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Clarity, Mindsets and Rich Experience

A very important person in my life – a leader, friend, “upleveler” (more to come on that), co-inspirer – has fondness for the expression “So, what’s the movie version of that?”  What she’s really asking, “so how would Hollywood have this end?”  Perhaps a little glib at first, and yet a really powerful question when you step back to think about it.  Here’s what I mean….

In much of the coaching and leadership work I do on personal mastery and mindsets, I encounter clients and teams who find themselves held hostage (at times) to their own victim mindsets.  People, events, circumstances are “doing” all these things to them, and they are stuck.  It some cases, miserable and more often than not, reactive.  No doubt there are trying people, situations and condition coming up – I totally get it.  And yet the one thing many haven’t deeply considered is, given all that’s going on, how would they really like the day/project/event/situation turn out?  What’s the movie version of this ending that creates an enticing and empowered version of you?  And yes, I know I’m likely pushing buttons here.  Stick with me.

You see, if we’re trapped in the circumstances expecting the worst, we unconsciously begin to take on mindsets (and subsequently behaviours and actions) that make these undesirable situations come true (neuroscience, quantum physics and even stock market gurus work with these principles).  In essence, we become a victim director in the circumstance, or our life, and let all the actors, settings, etc. dictate the outcome.  We just hang on, and likely, direct a movie that creates the ending we don’t want (even though we’re unconsciously creating it – yes, we are playing a role in getting exactly what we’re trying to avoid).  So, what to do?

Firstly, know that you’re in the Director chair.  You do get to shape the outcome in some, if not many ways.  One way you are definitely in that chair is determining your mindset and INTENTION for how you want it to turn out, and subsequently, the role you can play (attitudes, behaviours, etc.) to make that happen.  Let me give you an example:

Pic1An inspiring client of mine recently took a fantastic trip overseas.  This trip had friends and family members involved, uncertainty in new sites, countries, cultures and activities – all the things that create wonder, frustration, joy, mystery, stress, etc. on a trip.  Before she left, she got REALLY CLEAR on how she wanted to experience the trip and what she wanted to make most important.  With the clarity on what she wanted to experience and what was so powerful/meaningful about that to her, she then identified how she wanted to show up to make that possible, irrespective of whatever was “dealt” her way.  And things were “dealt” to be sure.  And, she remained clear, curious and committed to herself and what she wanted to experience with others.  Each day she reaffirmed what was most important, took her stance and engaged from that place.  In essence, she owned her Director chair.

And you know, a funny thing happened.  Not only did she notice that she was more clear, resilient and mindful in her experiences, but she also started to attract the most amazing people and opportunities to deepen her experience of what she truly wanted.  People from other cultures speaking foreign languages were drawn to her vitality, curiousity and presence.  Speaking in tongues she did not understand, she knew she was creating the impact she wanted for herself, and it was powerfully contagious to others.  Being drawn to it, they brought their vitality to meet hers, and the experience grew and became more powerful.  The vibrancy in “showing up” rippled across piazzas, mountains, even borders.   She got even more from the experience than she imagined!

She also discovered deep compassion for some what were longing to experience deep connection and meaningfulness – significance in a way – with those around them.  They perhaps saw the trip as a way to be seen and connected to/with.  Qualities I believe my client was seeking in some way for herself.  Indeed, trips can be a powerful catalyst for connection(our biological need to bond as human beings can be heightened in uncertain circumstances), and yet this vibrant leader knew that this was a part of a life story being played out in a new world.  She powerfully chose, from her clear mindset and intention, perspectives that served to deepen that which she wanted to create on her trip, and in doing so, showed up in a way that gave her traveling companions that which they longed for to.   I’m not an expert in creating followership, however this sounds like we’re in the same ballpark.

In essence, she said her experience when from judging to be curious and looking out at the world from their perspective.  A transition like this:

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From here, what she experienced, accomplished and impacted shifted even more powerfully for her.  The movie took shape, form and an ending that was all she had hoped for and more.   The personal and leader impact she had started to experience and create at home went global.  And to see her now – radiant clarity and fierce certainty in who she is – is a significant understatement, and brilliant to behold.

Just recently, I had a call for an Executive Coaching assignment I’m leading and it was a qualitative 360 interview to better understand my client.  While I wasn’t coaching the person I was speaking to on the phone, her intro suggested to me that Monday was starting less than ideal.  And so I asked, “what’s the movie version of how this day ends?”  She was quiet and then said “no one’s ever asked me that before.  I don’t know.  Maybe I should decide.”  I thought it was fantastic.  If she doesn’t choose to decide and move in that direction, someone else will.

We always get to be the Director of our intentions, mindsets and what we know to be most important.  Many of us just don’t take the time to get clear.  What I want for you is experiences in your daily life that help you know the impact of being a Director, YOUR Director, and the power that generates for you and others.

As Steven Spielberg once said:

“I don’t dream at night.  I dream all day.  I dream for a living.”

So choose to dream yourself – create the dream you want, even if it’s just to the end of the day.  And then step boldly in so that you can look back and say “Hey, look at my “best picture” – that’s something I’m proud of.

So what’s the movie version of how your day turns out?