to become or incorporate into our repertoire. We may be seeing good friends and/or family members with whom we do not spend enough or any quality time at any other time of the year, and therefore we may gain some wisdom or perspective that would otherwise not be shared.
As you are in this relaxed state, your subconscious mind is more likely to be activated. This is your resource centre, a place where you can really tap into what things make you happy and thus are likely to bring ideas and tools that can help you remain focused, establish new goals, find strength to change situations that are honestly not working for you.
The way we apply the Change Formula components is as follows.
When you are relaxed and your resourceful and reflective mindset has had a chance to communicate with your logical, strive/drive daily performance mindset as to what might be a positive change or goal for you to achieve, it is likely that your resistance to change, which may have spent the better part of 2008 as the dominating factor in a part of your daily duties or desires, is now less powerful than the combination of your dissatisfaction + vision for what potential you can reach. That familiar resistance to change is often driven by fear, whereas the new vision is driven by the endless and ominous power the subconscious mind provides when it comes to human achievement. Although we (and science) have established that the subconscious mind can overcome conscious fears, it cannot be stressed enough that getting yourself to the resourceful state is the key to sustainability of focus, energy and determination in pursuing your chosen goals.
In summary, it is the external forces that come with this time of year that are sparking your internal forces to become motivated to try something new. Your desire for change, fueled by your subconscious desires, has overcome the fear that happens as a regular and natural precursor to change. So it is the mere ability of the subconscious mind to communicate to your more logical mind (via that resourceful state!) that is the unique piece here – which explains why it is so important to quickly incorporate the last component of the Change Management Formula: taking the first steps towards change. This timely combination will give a good push to start the swing towards reaching your 2009 New Year’s Goals.
Exercise! Let’s take that first step together in the form of experiencing an amazing example of awareness, acceptance, dedication and success through the following story.
An artist was standing proudly by his display sculpture at the Art Gallery opening. Its color was the traditional gunmetal with glistening hints of bronze and onyx-like shades throughout the massive winding tree-like structure. As the crowds gathered he slowly launched into an introduction of the piece, confessing that he had salvaged a gargantuan piece of metal and intended to bring it into its existence as a beautiful art sculpture. The audience was captivated by the artist’s voice – full of wonder and fantasy as he continued on with the evolution of the sculpture.
After several months into the creation, he explained, he thought the piece was ruined and valueless due to the revelation of a deep, ugly flaw along what was intended to be the most visible line of the figure. At first it seemed to be a little roadblock, but as the further weeks and months went by the artist was unable to camouflage the flaw. In fact, it seemed to be getting larger and more noticeable. No matter what technique was used, the roughness of the flaw could not be tamed, not even by the most powerful commercial grade steel saw, the trusted companion in all of his creations.
For several years after the discovery of the flaw, the artist struggled with how to work with the challenge. He returned to face the piece from time to time, viewing its physical image from different vantage points in proximity, height and lighting, but he could not find a way to resolve the issue. For so long he had loved the piece despite its shortcoming – it was truly a spectacular figure from all but that one angle. He would touch it, dust it, cut and sand the areas around the flaw, but no matter what he did, it did not resolve the issue. He eventually became convinced that this flaw was an insurmountable block which would preclude the piece from ever being accepted at luxury grade by his customers and the art industry. If he were to leave the flaw as is, the piece would have to be displayed in a very private place, for his external reputation may be harmed if it were publicized that he was willing to live amongst ‘seconds’ with the same attitude and charisma that he exuded with his ‘perfect’ pieces. He was fearful of taking that risk that might end his career.
Surprisingly, moments after logically coming to terms with the situation, the artist found himself in a raw emotional state. Something came over him which refused to allow him to abandon the project. Although the decision had been made in his conscious state, once that conscious state did not have such a hold on the situation he found himself for the first time looking at the real problem – not the flaw. Instead of approaching the situation with his business senses – his logical thought processes to do with the advice on use of his time, analysis of the eventual profitability of the product, his future reputation amongst stakeholders in his artistry – he approached the problem with the tool he possessed that was more powerful than his business brain, and more powerful than that electric saw. His emotional brain + his heart became the engine and fuel behind the solution, the solution which was in sync with who he was: a creator, transformationist, and a builder.
With the voice of a wizard the artist then shared with the group what they had so been waiting for – what had brought the seemingly broken, hopeless, unattractive and invaluable piece to the grandeur they witnessed before them.
The first component of the plan that emerged from his subconscious state: COMMITMENT. He truly did not want to abandon the structure, despite its lack of value commercially. Once that was clear, he found himself committing completely to the following familiar procedures that had worked for him in the past on other projects: (1) hard physical work; (2) exhausting mental work in focus and attention at all times to the small steps of progress being made; (3) time, a lot of time, more time than he had previously been willing to devote; and (4) developing new techniques and custom tools in addition to the all powerful electric saw.
The second component: PATIENCE. Instead of a brutal amputation of the troubling piece, he explained how he proceeded in a much more gentle and patient manner in order to bring thin layer after layer of the damaged metal off of the surface.
The third and perhaps most important component in bringing about the change was a combination of ATTITUDE and RESPECT. Instead of resenting the flaw, the artist had through his emotional transformation, commitment and patience regarding the project, created an ecological space for his creativity to flow as it did with other pieces that were ‘perfect.’ Also gone were the stressors of making money and personal gain. What mattered here was honoring the internal reasons on this project. His attitude had adjusted from resentment to rescue, and his respect for the piece despite its flaw brought him to a position of peace in proceeding with the actual physical and mental work in reaching the solution.
With this strategy in place, the hours and hours polishing the edges of the piece where the viable material was present flew by with ease. Further ingenuity bloomed as he implemented a resource he had never used before in his sculptures, a chemical elixir which dissolved the edges where neither the powerful saw nor the gentle buffer had produced the desired result.
Success was eventually found, the flaw smoothed away whilst the original curve and integrity of the piece were maintained. So as a result of all of the alternative processes the artist applied, he had finally achieved his goal. He quipped to the group that at the moment of achievement his hair was grey and his skin wrinkled, bringing his physical state to ‘flawed’ compared to the new beautiful sculpture, but the fact remained that this piece had evolved to be the most valuable of all of his career creations, personally and professionally. It was, however, not for sale. For at the moment that he had considered hiding it because of the visible flaw – to protect it and himself from judgment – his movement from shame to respect fueled the motivation to continue with the project and brought him to such a point of peace that the goal of monetary gain was forever removed from the values he would thereafter equate with the piece.
The captivated audience all smiled and gazed up to the top of the structure. They had in that 10 minutes made the journey from the raw, troubled foundation to the place of a polished vision, and during that short time had lived with the artist through his despair, determination and accomplishment in reaching the potential of the man and the object despite the extreme challenges they faced in the process.
Points to Ponder – Flex those Subconscious Muscles:
Notice through your journey with this passionate artist, where his audience hung on his every word and waited for the holy grail of information on how he created such a masterpiece, that you may have been brought to a resourceful state in appreciation for the importance of awareness, acceptance, nurturing and transformation. You may also have been able to analogize one or more of the components of the story to your own life circumstances or desires.
If you stood with the group at the foot of the statute without the introduction from the sculptor, would you have ever considered that it had been once rejected by its creators – nature and the artist – and was labeled as an invaluable object, on its way to being denied a place in the environment where it truly, truly belonged and shone?
Is it possible for us to know the worth of ourselves or another without spending some time to become genuinely acquainted with the 360 degree internal and external view – with what we can and cannot see? Are you willing to risk answering “yes” to this question and not take a deeper or more resourceful look at yourself or others?
There are several ways to start exploring your true needs and desires, and in turn begin to tune into your subconscious self. One resource is the life satisfaction scale. Jan’s clients receive this exercise in their coaching workbooks, and she recommends a visit to the website of Richard Schultz at the following link for an online example of how you can take a look at where there may be room for some ‘polishing’ of your own!
And here’s a summary of the Formula for Change we have explored:
[Dissatisfaction x Vision x First steps toward change] is greater than [Resistance to Change].
Join us again soon for information on how to maintain a valued self-image, another critical tool in keeping momentum in reaching your 2009 goals!
To contact Jan Whyte, who provides her Coaching services from Vancouver, BC, Canada,
e-mail her: TalktoJan@LitigationByDesign.org
To watch her video interview with Bill Lampton, use this link:
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