I don’t want to do this!
It was the first day of class one month ago - at a summer intensive engineering course for high school students taught at a university in Baltimore.
That first day of class, I was present, engaged, and at my best as a teacher. The 24 students and I had a fun and challenging first day together.
Then the day ended, I got back home, and I didn’t want to go back on Tuesday.
“I don’t want to teach this summer!!” I wanted to focus on creative endeavors in my coaching practice. I wanted to relax and have fun at home with the boys. I didn’t want to have to generate the necessary energy, compassion, curiosity, and engagement that a classroom full of students requires.
I wanted to do something else!
And the choice showed up in front of me. The same choice that shows up in front of you and everyone, day in, day out...
When our mood is low and we’re resisting something about life…
When life doesn’t match our preferences and there’s a petulant voice within saying “I don’t like this!!!”
When our marriage and relationships are uncomfortable, frustrating, and it’s clearly someone else’s fault…
It’s so easy to resign ourselves and just go about the motions. To work for the weekend. To simply put up with other people. To sell out on our vision of who we want to be and what we’ve committed ourselves to.
And we always have great reasons for it too:
I’m exhausted! I work so hard! I’m doing my best already! Can’t someone else step up this time?!
So here’s the choice always in front of us: Resignation and Cynicism OR Hope and Possibility?
Resignation and Cynicism are the easy path. Resigned about our relationships. Resigned about our jobs. Cynical about the future. Cynical about the real motives driving the leaders of the organization.
Resigned and Cynical are ordinary, default ways of being for jaded adults carrying baggage collected over the years. We're not seeing with clear eyes - we're seeing through filters designed by our past experiences that limit what's possible in the present and future.
So much more is possible.
Thriving relationships at home and at work. Passion and enjoyment in the things that matter to us. More of life mattering to us!
As a transformational coach, it wouldn’t have ANY integrity for me to resign myself to surviving the four weeks with these students. So I made my choice that first afternoon of class...
I chose hope and possibility.
First, I acknowledged the default. I said to my wife, in the voice of a petulant 7-year-old, “I don’t wanna!!!”
Second, I set my intentions for how I would show up the next 4 weeks. I'm committed to engaging compassionately with each student as if each class period was the most important conversation I could be in.
Third, I showed up that way. I put aside my resistance, my reluctance, and my reactions, and I kept stepping back into “the person in front of me is the most important conversation I could be in.”
The 4 weeks went by in a blur! AND, I showed up 100% each day. When my energy dropped and resignation started to slip in, I dealt with it like a Pro and stepped back into possibility.
I gave the kids and the course everything I had, and I'm extremely proud and grateful for it. Sure, I could've survived it just fine, but that's not authentic for me or ANY of us. We are all meant for something more than that, and the world and its people are waiting for us.
What would become possible for you and the people you care about if resignation and cynicism were no longer a thing? What would become possible for your school, business, or workplace if no one got trapped in those oh so ordinary ways of being?
Thanks so much for reading. 🙏❤️
P.S. As a transformational coach, I help people and organizations move beyond their self-imposed limitations to be their best and feel amazing. If you’re interested in finding out how I can support you or your organization, schedule an exploration with me. 💌