Let it Be. Paul McCartney, 1968
We humans love novelty and the energy of starting something new. The term Neophiliac describes people who have a strong affinity for starting new things. There are benefits and drawbacks to this personality though: neophiliacs are great at building start-ups or taking on a new exercise trend and not great at running a company or sticking with a fitness approach. What I have noticed after listening carefully to people who are contemplating making changes in their lives is that a crucial first step is often missing: The need to first stop doing that which is not serving them. While it sounds simplistic, it is a necessary microscopic first step toward lasting change. If you are experiencing exhaustion, feel like your conversations with some people are full of complaining and/or are fruitless, you may be distracted from a vital life-giving approach that can take you to a new future. Stop what you are doing.
• Instead of letting your co-worker/employee/teen vent their frustrations and shower you with excuses, stop listening to it and interrupt by asking, “What would excellence look like right now?”
• Instead of having the same ineffective conversation with your teen/colleague/direct report/partner, stop having the one you are having and begin with a more spacious approach. Summon the words of Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrong and right, there is a field. I’ll meet you there”
• Instead of starting a new eating plan, consider only stopping the destructive eating pattern, you are already engaged in. That’s what is largely responsible for the extra weight.
• Instead of always having all the answers for the people you lead, parent, live or work with, stop having all the answers. Approach them with curiosity and not-knowing.
We often make too much work for ourselves when trying to change or start something new. It can be a far easier lift to drop a destructive pattern before beginning a new one. Get to know your current way of being in and seeing the world and drop what limits you.
Under the comb, the tangle and the straight path are the same. Heraclitus