This New Year, Dare to Be Unfaithful to Your Goals
An excerpt from the book Thrive through uncertainty: Go Beyond Fear of the Unknown and Make Change Work for You (TarcherPerigree-Penguin-Randomhouse),
by Tama Kieves
I was talking to one of my coaching clients who said that he couldn’t keep practicing Zen meditation, so he stopped meditating altogether. “Either I’m enthusiastic all the time or I don’t show up at all,” he said in disgust.
We were discussing this on one of the unfortunate nights where she “hadn’t shown up at all.” Listening to her, he would have thought she had just murdered the family’s cocker spaniel. Clearly, she needed forgiveness herself more than self-discipline.
I understand the desire to make changes in your life. I believe in enthusiasm. I also believe in compromise. But I’m more of a fan of incremental organic natural engagement.
That means I invite you to be inconsistent and unreliable.
I challenge you to break promises you have made to yourself and I challenge you to make new ones. This is what it takes to take the brave path of learning to reinvent, hunt your naked heart, and discover and trust yourself.
You are here to follow an unpredictable light wherever it takes you, not to turn unfathomable power into a silly, stupid box. This is not a rationalization. It is strategy. Because a realistic and sustainable path does not arise from obligation or hostility. If you want something to go to the end, it has to come from love.
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The commitment is bold and wonderful. Still, let your intention breathe instead of suffocating. You are learning to commit to something deeper than stubbornness. I’ll call it disposition. This disposition arises from an internal call. Real success comes from irrepressible desire, not impatience.
“I never comply,” says Sandra, in one of our afternoon calls. I know this is not true. She is a bright and passionate woman who has raised children, which, if you ask me, is quite a follow-up. In fact, it’s still feeding them, last I knew. “I get it. Sometimes you have to look down on resistance,” I said. “But honey, believe me when I tell you that stiffness will create more problems than it solves.”
Moving on is much less important than following inner guidance.
It is not wise to stay true to a faded goal. Stay committed to gold. Your inner voice is gold. You don’t have to believe me, just because they pay me good money as a coach that flips the term “responsibility”. Ralph Waldo Emerson, leader of the transcendentalist movement in the mid-nineteenth century, put it even more flagrantly: “A foolish coherence is the goblin of little minds.” Do not worry. Your inner wisdom will never ask you to give up your integrity. He may ask you to abandon your hobgoblins. Or give yourself room for elbows and wingspan.
Flexibility doesn’t mean you have a compromise problem. It can indicate adaptability, which sounds much sexier than erratic.
Seriously though, what if who you think “should be” is holding you back from the brilliance of who you are becoming?
For example, I’ve worked with many successful high-powered people who don’t “deliver,” because while something may be a great idea, it’s not an idea that puts your fangs on their jugular. It’s just a good idea. They have so many great ideas, popcorn popping out of their ears. And it is not correct that they make a good idea the only opportunity at this time. It takes emotional honesty to explore and stay true to your instincts. It takes great courage not to move on.
Maybe you think you are just a coward? I have met many smart authenticity seekers who refuse to settle. They had a need to move on. It wasn’t because they were frivolous, but because they had already taken flight. If you’ve grown up, you move on. That is called maturing. If you go to eighth grade, have you “dropped out” of seventh grade? No, you will not give up; You are evolving. And the growth sheds its baby teeth.
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There is also a divine moment for things, when things just work. My partner Paul tried to stay sober three times before he was sober for life, or at least two decades, and counting. It was not a mistake for him to try to stay sober. It was not a failure to try, even though he did not fulfill it. It is never wrong to move towards health. You cannot force yourself to be ready. But you can keep taking steps in the right direction as often as possible.
For me, there is beauty, intelligence and grace in appearing crooked, appearing irregularly, appearing sporadically. To appear is to appear.
The dream destroyer in you pushes you to firm commitments. But the real change is about breathing in and out. Daring to live the authentic life that calls you is a path of invitation, not obligation. If it is right for you to commit yourself more deeply to something, you will enter into this grace. But you will achieve it in your own time and not a second before or after.
The Persian mystic poet Rumi, the absurdly free and expansive spirit, writes “Come, come who you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of the game… Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times. Come, come again. “
The path of wisdom A course in miracles he echoes this philosophy by telling us to “choose one more time,” whenever we have made a painful choice. It doesn’t say crucify yourself, throw in the towel, and of course go ahead and create your identity from everything that hasn’t worked yet. No, it tells us to save time. Just start over.
Choose the new behavior or belief now. Give birth to a different experience this very minute. This kind of freedom is not irresponsible. It is the ultimate responsibility. You have a mandate in this life to give yourself every opportunity to be healthy and sincere.
If you are trying to lose weight, don’t worry about your unwillingness on the third day of your program. Celebrate the first two days of motivation. Only wins count, if you want to win. In the jargon of the 12-Step Program, “It’s about progress, not perfection.”
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I know rigorous people will tell you that taking an exercise class or spending an hour with your camera won’t help, but I don’t agree. Every act of love for yourself makes a difference.
That one time can boost your self-esteem, help reveal the skies, stretch a muscle, or send a burst of dopamine to your brain, all of which, trust me, will increase the likelihood that it will return.
Go ahead, stumble into grace. Start and stop a million times. Arrive late and leave early. Whatever is needed. So what if some think you look spasmodic? You are an extraordinary truth seeker, an inspired explorer or, as Rumi puts it, a traveler in “a caravan of joy.” And that works well, because you are moving in the right direction.
Tama KievesA graduate of Harvard Law School with honors, she left her legal practice to write and help others create their most extraordinary lives. She is the author of four best-selling books, including A year without fear: 365 days of magnificence and his last Thrive through uncertainty. A sought-after speaker and career / success coach, she has helped thousands of people prosper in their life, their vocation, and their businesses. Sign up to receive your FREE digital fortune cookies and a free copy of their popular Dare to Decide webinar www.tamakieves.com/dare.
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