For your convenience Tips #1-6 in Leading the Seamless Life™ have been compiled in this printer friendly version. Read current issues and tips at www.sideroad.com/seamless.
#1 - The "Fifth" Week
Who doesn't think they could benefit from four weeks of time set aside for whatever your heart desires or soul requires?
Think you're too busy? Think it's impossible?
In the coach world we take the fifth time an appointment day falls into our calendar off. There is actually an extra four weeks in the calendar year when you look at those three days that fall on the 29th, 30th, and 31st of each month (except February, usually).
If our client appointment, for example, is usually at 9am every Wednesday ....whenever there are actually FIVE Wednesdays in that month -- the client is off AND the coach is off. As coaches, we ask our clients to use that time just for them -- marketing time, writing time, spirit time...however they want it, but it's like a free gain in their month.
They can take the whole day OFF, while still meeting monthly commitments by working through the other four days in that month.
It's amazing what this opens up....Simply think, for example, of what you could do with a whole four weeks of "spirit days" just for you?! They are waiting for you to claim on every calendar, world-wide.
Take the fifth week off, and begin leading the Seamless Life.
#2 - Letting Needs Go
Sort through the old messages about needs that you got as a kid--which ones were not 'OK" to have?
What did you hear from others about needs?
We grow up. We grow out. Most of the time we've outgrown old 'messages' long ago. But -- the ones written into us in invisible ink don't get erased.
Let's handle that now. Write ALL the messages out, each on a separate piece of paper.
Now, throw them away...gently, kindly -- and for good!
#3 - Truth Talks
The truth is Needs are NOT walking wounds or black holes. Along with the thinking of Abraham Maslow, they simply are what IS. Just as we have no problem with needing oxygen, water, food, shelter, and security....we also need things like love, affection, approval, and inclusion. In many cases, structure and order are also very nice to have.
Things like this simply help us be our best and do our best. They are good and useful self-investments to put in place, day-in and day-out.
So...this week it would be helpful to pay attention to what Stephen Covey also brought forward in his concept of "sharpening the saw." Take these key Needs you've now identified and grow to know which of them help you find effectiveness, strength or renewal in the realms of:
- special relationship
Make a commitment to examine the exchanges and the costs you now confront in how you are meeting each of your Needs in these arenas. Once you have a bit of clarity here, list at least one less expensive, less demanding and more effortless way you can meet each Need.
Put whatever you need to in place for the next week to set up win/win situations for yourself in these areas. Reschedule, reprioritize, call in your return favors, take a few hours off, underpromise more, say "no" or "not now" (or even dare to say "Never!") -- and build in more special treats for you all week. Whatever it takes. Be brave!
Then -- Sit and bask in this set of victories for the rest of this week. See for yourself first hand what it feels like to have these Needs more sufficiently met.
Rejoin us next week. We'll delve into the whole concept of Values.....and why honoring and living through them is very important to the approach of The SeamLess Life™ that deeply satisfies.
#4 - Meeting Your Needs
The SeamLess Life™ approach to life is one that will add meaningfulness to your every day. The tip for the week to help you in your SeamLess Life™ quest is both a recap and a set of suggestions.
A Need (such as for security, power, achievement or affiliation) -- when fully met in life -- tends to set you free to be your best or do your best. A Value -- when fully honored or lived through and expressed -- will help you become increasingly creative and give you immense satisfaction and well-being.
Identify your Needs as basic needs or growth needs, as Abraham Maslow, the transformational psychologist, thought of them. Needs are something you usually tend to meet by striving to gain something externally or by measuring where you are vs how you want to be. You learn more about Needs by comparing or noticing how you are doing in life against something outside you. This usually also is outside your own complete control.
For example, you may measure your Need for approval by how often you are complimented or acknowledged publicly. When that happens often enough, your "approval Need" is filled sometimes even to capacity. At that point, it may not be a Need at all for now. When it's filled for good your self-esteem is sufficiently strong. That's when you are able to put the things in place in your life to keep this particular Need from beginning to 'scream' and demand again - possibly forever.
Maslow believed once a Need was at least 60% met it would set you free, so to speak. Once this happens you could become interested in meeting a higher order need. It's at this point The SeamLess Life™ begins to possibly gain your interest as your Values begin to draw your attention.
Once you have secure shelter, enough food and a stable income, you may meet your Need to be more responsible by taking a time-management class. That leads you to develop the new habit of spending time with a calendar/organizer ten minutes each morning -- which helps keep your need to be responsible met day in and day out. Though it may be a good idea, that's probably NOT how you would prioritize starting every day when you are out of work, can't pay your rent this month and are hungry.
Needs are something that will tend to drive you until you understand and drive and direct them. This is when you set up ways in your life to meet them more effortlessly and less expensively. A helpful practice in your weekly review of how your life is going is to ask yourself this question about each of the Needs you have identified:"Is the way I'm striving to fully meet this Need the easiest way, the most useful way for me?"
You may find it's too expensive, too energy-requiring, or simply not time- efficient for where you are now in your life vs where you may have been even two or three weeks ago. You are growing and evolving. As you do, you will find easier and more fulfilling ways to meet Needs. Once met even up to 60%, Needs will then support you in setting new boundaries or more productive goals. When a recurring Need again requires your attention, you can trust it to remind you.
Needs are not optional -- they require being met. When you are doing this insufficiently, a Need will begin to drive you to manipulate others, your circumstances or environment, or even yourself. If you find yourself doing or saying things unlike the real you -- things maybe that embarrass you a little -- pay attention! That's a Need busy at work trying to get itself met in an inappropriate way for you.
STOP, analyze what it is you really need or want, and develop a better plan for arranging this. Then you will be able to be proud of how you take care of yourself and you won't need these behaviors that don't work for you.
#5 - Pain/Pleasure-Driven Values
Once you've identified your top Values (see column 5) you will be able to more consciously recognize their significance and your ability to live through them or honor them in your daily life. In short, they can lead you to a new perspective on what you allow in your life from this point forward and what you do not.
Your Values work can also take you to a different place with a different view. Ask yourself this: "Is this a Value that is pain-driven for me or pleasure-driven?"
The odds are high ALL of your values will provide one type of benefit for you, or the other - or possibly both. Another valuable question: "Is this a Value that helps me maximize pleasure and enjoyment or is it one that helps me avoid pain or penalty?"
Let's take a concrete example with the Value of: Wellness. One person may live through this value by having a weekly or monthly massage therapy session. However, if a chronic pain condition is 'driving' this then massage may be a pain-driven value-activity. Massage serves as a pain alleviator or pain preventor in this case. Whereas if a person in great physical condition elects to have regularly scheduled massages for the sheer joy of it, then massage would be more of a pleasure-driven or oriented value for that person.
S0oooo -- an interesting exercise could be to take each of your Values you have identified and ask yourself:
- If you do not get to live through a Pleasure-driven value for some reason that week or month, would you feel a real loss and miss the experience or the good feeling honoring it generates for you?
- If you fail to live through or honor a Pain-driven Value -- you could have a sense of regret or miss it mildly -- but do you notice more than this?
The question this brings up -- do you want a choice over your values being Pain-driven or Pleasure-driven? (Being SeamLess™ is mostly about choice and option). If you do, here's your chance to elect your preference for the kind of Values you want to make primary for you.
#6 - You Can't Keep Your Gifts From Showing Up
Occasionally coincidence paves the way for a new life-view or Eureka! type of useful awareness. This tends to happen more and more when you get in sync with your Values...and as you increasingly honor and live through them.
One spin-off benefit is the wonderful emergence of a sense of lightness when we realize we're taking life much too seriously. It begins to dawn that lightening up and 'dancin' with it as it comes is more useful and satisfying.
One of the best laughs we, personally, have had in the development of The SeamLess Life™ articles came like a gift from a colleague we've mentioned previously, Bill Montgomery. He's talented in the production of 'models' and especially in one-pagers encapsulating visually, and in layout format, what it is you're most wanting to say -- for example in an article.
One day across the FAX rolled a visual one-page interpretation including a label:Following this on the bottom half of the page was:
First Half of Page:
Seemless Life ......followed by a description of something we were wanting conveyed in synopsis.
Second Half of Page:
SeamLess Life™ .....with a description of some of the results in a life as you move into this approach in the day-to-day.
Well -- we thought this was just sheer brilliance; he'd pointed out what we'd never verbalized:
- Early stage -- life seems like less:
--> seemless life
- Later stage -- life seems more effortless and more a-piece:
--> SeamLess Life™
When we contacted Bill to tell him he was 'right-on!' and had grasped the concepts 'on paper' wonderfully well -- he apologetically informed us "seemless" on the page was actually a typo! So...we now know he's unconsciously brilliant -- and it's just a matter of time before he realizes it!
Start being watchful. This quest called The SeamLess Life™ will begin to call forth your own brightest side -- more and more effortlessly, ready or not! What we know for sure: You Can't Keep Your Gifts From Showing Up!
Contact the authors with questions or to seek advice.
Diane Menendez can be reached at email@example.com,
Sherry Lowry is firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at http://www.sherrylowry.com/book.htm.
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Text © Diane Menendez & Sherry Lowry, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
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