Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How To Coach Yourself Through Change - Part I

Several years ago, I was yawning my way through one of the world’s most boring lunch meetings, and decided to amuse myself by opening all of the fortune cookies sitting in the middle of the table. I found myself deeply moved by the messages on those little white slips of paper, and in fact, felt that the universe was communicating directly with me (yes, that meeting was really boring). I tucked three of those profound message slips into my wallet, where they joined 4 or 5 others that had spoken to me over the years. In fact, every time I purchase a new wallet, my fortunes are transferred along with my driver’s license and credit cards.

I bought a new wallet recently, and in the process of emptying the old to fill up the new, I read through these small white slips of paper for the first time in a long while. As I read, I began laughing when I realized that much of what I do as a coach was summed up in one-liners from fortune cookies:

We all have extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released.

How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes?

You are far more influential than you think.

Anything you do, do it well. The last thing you want is to be sorry for what you didn't do.

Then, I really had a good laugh when I read those three slips of paper from that long ago lunch meeting:

May you live in interesting times.

May you come to the attention of those in authority.

May you find what you are looking for.

Those three profound messages from the universe – my ancient Chinese secrets – are in fact ancient Chinese curses! After I finally stopped laughing, I realized that I still wanted those “cursed” fortunes in my new wallet. I still believed that I was meant to break open that stack of cookies all those years ago, and that their messages were sent especially for me.

We do live in interesting times. There is more change in our world today, every minute of every day, than ever before. All of this change brings one of two things, depending on your point of view – Fear and Opportunity. Each of us has the power within ourselves to decide the path of our response. Will you respond with fear of change? Or, will you embrace it, grow with it, and seize the wonderful new opportunities change brings?

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