Getting out of the Rut

This morning I saw a glimpse of a news story on the national news featuring four young guys who were traveling around the country to complete items on their Bucket List of things to do before they die. In so doing, each time they check off an item, they turn to the community around them to assist someone else in doing the same.

It occurs to me that most of us are buried alive (in their words) by our mindset. For instance, about 7 or 8 years ago I went through an extensive leadership training which forced us each to write out and share our dreams and desires in life. Almost simultaneously, my minister asked several of us the same question. In each case, I was at a loss.

I hadn’t spent my life focusing on what I wanted. I spent my life focusing on how to make good where I was. Opening the lens to consider other options or extensions beyond me took a lot of effort. However, once there, the energies within began churning. Sure, I realized I was confined by several factors, yet much of the joy of life is in negotiating the challenges we face.

Through my coaching experiences of helping others become what they hope for, I constantly run into the expression, “But I can’t.” Excuses then roll out, either around money, time, priority, natural talents, etc. Just as how I felt back when I shifted gears from teaching to coaching.

“But Merri, you are half-way to retirment. It’s not logical.”
“What do you know about business, Merri?”

Logic and black and white circumstances work on paper. They simply don’t fuel our motivation and sense of well-being.

The young boys in the morning broadcast seem to feel a vocation won’t appeal to their purpose. Or perhaps it’s just the reverse – a vocation may come out of it. Let’s say that’s the case. Nonetheless, they are taking a risk of being ridiculed for playing around with their life instead of growing up or disappointing someone for not entering the work force. What they are gaining is a sense of self. And until any of us has a sense of value, none of us will see our own purpose in life.

We may punch a time-clock, yet our attitude and spirit will stay in a rut, muddied by life and the negativity we attract.

Our hope is that instances of dreams we had early in life will resurface. My early dreams were of getting on a stage. Although I studied theatre, performed community and local college theatre, the biggest experiences of living my purpose come when helping others perform. Maybe that’s when I make presentations on confidence building, on handling tough conversations, or on connecting well with others. Maybe it’s when I’m face to face with someone who needs a boost, who is reconnecting to their spirit and is learning that logic isn’t all that matters.

Define what you desire and then examine how important it is to OTHERS that you work towards it. Without that perspective, our appeal to self-sacrifice will talk us out of it, and our rut will deepen.

The day I put away the chalk and gradebook I felt fear, yet I never felt more spirit and support. It is so worth getting out of the rut, even if it takes letting others help us.

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On January 15th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by