Lessons learned from a walk with the dogs.

Have you ever seen a dog on a leash accidentally wrap him/herself around a pole?  You won’t find his inability to fix his situation funny after reading this.

For a mental image,  I am referring to the situation where the dog and the person holding the leash wind up on different sides of the pole while walking.  This forms a  V-shape with the pole at the bottom of the “V”.

“I just know my friends are going to see me with this pink leash on.”


Elroy’s Dilemma

This happens to our clumsiest dog, Elroy.  As Elroy and I performed our awkward ritual dance of getting him “free”, a huge life/business lesson fell from the sky and hit me like a ton of bricks . . . carrying a ton of cinder blocks . . . wrapped in a ton of steel.

Elroy cannot process that the direction of freedom is TOWARDS to the direction of resistance he is feeling as he attempts to continue walking.  He becomes so petrified of that direction, that he tries everything except moving towards the resistance.  Because my mind is so superior to his, I smugly smirk as I assist him.

My smirk evaporated when I realized that I have the exact same tendency in my own life . . . and in my business.

When we feel or sense resistance or tension in a particular direction or area of our lives, we tend to move away from that.  Like Elroy’s dilemma, our path to freedom is TOWARDS the resistance.  Our tendency to exert our energies away from the resistance, gets us nothing . . . except tired out.

When i grow thumbs, I’m goin’ be a badass biker.

Three suggestions for move TOWARDS the resistance.

1. Attack the task that make you uncomfortable.  The tasks that we feel “warm, safe, and cozy” when performing should be LABELED as a “mediocrity breeding ground.”  The tasks that we put off or ignore, are often the ones that hold the most potential for our growth.  Attack them daily and move towards the resistance.

2. Place yourself, physically, in the spaces that make you feel uncomfortable.  This is especially true of supervisors and managers in the work place.  At work and in life, we grow to avoid certain places because it makes them feel uncomfortable.  This is the little voice  inside of you (who always has the right answers) way of telling you that you need to spend more time there.  For Michael Scott of “The Office”, the warehouse was his “uncomfort zone” which he avoided like the plague . . . spread through lepers . . . in Detroit . . . that wants to sell you magazine subscriptions.  Force yourself to spend more times in these places.  I bet you develop – personally and professionally.

3. Assess. No!, not “more than one set of buttocks!”  Assess as in evaluate your day, each and every day. Take inventory at the end of each day and identify the tasks and places you experienced today in which you felt uncomfortable.  Starting a running list on an index card, one side for tasks, the other for places.  Deliberately schedule time each day to confront the items that routinely appear on your list.

When you start to pay attention to the “Elroy Phenomena” in your own life, what did you notice?

Special thanks to Elroy for teaching me this lesson.  You are a chimp and i will be depositing six and a quarter invisible gold stars into your bank account as a token of my appreciation.

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