Start with the What and Why – Not the How
What do getting in better shape and starting a new business have in common? They both require you to have a plan. Yet planning all the hows before developing a clear vision of what you want and why is working blind to one of your greatest superpowers – Imagination. This post is based on one of the nine principles behind the Conscious Profit – Sparking and Rekindling Your Imagination.
Nothing smothers imagination more quickly than not being aware of the ideas that hold you back – those impatient, critical voices that you harbor from the past. You first heard them when someone more powerful than you just wanted you to be quiet, quit daydreaming, and get back to whatever you “should” have been doing. Though they are just a refrain playing in your brain, they are holding you back. Those shame-filled moments of dismissal taught you to be quiet about your “crazy ideas” and dreams. Your imagination got filtered. Your first task is self-awareness. Looking within can help you identify the ways that old patterns and ideas are holding you back. Your next task is to find ways to open up and include others on your journey.
The Rekindling Power of Connection
Reality check – no one figures it out on their own. You are human. You weren’t wired to be alone. Though you may be the genesis for something new in the world, making it a reality relies on the wisdom of “We.” We have thrived as a species because of our abilities to connect, cooperate, and create.
Ask for What You Need
If you are feeling stuck, you need to ‘spark” your imagination so that your vision can bloom. One important way to do so is to recognize those with whom you can connect and ask their permission to hear you out. Be clear from the start. You aren’t looking for them to critique your ideas. You have an idea and you would like a thought partner to help you think it through. Not everyone can be a thought partner. Many people listen only long enough to know how to respond with their own ideas. Those are not the types of listeners you need. Thought-partnering with the wrong type of listener will only reinforce your old patterns.
My Friend Jackie
A year and a half ago, a colleague moved into town. We met for coffee to catch up. We reminisced. We laughed. We shared. She was an excellent listener and lots of fun. At our third coffee date, I got up the nerve and “admitted” I had an idea for a business. I was a little sheepish about it because I was “supposed” to be retired and I didn’t want to look like a flake. Yet she was totally present and supportive as I shared my raw, unformed ideas for a business.
When Your Visions Bloom – Connections Remain
We spent the next ten months meeting weekly and stoking the fires of imagination. We thought we might even run the business together. We even created and produced a learning event in town that was a success. Yet it became apparent that my vision had bloomed and she preferred to remain in a supportive role. She was and still is an amazing Mind Opener, Energizer, and Builder. She champions my enthusiasm and believes in me. Though she didn’t become a business partner, she gave me the priceless gift of being my thought partner. I owe her a debt of gratitude. The Conscious Profit exists today because of those conversations.
You will know a thought partner by the way they listen and the type of feedback they provide. These are the Mind Openers, Energizers, and Builders of the world. They are patient, imaginative listeners. Any feedback they provide is out of concern for your best interest. Over time I have learned to develop a network of support comprised of great listeners. Though the world seems hopelessly distracted and self-centered, there are those who would love to be your thought partner if you would only invite them in.