The Curse of the Decided Life

What are you going to do today?

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If you’re anything like me, you may have a schedule or “to do” list that helps give your day direction and intention, allowing you to feel productive as you accomplish small tasks and cross things off as you go.

Some individuals have their days and weeks carefully mapped out with appointments, filling their calendars and smart phones with the commitments and relationships that shape their lives. Still others may wake up without any set plan and go about their day making choices as they come along.

The fabric of our lives in woven by the everyday choices we make. While many of us tend to focus our time and energy on the big, life-altering decisions – like where to buy a home or who to marry – we may often overlook the momentary choices we make each minute of each day: Wake up now or hit snooze? Bike to work or drive? Go out to dinner tonight or stay in and cook? Whatever it is, whenever it is, we are always at choice.

In one of my favorite books of all-time, A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough, Wayne Muller simply asks “what is the next right thing for us to do?”

imagesInstead of viewing each decision as a mountain that needs to be moved, Muller shares that “our choices are small, quiet, intimate things that flow from us as water from a mountain spring: simple, endless each thimble of water tumbling into the next, creating a small stream that somehow, with neither a map nor a plan, through surprising twists and curving around unforeseen obstacles, somehow inevitably finds its way down the mountain to the sea.”

Yet instead of allowing the stream to form naturally, most people play out the curse of a decided life.

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We over-plan and schedule ourselves so tightly that we leave little to no room to be surprised or amazed by what life has to offer. While we may claim to feel empowered by the control we have exerted over our calendars and lives, we often overlook all that we’re saying “no” to by saying “yes” to so much. Tweet This!

Muller comments that “our wanting to control, predict, or ensure a good and hopeful future can make us feel overwhelmed in every moment as each and every choice will either keep open or eliminate countless future possibilities…we ache for a blueprint, a manual; we need specifics.”

Does this sound familiar? 

jpeg-3Do you struggle with wanting to know what’s next instead of letting life emerge like the mountain stream?

Can you easily turn off your smart phone or set aside the “to do” list, and simply ask “what is the next right thing for me to do now?”

Then Try These On For Size

Plan the event. Don’t plan the outcome. As much as we’d like to be in control of what happens, many of us know that we have no control over other’s actions and reactions or even what unexpected circumstances may emerge. You can, however, manage the plans you make and the attitude you choose in every moment. So detach from outcomes and set resonant intentions instead!

Stop forecasting. Start living. Unless you’re a meteorologist or having a working crystal ball, chances are you cannot forecast or predict the future.  So don’t! Allow what happens to emerge naturally based on the choices you make, and then trust yourself enough to determine the next right choice as it appears as you choose intentionally.

Embrace uncertainty. Activate your intuition. When you create space to let life happen instead of trying to control it, you’ll discover that oftentimes the only thing standing in your way is yourself. Open yourself up to the unknown and be okay with not knowing how a situation may or may not work out. Activate your intuition as a powerful sense of knowing, instead of solely relying on facts and logic.

Be open and willing to explore. Be bold. Once you are open to all the possibility that life has to offer and you’re in tune with what you intuitively want and need, you invite a whole new world of choice in that never had room to blossom and grow! Explore. Be bold. Go crazy. Have fun. Keep trusting yourself to discover the next right thing and do it and be willing to get uncomfortable.

Choose to live a life of decided intention instead of living out the curse of the decided life. Tweet This!

Create a great day,

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Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC

Fulfillment Specialist & Leadership Coach
Call: 310.409.9240

 Subscribe here to stay connected!

        
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It’s NOT All About Who You Know…

WastaAfter living abroad in Amman, Jordan for nine months now, I’ve learned that success is almost exclusively built on who you know. What Westerners call networking, clout, cronyism, or even nepotism is fondly known in the Middle East as “wasta” and is used daily in a variety of ways among people of all social circles to get things done.

Globally, wasta is a way of life.

We all rely on our connections and influence to achieve certain goals. In fact, there have been many times in Jordan that my wasta has saved me time, energy, and even money – from getting half-price entry into a Dead Sea resort to knowing who to contact for affordable hotel deals when traveling to Aqaba!

While your wasta can seem like a secret weapon at times, opening locked doors and making things happen easily, wasta isn’t an end in itself – it’s just the first part of a leadership equation that leads to success and positive influence.

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WHO: When you’re trying to accomplish something, you might start by reaching out to who you know in your network that could offer advice, insight, or even help you take the first step. Yet who you know isn’t sustainable without additional knowledge and effort on your part.

WHAT: In order to move things forward, you have to invest hard work and apply your skills based on what you know to maintain and build your connections and ultimately archive your goals. This is also the space to learn, grow, and stretch yourself to expand your knowledge and skills.

HOW: The result of combining your network with your skills and experience shapes how you grow and expand your leadership capacity. This is the leadership sweet spot where you make your mark instead of simply relying on others to get things done.

One of my favorite things to do is to leverage my established network and ultimately expand it for others’ benefit. This could be anything from e-introducing a friend who is looking to move to a new city to someone I knew in college who lives there now, all the way up to helping someone break into a new field or get a promotion by connecting them with someone else I know who is looking to hire great talent.

When you’re open to sharing who and what you know with an attitude of enhancing connection, you are operating with an abundance mentality. However, too often we are fearful that others will get ahead and we react out of fear that triggers a scarcity mentality, sadly believing that there is not “enough” of whatever we’re trying to control to go around.

abundance v. scarcity infographicWhen all is said and done, our leadership success centers around one central theme: The quality of our relationships. Our relationships determine what gets done and ultimately point back to our core values and overall character as a leader. And while wasta is one part of this, relying solely on it for your success will shrink – not grow – your impact.

How will you allow an attitude of abundance lead you?

Create a great day,

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Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC

Fulfillment Specialist & Leadership Coach
Call: 310.409.9240

 Subscribe here to stay connected!

        

A Free Gift For You!

Six Rules iBook CoverAs a BIG THANK YOU for supporting the Wholehearted Leadership Revolution, I wanted YOU to be the first to know about my latest publication on this topic!

 

Download your complimentary copy of my iBook – The Wholehearted Leadership Revolution: Six Rules for Leading with Intention – or email me for the PDF version.  Tweet This!

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Live The Change. Lead With Intention.

Create A Life You’re Proud To Live!

These Six Rules for Leading With Intention described in my iBook create a powerful framework for embracing and activating this new paradigm of wholehearted leadership. While transformational change doesn’t happen overnight, the strong, steady commitment to living a life of integrity and leading with intention can and will make a lasting difference in your life and the individuals you impact.

It starts here. In this moment based on the choices you make (or don’t make) to honor your values and live with purpose and passion.

My deepest desire is for you to live a bold, brilliant, and beautiful life where you are fully engaged, empowered, and energized.

 

Believe that you already have all the resources you need to succeed and create a life you’re proud to live. There are no more excuses, limitations, or boundaries to traverse. There are only open frontiers to explore, lives to change, and people to influence. It is time to go forward armed with your inner resources and embrace all the opportunities ahead.

I hope you enjoy reading The Wholehearted Leadership Revolution and can apply the six rules to enhance your own leadership development! I would love to hear your feedback on what you found most useful and thought-provoking. Feel free to email me or share your thoughts in the comments below. You can also write a short book review (search “Wholehearted Leadership Revolution” in the iTunes store) to help spread the word. I appreciate all your support!

Create a great day,

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Leslie Bosserman, M.Ed., CPCC

Fulfillment Specialist & Leadership Coach
Call: 310.409.9240

 Subscribe here to stay connected!