Neil writes: Some pithy words popped into my head a few years ago, and have made people up to good things smile on many occasions since:
“It can be a fine line between Cr@p and fertiliser.”
Often it’s just a matter of time to let things mulch down a bit. A testing time can then be found to actually contain a lesson, opportunity or turning point. And that good can come of it. The good seeds grow.
I was reminded of this again in a John Scherer workshop recently. He invited us to do an exercise that was so enlightening I‘ve shared it with others. And it amazed them. So I’m sharing it you. It only takes a minute or so. You might just find it transformational.
Imagine three words that you would like people to say when describing you. Write them down. Now think of three words you’d never want anyone to say about you. Write them down too.
Now choose one of the ‘bad’ words. And start looking for ‘the nugget’. Look more deeply into the characteristics and behaviours you associate with someone who might be described in that way. Move through the repulsive and abhorrent, and through the ‘don’t like’, and you are likely to find a ‘Hey, that would actually be quite useful!’
So, a real example: One of my words was ‘Aggressive’. I’d certainly not want to be experienced or described in that way. As I looked deeper I realised that (in my mind) aggressive people are really OK with asking for what they want. Something I’ve had a real issue with over the years, as I often feel I automatically choose to put myself second to others. I still don’t want to be aggressive. But curiously I’ve found it easier to allow myself to ask for things.
You can take the nugget and leave the rest behind.
Perhaps at a deeper level there’s something here about everything having its place, that by defining ourselves we limit ourselves, and that we create all sorts of associations between things, that are not always an accurate or useful map of the world, or the only way of looking at something.
After all, from my example, in supporting catalysts we often ask ‘What do you deeply want?” There’s no point finding that out and not doing anything about it. Asking, seeking or making it happen actually becomes a point of integrity.
So what have you found with your chosen word? And feel free to start digging with the others of course. And if you find something good, it will be great to hear your story.