What are you building with that?

What are you building with that?

This question was my absolute favorite in Landmark Education's Communication Course...

I have tried to ask it of people outside of Landmark, and the answers I always got was puzzled silence.

So, what am I asking here?

Well, you are always building something. A more popular but less precise way of saying the same thing: you are always creating something... creating yourself, creating your life, every moment.

Even when you think you are not doing anything.

Because you are always doing something... inside or outside.

The purpose of this question: What are you building with that? is to bring the fact to the forefront, so you can sneak a little awareness to the otherwise unconscious, unaware, zombie, sleepwalking life.

The question can work as a wakeup call. It can work as a truing your aim call. It can work as a design tool. It can work as a tool to reframe your activities.

So how does it go?

The original Landmark exercise went like this:

Two people talk to each other. One is the speaker, the other is the questioner/listener.

So the questioner asks: What is happening? What are you up to? What are you doing?

From this point on I'll just say A and B... And I am actually quoting from a student of mine, who did this exercise with himself:

A: I am building an internet store.
B: Got it... What are you building with that?

A: I am building my skills and learning how to start a business the right way.

B: "So, what am I building with that?"

A: I am building up my skills in an areas that is needed, like project planning, how to setup things methodically, marketing, sales, thinking the right way, to see the big picture.

B: What am I building with that?

A: Well, So that I can become someone with land, capital and labor so that I can do the work I enjoy doing. That is coming up or dreaming up new projects and bringing together teams to produce and perform. And before I can outsource anything in a good way I need to acquire and know the skills myself.

B: What am I building with that?

A: Well, by acquiring this skills and capacities I can integrate it into other areas of my life and stop being controlled and become autonomous, independent thinker and make my own way in life. Remaking the world in my own image.

B: What am I building with that?

A: I am building or transforming my self to become a men that is independent, innovative, authentic and a manly man that is dreaming up and producing projects that's of value to me, to the world and other people.

This was a nice exercise to do. I know where I am and what I am moving towards becoming. It's not easy but with your help it is possible.

So, this is the original use: you create an ever growing context (the big picture) for what you are doing... that is inspiring to you.

The second way you can use it is to catch a habitual behavior of yourself, like being argumentative... and find out what you are building with that.

I am going to make the answers up, because the person I should have this conversation with may not be ready... yet.

Me: OK, I see you want to argue with my coaching. What are you building with that?
Her: Hm... I didn't think I was building anything, but let me look. What do I intend to accomplish with arguing with you? First off, I want to tell you that you are wrong. Wrong about me. That I am different.

Me: OK, I hear you. And what are you building with that, that you let me know that I am wrong?

Her: Well, then at least you know. And you know that you should not tell me anything I don't agree with.

Me: OK... and what are you building with that?

Her: Well, I really don't like if anyone tells me anything. I want to be my own person. And do things my way.

Me: OK. What are you building with that?

Her: What am I building with that? Well, I can see that you won't want to talk to me any more... Hm, that is not what I wanted to build. But really that is what I am building. I am building staying the same, being a hands off to you, and wasting your time and mine.

Me: OK. And what are you building with that?

Her: Well, I can see that that is not what I want to build. I want to build for myself a life where I can feel good about myself, no matter what are the circumstances. So I see arguing builds NOT THAT.

Now, I could continue, but you see the gist: she saw that what she was building is not what she wanted to build... so she has a chance to turn around on a dime, or more likely, ask for coaching.

If you could shift your being and with that what you are building easily, coaches would be out of business, because the world would be paradise.

If it were that easy, you would not need me.

But left to your own devices, you are mostly screwed... You will end up with the world you are building.

In the webinar series, Instant Coherence Solution, I attempted to teach this

I am also planning to give a live session in the very near future.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

2 thoughts on “What are you building with that?”

  1. This is such a great exercise. When I started doing it I couldn’t even come up with anything… then something shifted and I began to see things and the exercise became easier. Thank you Sophie!

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