This morning my friend Gillian and I were having the kind of conversation one would expect two people adept at coaching others would have. We have no problem quickly and easily identifying how to help other people get where they want to go.
We do have a problem applying the same practices on ourselves.
For example, we talked about how we wanted our lives to look and feel. We also asked each other what we would do or what businesses we would create even if we never achieved “success” as defined by the superstars leading most of the seminars we attend.
My answer was I’d write without any concern over building a list, selling a product, or attempting to influence anyone to like, follow, promote or partner with me.
She said she’d coach her friends, her family, or anyone who showed up in her life in clear need of her coaching but not willing to admit or commit to it.
Gillian is a master of creating games as an imitation of life and encouraging clients to play them as a way to learn about themselves and their particular dilemma.
She suggested we play a game called “No Matter What.” It goes something like this. Monday through Friday she’ll send me a writing prompt and I will post a response no matter what.
Having done 21-Day Detoxes and 30 Day Challenges, I’m a big fan of the benefits that come with committing to focused periods of time with very specific outcomes in mind. But even that did not stop me from throwing all kinds of “reasonable” resistance into the conversation.
Because I know how much better it is to do difficult things with group support, my first response was, “We should get a group together to do this!” Believing more time and more information would be necessary, my next line of resistance went something like this, “Maybe we should wait until the first of the month?” “Maybe I should research it a little more?”
On and on it went. As I exercised every excuse in the book as to why I couldn’t begin now, Gillian’s reply was simply, “Or I could just send you a prompt tomorrow and we could get started.”
So tomorrow we start the No Matter What game. Because writing keeps me sane, makes me happy, and sometimes sparks joy in others, my commitment is write. I will respond to her prompts and post them no matter what.
Gillian’s is coaching. Yours may be painting, running, singing, writing a haiku or two, welding art objects, playing the cello, acting, creating videos or mixed tapes or who knows what.
I only know that the world needs our collective creativity.
Because creativity takes a lot of courage, most of us convince ourselves we are simply not creative. We spend a great deal of time consuming someone else’s creativity – going to movies, watching tv, going to concerts, attending plays – and seldom cultivate our own.
So here’s my challenge. Join the game. Pick your baby, your thing. Name and claim your creative superpower and then, like me, dust it off and practice it for the next month. There are no rules about how you do it, only that you do.
What’s in it for you? Well, that’s the risk, isn’t it? At the very least you will have given your attention to something you profess to love for 30 days. Now let’s find out if it’s true love or merely infatuation.
Yes, it will demand your time. It absolutely vie for your attention. And you will want to forget the whole thing some time within the first 24-48 hours.
But stick with it, Grasshopper. I promise you’ll learn something that just thinking about doing this won’t teach you.
To get started, let me know what you’re “No Matter What” commitment is in the comments below.