I'll Play These
I’ll Play These Thanks
My observations during coaching sessions is client’s frequently use tired cliché’s to explain or excuse life choices. “Life’s a crap shoot,” or “Toss the dart and where it lands is what I will do.” I don’t agree but yes I have my own. We are dealt a handful of cards in life and we can either hold ‘em or fold ‘em. Given the odds of the crap shoot or any dart I toss, my response will always be the same, “I’ll play these thanks.”
I am sure many are spitting coffee or soda thinking, “What an idiot! He knows change is inevitable, why would he say that?” I am also convinced my comments will cause responders to argue in volumes about how miracles exist, or how motivational jargon sold through seminars are the result of success through the law of attraction. My response to those naysayers is this, those are all great tools and may work if we understand two things; what brings meaning to one’s life and, are they “willing” to make the changes to achieve clarity, focus, ease and grace? Inspiration must meet perspiration for there is no free lunch! Thus my reasoning for playing the hand being dealt.
In coaching, my goal is helping clients live a life of clarity, focus, ease and grace. Getting there requires a lot of change; teaching them “selective discernment,” learning to make choices that fit the “why” of their lives. Selective discernment gives way to three choices in life, a life “that is,” a life “they want,” or a life of “ought.”
All three contain particular nuances that would be impossible to discuss in this short space. But let’s take a brief look and you decide where you are at the moment:
· The life we have. This is it folks. You wake up every day, drive the same automobile, and probably eat mostly the same foods. Yet, you pay your bills, save some money; take a vacation. Eventually send your kids to college and retire in Florida. It is what we have and we deal with it every day. Is this “as good as it gets?” Maybe, yet we move ahead one step at a time.
· The life we want. How to explain a life of “want?” My mother used to say, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” Yeah okay…I have feet, I still want shoes and I want clothes on my family. Tell me what I don’t know. Can I go beyond heating my cave and handing my woman a new skin to wear Saturday night? Yup! Was meant tongue in cheek. It is a personal observation of consumption. I believe in goals. They can be and are important. The question becomes, when is enough, enough? When does “want” become an obsession? At what time does one stop living a life of want and live in gratitude?
· The life of “ought.” Listen to your “monkey mind,” can you hear parents, spouses, teachers, and bosses resonate in your mind telling you what you ought to think, ought to own or ought to be? Do you hear your own mind deliberating guilt like a Manson jury without remorse? Uh-huh, that is the life of “ought.” The life where we start to believe that parents, families, bosses and a culture know what is good, better, best for us. When we start to live the lives THEY have designed for us and not what WE have designed for ourselves we are in a life of “ought.”
As a leader, I have learned to never assume to know which life exists in a person at any time. Emotions are fluid. Goals get raised and lowered. People change, families change, lives change. I CHANGE! My job as a leader is to pay attention, to listen watch and see how I need to be responsible for helping a person to greatness. The most difficult part for me? To retain my own clarity, focus, ease and grace and remain objective to their needs.
Employees, clients, family come to me and ask for help or direction. My job is not to tell them what to do. It is my position to help them; to discover what they need to do for themselves. If necessary I will shuffle the deck and re-deal. New cards imply better odds of winning. Sometimes I’m asked for another card; I’ll deal another because they believe it will help them. I may provide direction on how to read those cards but the decision is theirs; decide they will, because even a NO decision IS a decision.
Once there, the relief on their faces is telling. A smile crosses their faces; often with a smirk they look at me and ask what I am going to with the cards I hold? They watch me as I carefully peek at my hand; calculate the possibilities. What I am willing to do? I set the cards back down smile and say, “I’ll play these thanks.”