Part 1: Flashes of brilliance
Growth is not linear. By that I mean that you don’t grow a little bit every day. It is much like evolution: something tiny changes, and it creates a dramatic shift.
When things feel linear, it also means that you are simply stirring the soup… no growth. It’s OK.
Yesterday I had a glimpse at something that I had never seen: I saw that if opportunity favors the prepared… then I am in trouble: I am not prepared for any opportunity.
I am not prepared to roll with the punches that the opportunity brings. 1
Opportunity is discontinuous. It is disruptive. It needs you to do different things, meet different challenges, climb different mountains.
Transformation is like an opportunity: it is disruptive.
I was offered a fabulous opportunity the other day. I wasn’t ready… but that opened up an opportunity to actually do it on my own… and get ready when the opportunity presents itself again. 2
You can have wakeup calls… they are always disruptive, and they never look like opportunities: but many of them are.
At some point every session of the 67 step program can become an opportunity… but mostly it is cumulative in nature… not much, not much, not much, not much…. wow. What was that?!
You see something for a glimpse that disappears. You do it in many sessions… In some cases you see glimpses of something for years, before you suddenly see it fully, and it’s horrible. And this time you can’t avoid saying: OK. I see you. OK, you are ugly. OK, I am ready.
And then you change… change your attitude, change your behavior, change how you look at life.
This is what we call “flashes of brilliance”.
The flashes that suddenly light up the path, the next step, the path, by showing you what you have been doing, thinking, being, that was holding you back.
And then you either enter that path or you don’t.
The choice is always yours.
Part 2: Not ready, getting ready, ready… states of readiness
Some twenty years ago I sat through a sales training that could have changed my life. It didn’t… but it started to open something up…
The sales trainer said that the “prospect” is either not ready, getting ready, or ready to buy.
I may have thought that before… but I also thought that it is my job to make them ready…
A lot of “salespeople” must thing the same, this is why they yell, twist your arm, set a timer on their page… They want to take you from not ready to ready in a few minutes.
You may get sucked in, but you know you were not ready, because you are not jumping in, not using the stuff you bought, maybe haven’t even cut the carton open.
I know because I buy a lot of things like that…
I have a low tolerance to pressure… so I buckle. In fact, you want me to buckle? Yell at me. I will buckle.
But buckling didn’t make me ready.
You may think you are not in sales, but you are. You are selling your ideas. Sometimes to others, more often to yourself.
But you are in either of those three states: not ready, getting ready, or ready.
Ready to do something new, ready to think differently, ready to start growing… ready to start practicing.
I have a hunch that you are often jumping the gun, and start something before you are ready. Buckle, like me.
But the results are disappointing. Your heart isn’t in it, and you think that there is something wrong with you.
You remember me saying: when something is not working, there is something you don’t know.
You’ve been hard on yourself because you didn’t know that getting ready is a process. I don’t even think you can make it faster… forcing doesn’t work well in the getting ready process, in fact it works counter to what you hope. It either turns you off by turning on your obstinate nature (mule anyone? lol) or you buckle… which is actually worse… because like a premature baby, you are not ready for it.
So what is there to do?
Don’t give up just because you are not ready now. You know if you will be ready… way ahead of time. Just like you know you are pregnant, even while it isn’t showing…
Pregnancy takes nine months… getting ready may take years. I think elephants carry their pregnancy almost three years…
Why? because the “baby” has to be born strong enough, developed enough to start living on its own.
Just like ideas.
This is why the saying goes: “An idea whose time has come”… and idea that can move on its own.
Werner Erhard, my hero, carried his project ideas on tiny pieces of paper in his pocket (this may be a myth, for all I know, lol) and looked at a few of them every day, and did one thing: make a phone call, think about it.
He obviously didn’t think that just before he had an idea, it was ready to be launched.
He carried the note about the Hunger Project for years before it was born.
So you see, men can be “pregnant” too… lol.
- Think about pregnancy, birth… unless you are prepared, have eaten right, have taken all the nutrients necessary for the fetus so it can be well, heterosexual, healthy, smart, you are going to gestate a sub-par offspring… I am one, and it’s not fun. Not responsible. My mother wasn’t ready.
- It was an opportunity to be mentored… but I didn’t have what it takes to be successfully take advantage of the opportunity… was not prepared… and it was mighty expensive…