My 13 year-old son bounded out of the restroom at our gym and was skipping carefree through the hallway with a lightness and spontaneity I simply adored. Moments before in the parking lot, we had been bickering back and forth over some nonsense that involved the usual “I’m smarter than you, Dad” rhetoric that routinely surfaced at the time. Yet minutes after this most recent exchange, my son had inexplicably transformed into the special and happy-go-lucky kid that would melt just about any parent’s heart.
My eyes began welling up with tears as he galloped towards me. I stood there watching in amazement. My strong-willed teen still had some childlike innocence left in him! He was prancing in a way that his spirit naturally moved him.
My son’s sense of being carefree and fully present in the moment intrigued me. I began contrasting how serious I typically am while balancing the various demands and responsibilities of my adult life versus the more spontaneous and spirited self of my own youth. It got me to wonder, “What events or circumstances in my personal and professional life move me to skip?”
After some considerable reflection, I came up with a laundry list of situations that led me to feel more light and carefree. I discovered that I feel like skipping after I’ve accomplished something challenging, received an act of kindness, or alleviated annoying and frustrating little things in my life that I’ve been tolerating for awhile.
The act of accomplishing a goal (or even receiving an act of kindness) serves to shift our energy and build excitement. Here are a few examples that came to mind:
1. After I win a consulting contract that I’ve worked hard towards or after I help a client make a breakthrough. The greater the struggle, the greater the sensation of exuberance.
2. When I have a nice long run and still have energy once I’m done. It feels amazing to get “in the zone” when running and finish with ease.
3. When I get an unexpected call from a friend after not hearing from them in a long time. I deeply value connection and it’s nice to know I matter enough for them to call me.
Tolerations often serve as constant reminders of “things not being right” which can weigh heavily on us over time. Here are some recent examples of things I had been tolerating:
1. Incessant email notifications and would pop up and fly across my screen as I work on my computer along with stacks of snail mail that endlessly accumulate on my desk and kitchen counter.Once I took five minutes to do some research on YouTube and figured out how to turn off those automatic notifications on my computer, it broke a never-ending cycle of distraction.
2. Staring at boxes of old photos sitting in my bedroom the past few years that I had been wanting to sort through. Getting started created its own momentum.
3. A friend who repeatedly sought out my advice, but failed to take any action to change his situation. Once I let go of any expectations that my friend would ever change, I felt freer and lighter.
If you’re like me, you feel like skipping when you feel good about yourself. Accomplishments elevate our esteem by instilling a sense of confidence and control over our lives. Alleviating tolerations enable us to spring forward with newfound energy and freedom by cleaning up mental and material messes that accumulate over time and weigh us down.
How would your life be different if you could accomplish more while removing all those irritating things you’ve been tolerating?
If you are ready to catapult yourself to a new level of accomplishment and freedom, I would love to partner with you and help you create your next breakthrough. Feel free to book a complimentary Discovery Session with me.
About the Author:
Mike Gellman is a seasoned coach, speaker, facilitator, and trusted advisor with 15+ years experience in Fortune 500, nonprofit, and family-owned organizations. He’s the author of Pipe Dreams: 7 Pipelines of Career Success and CEO of High Five Career Coaching which facilitates transformational business and career success among socially conscious, purpose-driven organizations, leaders, and technical professionals.