There is a common use of good words to define our use of time for we humans.
They sound good. Reasonable. Important. However, I suspect these words need to be thought through in a better order than how most of us have used them in the past.
No one I mentor, no life you mentor, is “just a common life.” The genuine uniqueness of each person is to be called out and lived into in the best of mentoring. But the common use of these familiar words do not help us form a creative, solid way forward in our own lives, or the lives of those we mentor.
The words I’m referring to are good words. The intent, definitions of these words, standing alone, are used times per day by each one of us in thoughts and a variety of forms of communication. The usual/common order of them is so familiar, however, that we too often do not ponder well the intent of what then mean. We can easily go, “Ho hum. I know that.”
Do you? Really? What if we were to contemplate the power of these words, but out of the usual order?
As I have the rich, intriguing, sacred privilege of mentoring emerging leaders from across the globe (in person, via Skype or FaceTime), I’ve experienced these hope-filled men and women add substantive depth and momentum to the sincere delight of progress in their lives, even in the midst of some adverse circumstances. Just switching two words around has changed their lives.
What are those common words?
What two words need to be switched?
“Hmmmmm. How come?” you ask?
That we all have. A past.
No matter where a person may be in the Three3rds of Life in our Circle of Life Mentoring Model, even a child born last week begins to have a past. My beautiful mother-in-law, who passed away at the amazing age of 103 had a long past.
Our personal history, for good, and in some places not-so-good, is what has formed us up to the current moment. Stories abound, if we dare to remember and tell them, that have made us much of who we each are on this very day.
In our training of intentional, deep-change, whole-life, transformational mentors through Leadership Design Group, in all my personal mentoring, I use a tool called Doing The Decades. This provides a brief look over one’s life decade by decade. The same questions are asked of every decade, right up to the current moment. It provides a rich, “essence look” at someone’s background that might take hours of inquiry.
For the last decade one fills out this personal tool, there are additional questions pertaining to their hopes, dreams, possibilities, opportunities, ways they long to see themselves used to make a difference in our world, beginning with right where they live. Very few have ever been without some thoughts, hopes for how they would like to live into their future.
Many are not sure how to turn their hopes into honest reality. They know what they long for. Some of the opportunities are personal. Some seem almost impossible, but they cannot let go of possibilities that keep lurking in the margins of their lives. The best of mentoring helps others live, realistically, creatively, way beyond what they at first thought possible.
Remember personal history. Yet hoping forward, we bring all that good thinking, exploring, discovering right to the current moment. Like now. Right now. Helping emerging leaders and whole leadership teams arrive at this moment has a certain “magic” to it. From the past there may be some moments, happenings that need a healing touch. Thinking forward with what could be in one’s life, or the life of an organization, there need to be moments of permission given to dare to dream…….big. What if? Why not? What are the next steps? Who will be involved? What if one succeeds way beyond what one can imagine? When do we begin?
We begin in the present.
The now. Not the past. Not the future.
Now. The present.
It is here we explore the choices, the actions needed to move us into the future. It is here we get creative with possibilities. We dare to see what works. We celebrate what works.
We even celebrate what we find does not work. Whew! Glad we did find out before we got too far down the road of our hopes, dreams, possibilities, choices, plans.
If you are in any way a creative, thinking person, you are probably arguing with me about this past, future, present idea. No problem…….almost.
We build off our history, personally and organizationally. We design off our hopes, needs for the future, what we are called to be and do. What you and I do in the current moment, indeed, determines our future. What we choose to do, think about, feel in the present provides much of the fuel to help us move from the present into the future.
Our mentor training will help you adopt and live into this new way of thinking about yourself and others. You have a past. You have a future. How you choose to live now, in this moment, will get you where you long and need to be.
This I know from my own 72+ years of living life to the max. Indeed, I hope the same for you as you look back, look ahead and get up and get going…now.