In a typical transformational conversation, we often begin by looking for a particular tangible result.
A tangible result can be anything — it might be making twice as much in your company, feeling twice as much love with your partner, a vacation for a month to some beautiful beach where they serve little drinks with tiny umbrellas, or whatever.
The magic of a particular result is never the attainment of the result; getting the result isn’t really the point.
Doubling your profits isn’t really what you want. What you really want is the underlying experience that you believe doubling your profits will provide you. If we were able to double your profits, but there would be no other change in your experience of life, you would probably start to lose interest in that goal pretty quickly.
People often want to travel because they’re craving more adventure, freedom and excitement in their lives — and they believe that travel will provide that to them (and they’re often right, though only for the time that they’re actually traveling).
So while we start with a tangible result, we want to find out what it is about that result that is magic for you. What’s the underlying experience you’re hoping that result will provide you?
If you’re looking to sell your company, what is the underlying experience of life you believe that would provide? If you’re looking to become an entrepreneur, what are you hoping that will provide? And so on.
Once we’re clear on the experience of life you’re hoping to create, something really cool and kind of counter-intuitive happens. First, we begin from a particular context for the nature of life — a starting point if you like. That context is:
LIFE IS ABUNDANT
If you have trouble getting your arms around that context, then here’s a slightly easier way to hold it: Every experience you could want, is available to you in each and every moment.
Typically we fight against this, by telling ourselves things like “Well, that’s not true. I want to be happy, but my partner is doing X, and X makes me sad, so happiness is not available.”
As a thought-experiment, can you imagine that there is someone, somewhere in the world, for which their partner is doing the exact same X, and yet they are having an experience of happiness, rather than your sadness?” That tells us that happiness is available. You’ve just learned to quell it when presented with these circumstances.
(If it’s really hard for you to imagine the possibility of someone else creating happiness in the face of your circumstances, consider that you might be resisting the possibility that life is abundant.)
The upshot of this starting point is that it means that any experience you want is available to you right now. If you are wanting adventure, freedom and excitement, our context of abundance tells us it’s available for you right now — here, in this moment.
And from that context, we then can engage with a much richer conversation than simply figuring out how to have you live on a different beach each month. (Although there’s nothing wrong with that as a goal).
Because the entire range of human experience is available to you moment by moment, the question we can now engage with is “If what you want is more adventure, freedom and excitement, and you’re not currently experiencing that… How are you resisting or shutting out the experience of adventure, freedom and excitement in this moment?”
This can become an inquiry for you to live and look at your life through. It becomes a practice of noticing yourself as you go about life, and noticing the way you keep yourself from having the very thing you want.
Sitting at your desk, you may start to notice the ways you tell yourself you have to do things in a rigid manner. You may notice yourself shutting down your joy, because somewhere along the way, you learned or concluded that there’s no place for joy in a professional setting.
“One must be serious and have a frown on their forehead. That’s how you know someone is a candidate for promotion and professional…”
As you start to look through this lens, you’ll also notice all of the justifications and reasons you have for shutting out whatever experience you want. And you will have justifications, because everything you’ve learned to do and be has been important to get you right here — to where you are today.
Those justifications aren’t a problem — they’re simply the beliefs that are now holding you in place. Having these justifications and beliefs come up is a beautiful thing, because it means you’re now becoming aware of them, instead of unconsciously letting them run your life. From awareness comes choice. And from choice comes new possibility.
So, two really simple questions and a practice that can change your life:
What’s the goal you’ve set for yourself?
What’s the experience you are hoping this goal will create for you?
Notice, moment by moment, how you keep that experience out of your life.