People who have meaningful work, want to work more… they work willingly, study willingly, grow willingly. 1
What could you do to steal meaning into your life? So you can have a meaningful life?
The new year is coming. It is customary to make inventory, and to set direction for the new year around this time of the year… even though you are busy planning for Christmas.
Christmas is the right time… With your Observer, with your Witness, watch your level of abundance, your level of grace and ease, your level of love with the people whom you profess to love.
What people want the most is a meaningful life. A life that makes sense, on a moment to moment way, where it is worth doing what you are doing because the direction it is taking you is worth going.
Life is full of transactions.
Lots of transactions on any given day.
A meaningful life is full of meaningful transactions.
This is very important to get, because otherwise NOTHING will work to turn your life meaningful.
Unless YOU change, the meanings will stay the same.
The ability to change your mind about the meaning of things requires the capacity: flexibility. This is what this article is about.
Taking a shower, making and eating breakfast, reading the newspaper, taking the bus to work, saying hello, your job, itself full of transactions, small or big, each having a separate chance to be meaningful or not.
Meaningful is something that leaves you being more, having more at the end of the transaction than you were before.
Are you happier than you were before the transaction? More fulfilled? More prepared for life? Healthier? Stronger? Feeling better about yourself? Leaving a bigger legacy behind? Making a bigger mark on others or the Earth? Having your family, your husband, wife, children better off than before?
Meaningful life: A sum total of meaningful transactions.
Gurus talk about balance, but it is not a good way to look at a life that is lopsided…
Making meaningful transactions fill your life, 24/7 depends largely on your choices, and your choices depend largely on the capacities through which you live.
You are stuck in your view of the world, of yourself, of others, and unless that view is wonderful, and support you to have meaningful transactions 24/7, you may want to be able to change your vantage point.
Just like a sculpture, everything looks different when you move around it and look at it from behind, from the side, from below, from above.
Stuck positions are guaranteed to rob you of meaningful interactions… and consequently a meaningful life.
Being able to move from one vantage point to another is flexibility. It is a capacity, and without it you are unhappy, life is humdrum, and nothing seems to be able to fix it, because, most likely the only thing that is “wrong” is only visible from that fixed, inflexible view you now have.
You may say? Let me test it… but you’ll find yourself not able, and not even willing to move around so you can see something different. Or you pretend that you do, but retain the previous view.
Ever watched little kids draw? They carry on the concept of a cube into a drawing. Squares… But a cube only looks square from one fixed point of view.
Little kids don’t have the flexibility… and they don’t even pretend to have it.
You do. And you urgently want this capacity…
I remember when my mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me for ten years… During her three weeks long visit, there were two fleeting moments when she saw, for a blink of an eye, that I wasn’t the way she remembered me… from when I was 16… But the window closed and she was back to same old, same old Sophie…
She didn’t have the capacity flexibility. My father, on the other hand, did. My brothers didn’t inherit a lot from my father.
My mother and I, my brothers and I, don’t have a meaningful relationship. Neither of them know, neither of them interested in me, because they already know me, as a 16-year old…
I have gone through dramatic changes since I was 16… they didn’t notice any of those changes…
A Christmas dinner would be painful with them. If I lived with them, I would likely go back to being how I was when I was 16… because how people see you works on you as strongly as the strings work on a puppet…
But given my capacities to see, to be astute, to be able to see what and how they see, I would be able to still be OK, whereas when I was 16, I could only lash out, or hide.
But my family wasn’t the only people who didn’t notice the dramatic changes around that time.
When I went from third on the bottom in grades, to the third from the top, no one stopped to look, and see the changes. In their eyes I remained that rebellious girl who was expelled from another school, and they ended up with, because of my father’s influence. Except, maybe, one teacher, who saw something… but then again, he jointed the teaching staff of the school after my big “transformation.”
Flexibility is very powerful. Sometimes flexibility is so potent, that just by letting something be that you previously could not allow to be… the world around you changes. Sometimes dramatically.
Of course we only know what is predictable… but other forces staying the same, an object in motion will stay in motion… Newton’s law…
I have so many examples of me, or my students letting go of an opinion, a stance, and the “world” changed with them.
Let’s say your son is about to be suspended. You are up in arms about it. You come to my call, I have a conversation with you about letting go of your narrow point of view, that it’s wrong. I activate some capacity, flexibility or bilocation. Then you get an email saying that your son should go to classes next school day… The unpredictable suddenly happened.
It’s not an accident.
Gandhi’s statement: be the change you want to see in the world, predicates its trueness on your flexibility. If you can let go making the world wrong for how it is, it is allowed to change.
But trying to cover up your position, and try to be the change… nothing happens.
Why? Because your position, your opinion, acts like a force and makes it impossible for the world to change.
It happens even with my best students, that I say something that collides with a strong mental position of theirs… and no matter what I say they can’t move.
They experience loss of affinity, they want to quit, or stop doing their own work. They are stuck.
I see that they are stuck in making me wrong…
They cut their nose in spite of their face, but they don’t have a choice about it, until I activate the flexibility capacity… that allows them to be unstuck.
Flexibility is a capacity, not a rubber band or a machine.
It allows you to change, to move, to change your mind. But you need to intend to.
Have conversations with yourself or with another, for the purposes of seeing the situation from another angle.
One of the signs that you are really stuck, is that you don’t want to.
But you can still use flexibility to just simply acknowledge, that for now you are more interested in being right than in being happy. It’s ok… That acknowledgment is actually a big victory.
Once you acknowledge it, you are not stuck, you are just not moving… Big difference.
Now, how can you use this information to make Christmas the best Christmas even, and 2016 the best year of your life?
Predictably I’ll recommend that you get the missing capacities, either flexibility, or bilocation, or both.
And if you are serious, start coming to the mini-coaching sessions on the weekends. If you are serious, you’ll fall in love with me and my method.
Or, if you are not serious or flexibility isn’t called on, you’ll hate me… But at least you’ll know.
Flexibility called on… eliminating the sticky point… is the key to get unstuck towards a meaningful life…