How many bold initiatives or dreams are quietly dropped and left behind? As inspiration dwindles and the fun of immersion and the new slowly passes, how do we keep on going?
As a creative I have huge energy at the early stage of projects — I love the visioning and ideation phases. Leading a team it is super important for me that I have others around that I can pass the baton to as the project shifts from the early exploring, creative/expansive and often immersive phase into the hard (often plodding and repetitive) work of getting it done. This is the grind.
Because this is not my default zone, I’ve learnt to be more disciplined, and give this area extra energy particularly when leading teams and use a blend of agile/scrum and project plans to ensure execution happens.
It perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that working for myself this is still where I need to focus extra energy. No one is asking where the project plan is — right now there aren’t team members that need to stay focussed and on the right task.
Passionate about change and social transformation, I’m a fan of Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, and have used it as a model for leading change labs in communities and organisations. The thing about it though is at the bottom of the U, as we go through a change process, the key is that we individually need to commit to the change. To showing up differently with open minds and hearts and then we must commit to the change and new actions to carry it through.
We need the will to pursue the climb and finding this can actually be damn hard even terrifying. The potential for failure is real. And it comes after doing the really hard work of shifting mindsets and opening hearts/minds. Stacks of change efforts seem to falter here. Or they carry on but the original intent and purpose is lost as energy wains, participants struggle with the resilience required for long drawn out change processes and the build of the new.
If you are committed to your vision, failures are just part of the process for getting to what works.
I feel like I have found a personal truth in this space as I am beginning to see there is a joy in walking the path, sticking to the process and each day building on what went before. Somedays there are awesome wins and others not so much. But it is a process. Failure in some way will be part of the journey but I will keep going. I am on a climb and just need to keep taking another step, finding another foothold, doing the best work I can in each moment.
The real slip up for me would be abandoning my vision, my soul work. There are still very real lures that no doubt divert countless others from following their dreams. That inner voice/sub personality that is (I have finally realised after a decade of inner work!) is what Bill Plotkin calls a ‘loyal soldier’ one that is actually committed to keeping me safe — but also small and childlike. I will never achieve my dreams listening to this one.
Choosing who you listen to is so important in choosing your path and your work. For me it has been unearthing that quiet inner voice (perhaps soul, spirit or higher self) that has always been there but perhaps I haven’t always listened to, that has allowed me to find this new commitment to honouring what matters, while also making money to do all the things that matter.