My new resolution is to write something before I read my e-mail. I made this resolution during the recent CAM (Conversation Among Masters) Conference, when Brian Johnson challenged us with two questions:
1. What is one thing to start doing, which would have the most positive influence on your life right now?
2. What is one thing to stop doing, which would have the most positive influence on your life right now?
I invite you to answer those questions for yourself. When I answered them and started thinking about the implications of my answers I learned a lot about myself.
My answers were to stop reading my e-mail first thing in the morning and to start writing more frequently. So here goes…
I am now more aware of how I measure my contribution to the world beyond the mutual contribution I make in all my direct, personal relationships.
My contribution is the writing I do that helps others to change and grow without my direct presence. I measure contribution by the standard Eric Berne proposed 40 years ago: “is it good for the infant mortality rate?” To me that standard means is what I am doing ultimately contributing to a world in which more babies that are born alive stay alive.
* Educating and coaching people about how to have important conversations is key for me.
* I care that relationships work so that both children and adults get what they need from others.
* I believe in selfishness as described by Thomas Leonard in The Portable Coach. This means being aware of and communicating your own needs to others.
* I also believe that agreements people make with each other should be honored (or changed by mutual consent.)
* I want to help people operate with as much integrity as possible.
In order to do this I need to become more proficient with tools that will get my message out into the world. I’ll be contributing what I’m thinking about to two different blogs or perhaps three and my goal is to publish at least twice a week.
This is a creative production goal rather than an outcome goal. Outcome goals don’t work well for me. They don’t leave enough room to be surprised and I often surprise myself. It’s a goal of staying in a creative tension so that I stay productive. This is how I will stay in integrity with myself.
I need to stay in the creative tension instead of drifting off into “deserving retirement” or just grandmothering. I do enjoy my freedom to explore and travel and I adore my grandchildren. Both of those are fine in their place, but they are not enough for me. I need to stay creative and contributing in order to feel fully alive and happy.
That’s a lot of insight from answering two questions. I admit I was in a very stimulating environment where I was surrounded by other master coaches all challenging each other to live their dreams.
I hope you answer the questions for yourself, take time to think about the implications of your answers and share what you learn.
You can post your answers and comments here. If you prefer, send them directly to me and I’ll put them up on the blog for you.