“Still, round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.”-J.R.R. Tolkien
I was having dinner with my partner last Friday night and we started talking about direction and choice. It wasn’t the first time we had this discussion but on this particular night, a question came up that got me thinking about my choices and how we all make decisions to either “live large” or scale ourselves back to “live smaller.”
The statement in question, was directed at me. I had been talking about how difficult the last year had been. I had set up a new business and ventured into uncharted territory, intrinsic to which, was a huge learning curve that had no blueprint. The language I was used and my body language all screamed out “poor me, look at all I’ve been through!”
It could have been that it was late and that I was hungry. At least, that was my excuse. I was longingly making a case for that corporate job that I no longer had and rewriting history in the process. I waxed on philosophically about how unfair and unjust it all was that I was in this place of reinvention. The way I was talking about my lot in life made the story of Macbeth seem like one of only minor betrayal. A person should always eat earlier on a Friday night!
Thankfully, my partner knew better than to let me “moan on” and said, ” you spent lots of years in a place where you weren’t happy and where you weren’t fulfilled. If I recall, that was your experience in those jobs you’re talking about. Those “secure ones”. Just how secure were they, Trish? You actually stayed because of some sense of “false security” didn’t you? There’s no mystery now-you have no security except for what you make yourself.”
I knew it was true, but I was still thinking that a little sympathy was in order. I was about to say so when the next statement jolted me out of my self pity, “It seems to me that the road you were on before you were forced into making changes was actually a corner!” Wow, that stung….. but what a great observation!
I let the statement sink in and as it did I felt a huge weight begin to lift. What a magnificent gift, an”ahaa” moment from a great observer. In that moment I knew that I was on a path to an adventure unlike any that I had been on for quite some time. I had a vague memory of feelings of adventure. These were stored and mostly forgotten in a place that I associated with a much younger Trish. It occurred to me instantly that I was lucky to have been given the gift of living in a place of risk, possibility and choice.
With that one statement, I knew I was heading for open road! Better yet, I was making a clear choice to go there.
So let me ask you:
- Is that road you’re on actually corner?
- Are you making career and life choices for the right reasons?
- Do you have passion for what you are doing?
- Are you challenged everyday?
- Do you choose stretch goals?
- Do you live inside or outside you’re comfort zone?
- Do you operate from a “yes” place or a “yes but” place?
- Is your world big with possibilities?
- Do you feel the need to make some changes?
- Are you ready to step up and play a bigger game?
Perhaps it’s you’re time look around that corner and find that open road or secret gate. Coaching is a step you can take to get you en route. Never underestimate the power that comes with the right question.