Last week, I sent a really important episode of a podcast to a client. She listened and complimented the episode of the podcast. By the end of the week she’d skipped listening to that one episode and my podcasts and had grown attached listening to the rest of the episodes on the new podcast. It shows how easily we all get distracted. None of those extra time wasting podcasts were going to help her bridge the gap between where she is and where she wants to be, but they were entertaining.
What I’d sent her was a slice of cake but she’d gone and eaten the whole cake. What I’d hoped would happen was that she’d get what she needed from that episode and keep focussed on the bridge. Instead, she’d gone on leave and taken her Annual leave of absence from her commitments and drifted into fairyland. My mistake, I may have been better to skip this link to that episode. It’s now cost her a whole week.
With the pace of life accelerating, never before has time been so precious. But time itself ticks at the same rate it did 10,000 years ago. What has changed is what can be achieved in that tick of time. No, re write that… what must be achieved in that tick of time… like bridging the gap between where we are and where we want to be.
Yes, I too subscribe to the principle of being thankful and content for what we’ve got and where we are. But I do know that nature abhors a vacuum and what doesn’t move, stagnates. Stagnation being our worst fears coming true in this case. It’s complicated.
Firstly, if we are really happy where we are and with what we’ve got, then there is no gap. We are right where we want to be. It’s perfect. We’re here. No need to change a thing. Satisfied, fulfilled, happy, healthy, in love, life is good. We sleep well, and have no anxiety. We are calm, tranquil, at peace, softly spoken, never rushed, our nervous system is totally tranquillised, there is no need to be on any form of alert. And yet…..
If we have something so precious as satisfaction there may creep in the need to protect and preserve it. We may therefore become isolating and withdrawn from turbulence and disruption. We might also want to be right, always right, perfectly right, right right, never wrong. Always at peace, clever, genius, master of the universe. Defender of all the good that makes us good, peaceful and tranquil. Invaders are slaughtered with words, looks and judgements. We avoid the bad and gravitate to the good, join peace groups and nice people groups and pray thank you.
So, in being in the moment, and being content with it, there is always it’s counterpart, the fear of the loss of it. There may not be an ambition, or future we dream, but there can become a future we dread, the fear can create a “Gap” even if it is only an imagined future. Gap’s happen, either to imagined or real future’s. While there is a gap, we are motivated to action. A gap between here and fear is going to motivate and drive unproductive, rather self depreciating and anti social behaviour.
Ideally, a Gap needs to exist between here and a brighter future. It can be a great motivating force.
“In the tiny seed, a great oak exists”
The road ahead has one thousand twists and turns. But like the movie producer working with a story, the words, characters and scenes can change but what ends, projected on the screen, is the same story. That story, in our case is the GAP.
How we get there, to that story may not be conspicuous at first, but there must be a story, and that story must be on a wall, not in your head. That story must be drafted, explored, expanded. And then we can ask HOW?
To simplify the GAP we take two halves and put them back together. We take the inner and the outer, the east and west, and merge them:
The inner seeks contentment, satisfaction with what is, gratitude for the past. The outer seeks the future, seeks high goals, ambitions, hopes and dreams. Too much in the future the past (inner) is lost and the ego (outer) is free to imagine the impossible. Too much in the present, the outer (ego) is lost and the inner is free to demotivate, demoralise and abandon the the GAP, it becomes toxic and sick and by seeking to remain in the present, it sabotages the balance and finds paradise in a fantasy of spiritual awakening and social change in an imaginary great world.
Back to The Future
Reality is a beautiful thing. There is no need to change it. Suffering will exist while pleasure is the trophy of the hunter. Failure is the universes best teacher while illness brings us the only real stark and honest reminder of our mortality and the value of time. Pain teaches love and the value of intimacy and broken dreams are the only real way to learn how powerful our imagination can be. Loss is a school that teaches us that impermanence is permanent and often sets us on a path to discover nothing.
There was an ocean swimmer, a seeker of truth, a person who set out to find himself. He put on his sluggos and set out to sea, swimming out to find the other shore. He swam, swam, swam until he reached an island, thinking this was it until the realisation that it was just a resting point. He left that island and swam, coming to many Islands on the way. Then, at last, he saw it, and arrived, exhausted he crawled up on the beach, his hands, body covered in blisters, gasping he crawled along the sand up, and up until his hands touched somethings solid. He couldn’t see, so wounded was he, so, he sniffed and touched and tasted this object and then a second, almost identical. His shoes….
Learning to love life in the present is not the end of the search. It is the beginning of it. Because once we realise that we have not made mistakes, that we are not broken, that we are not in need of repair, then, and only then the real search can begin… the search to do.
Doing is the quest. Do. Once we realise we are already perfect, the now, the past is perfect, we can stop searching to change what is not broken and instead focus on building, creating, expanding, giving, and this – the growing of something, a family, a friendship, a business, a wealth, and our nature given talent, becomes, an obsession. Holding onto the fruits of what we grow and build will destroy the knowing, so, irrespective of what we have, the doing, building and creating in itself becomes the reward. This is where evolution comes in…
TO DO MORE IN LESS TIME
I can create a business tomorrow. But if that business does not do more for clients in less time, it will not survive. Consider the Popup shop, the Wework desk, the drone, the internet, mobile phone, fast food, instand noodles, branding, marketing via facebook, “doing more in less time” all of it, and all successful. Songwriters must produce in a week what once took a year. Movie directors are able to start and finish a blockbuster in the time it once took to negotiate the contracts or write the screenplay. Netflix has 50 series, each with 30 or 40 episodes of a movie length and movie complexity quality running all at once for $10 a month subscription to save us time going to theatres and parking and eating shit. Getting more done in less time is life and whatever we DO with our talent, this must be our call to action.
THE GAP is sometimes wide. We close it fast. If we do not close the GAP fast, another GAP appears and no end appears. A never ending story of chasing the impossible begins and this leads to early death, both of self and project. We must close the GAP between the current and the future by doing it more, in less time. Those who hesitate will be lost… that’s a reality.
- Maintain the discipline to master the present…. Be inspired by it instead of trying to fix, judge or change it.
- Maintain the picture of the future and test its veracity by counting backward from it to see “what would need to happen just before “that” and as you step back into the present, stepping stone by stepping stone, any mention of dependency on luck, or another person, you must stop and cast this dream aside.
- Ask what are my four highest priorities on a daily basis that if I do it, I will bridge the gap in the shortest time… Now, you have your challenge.
Coaching sessions last 2-3 hours. They can be done online or in person.