What Does It Take to Reach for More?

Jet Across the MoonMost of my quasi-sabbatical time has been spent exploring what I have been calling a “Continuum of Becoming” – a placeholder name, but a descriptor nonetheless.

The “continuum” is a critical component to the work we are doing at Creating the Future. If we are seeking to engage everyone doing social change work in the very highest potential of that work, that requires asking questions such as, “How do we help bring out that potential in board members? In EDs? In consultants? In funders?”

The answer lies, in part, with meeting people where they are, and then extending a hand to encourage and inspire them to reach for the potential they have had all along and simply have not known was there.

Clearly if we are going to meet people where they are, we need to understand where they are (duh!), hence my living inside these continuums (continua?) for the past month. Wherever people are along the path, we want to be able to meet them and extend that hand.

All of which leads me to a question:
What conditions do you think need to be in place for a professional in any area (ED, funder, consultant, university professor…) to seek the next level of their potential?

I’m not talking about seeking a promotion or other external validation. I’m talking about seeking something inside ourselves. Stretching, reaching, transforming. What makes someone want to take first a baby step into a new way of thinking and being? What conditions need to be in place for them to move from “thinking about it” to “trying it” to “deciding to dive in?”

If you have ever made a conscious choice to reach for the next level of what is possible inside yourself – reaching for your own next level of potential – what conditions led to that choice?

For those who have been through our classes, what conditions led first to your wanting to be there, and then to your choosing to do so? Most people who come through our classes are already doing well in their work – what conditions led to your being ok with shaking that up?

And if you have never sought the next level of your own potential (or do not think you have done so), I am curious about that as well.

As I am considering what it takes for someone to buck the trends and reach for what is lying dormant within them, waiting to be born, I would love your thoughts about what conditions need to be in place for someone to be ready to look inside and go for it.

Thanks, one and all!

6 Responses to What Does It Take to Reach for More?

  1. I think each of us performs at our best potential when our work connects with our passion. I believe all of us yearn for meaning and want to feel part of something larger than ourselves. We hope to feel connected to others and in partnership with them for a higher cause. To draw out the highest potential in those around us, we need to facilitate this.

    We can try to find ways to connect volunteers, board members and staff to a mission more directly, to help them see the way their efforts fit into the larger whole. We can work harder to ensure that the roles they are playing are the ones that will spark fires in their bellies. To inspire others, we have to help make them feel alive, connected and valued, right?

  2. 1. Being the question in everything, functioning from that sense of curiosity
    2. Everything is just an interesting point of view, including my own point of view
    3. Having no Fixed Point of View and realising my point of View creates my reali…ty

  3. A community of support. A group of people willing to let you try on new things, be a beginner and be vulnerable. I recently have been trying to do this, and having a group of people who were willing to listen while I talked it through, let me air fears and frustrations (only for so long), and helped me question my own assumptions of what I am capable of — these things were absolutely critical and made it more joyful than scary.

  4. For me, it’s about feeling good. The happier I am, the more possibilities I see, and the more I see, the happier I get. I know that the envisioning of different ways of doing and being makes me feel good, so even when I’m feeling crummy, it’s worth giving transformation a shot.

    And the other thing I know is that learning is thrilling. Not the rote learning of most schooling, but the opening up of new brain paths that comes with discovery. It’s a buzz. I was doing an art project recently with small nephews, and we were trying different ways of creating it. They were so excited that they were jumping up and down saying, “Could this work?” and “Wait! Wait! What if we did that?” Yes. That’s what it feels like.

    What I don’t really understand is why this works for some people and not others. I don’t think it’s about risk taking or greater imagination. Some people just feel good when they’re questioning, and when there is the possibility of change, and I’m one of them.

  5. The pain which comes with realizing that what one has been doing so far is limiting. “More” starts with a committment to removing the cause of the pain, as in changing your mode of operation.