Last year, I was in Vancouver for a long vacation weekend. The man I was dating and I were spending a lovely holiday day wandering Granville Island. Fun, laughter, me being my friendly self…
A woman in a Gingerbread Woman costume comes up. I loved it and my friend took a great picture of us. The Gingerbread Woman is totally in character. There is a person dressed as a Wolf across the street checking her out… like he was hungry for lunch. She looked sadly at me and said, “It’s hard being a cookie.” We laughed, I gave her a hug, and we were off on our way. It was one of those ‘extraordinary moments’ in life.
A little while later, I noticed that my purse felt light. I looked and I couldn’t find my camera. I wracked my brain and we started looking for it. We looked everywhere for the next 20 plus minutes. No luck. My friend being from New York decided it was probably a set up. Gingerbread Woman gets close to us, wolf distracts us, camera or wallet is gone. It made sense and we’d looked everywhere… and I mean everywhere. And we asked everywhere we’d been. It was starting to look like the Gingerbread Woman had taken my camera.
Well, this is me. I did not want to believe that she would do that. I believe people are good, even though everything pointed to something else. It was the Gingerbread woman, I refused to allow my world to be tainted that way. Well, I told him that. He humored me. And we decided to take one more go around. We separated to do one more go around…
Then I did something interesting. I still don’t know how it came to me… I stood, closed my eyes, took a deep breath. In my mind I said and knew, “I am connected to everything.” And I could picture it, being connected to everything. My feet connected to the ground under me, connected to the sidewalk, to the road, to every building and thing on it. “That being the case, if my camera is here, I know where it is.” I took another big breath, opened my eyes and started walking.
It reminded me a bit of being a kid messing around with a divining rod to find water. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew I didn’t want my camera to be stolen and all that would leave me with.
I just walked where I felt drawn. I chose a direction. I decided to cross the street. In about a block I walked in front of a shop. There was something in the window that caught my eye, just something. It wasn’t anything but it held my attention. I looked up and in and made brief eye contact with the shopkeeper. I kept walking on… and then I felt…well, it was like an energetic tug on the back of me. I stopped. I oddly felt a little embarrassed because I’d just walked by the shop, but turned around and went in. I just had this feeling, that I can’t even describe…I just knew to walk in there.
I walked in feeling very odd because I hadn’t been in that shop that day, but asked, “Did you by any chance find a camera.”
Her response was strange, “What’s your favorite animal?” She had my camera and they’d been looking at the pictures in it, trying to find out whose camera it was. “You should have a card or something with your number on it or something.” Whoa!
I was stunned. My camera was there. We had *not* gone into that shop. There was no “reason” for me to go into that shop and ask.
When I found my friend, he was stunned. Every once in a while on the whole way home and after, he would shake his head and look at me, and make a comment. He didn’t know what to think. I’d just smile.
Okay… now to using this in business.
In my business I can get so stuck in “trying to figure it out”. One of the problems is that I don’t know “how” I found my camera… well, I know what I did. I know it worked. But “how” did it work.
That’s the problem. It’s been hard for me to own that I do know, and I was part of the solution. What I did worked. With things like that, I forget that I do know how, that I did do something. No matter how hard I tried to find my camera that day from a place of common sense, I couldn’t find it. We’d looked conservatively 20 minutes but it could have been 40 or more, and Granville Island isn’t that big. We’d also asked for a lot of help. Nothing.
It took me stopping the search, trusting my self, knowing that I know, and taking the action that felt right.
This is what I do with my clients. They choose what results they want. We come up with a basic strategy of what to do next, and they take that next indicated step, and the next. Time after time, if they follow through, I am AMAZED at their results, how quickly and big. It took one of my clients less than two months to do something she’d been working at and “figuring” with lots of help “figuring” for nine years with no forward motion.
First, it’s opening up to the possibility that things can work, they can have what they want. This is where I put a lot of attention with people. We don’t try because we don’t believe it will work. Then, taking action and paying attention to what’s working and what’s not when they do. Again, it’s a lot of me pointing out that it is working. I’ve found we really tend to focus on the part of the path that isn’t working. And, continuing to follow what has that ‘right’ feeling, that tug for them. As long as they keep moving forward remarkable business results happen.
Whether it’s Stephen Covey’s “start with the end in mind”, Einstein’s quote about not being able to solve a problem with the same consciousness it was created, the ideas in “The Secret”, or David Schwartz talking about an “I’m-positive-I-can attitude”. There is something that happens when we stop, trust our self, not just our brain but our whole self, and believe that it can work.
Yes, my experience sounds quite woo-woo, but was it? The most vital things we do, we do naturally… breathing, our blood flowing, our heart beating, feeling love. So why in business do we go into our head and try to figure it out? Okay, okay… we can spend all day with answers to that question. Let’s not. Let’s ask better questions…
- What if it could work easily?
- How can I tap into that most intelligent and powerful part of my Self this minute and use it? Then trust what feels right, the tug?
Sometimes it’s a random idea of something to try, or a person to call. A story will come up, like this one did for me today. Sometimes it’s overhearing a conversation and making a comment. Tune in to that tug. (see my comment at the end of this post to hear two of my tugs.)
Just like you trust when your body wants to breath. Take a minute to do that. If you hold your breath just for a second, there is that feeling of wanting to breath. It’s a good practice. This is simple but profound… because what could you do with this kind of power? One of the great things about this power, it’s a good power we can trust. It doesn’t work unless it feels right to us, unless it fits with our soul’s values.
I would love to tell you just how I knew to do what I did that day, how I miraculously found my camera, how we could all repeat what I did, and have things turn out that perfect every day. I can’t. And I don’t think that’s the answer. The answer is… believe that it can happen, check in with your highest, biggest Self (not your brain) however you do that today, as best as we can, and trust our Self…and take action.
…this is funny. I don’t know how to end this. I was ‘trying to figure it out’. Now I’m sitting here laughing… I think I’ll take my own advice…
Oh…(interesting!)… the ending… I don’t have your answer… you do. I’m just the inspiration. Don’t do it my way, do it your way. We keep looking for the answer outside our self… you’re answer is within. The dreams and desires that you have are yours alone, unique. The fulfillment of them is just as unique. Let your remarkable results be easy. Don’t use your brain to figure it out. Trust your Self. Trust there is a way, and that the next step is right in front of you. Take that step, and the next…
I did not read anywhere to stop and connect with the energy of the sidewalk… in fact, my intellectual brain would never have come up with that. I don’t know where the idea came from. I just stopped and trusted my Self and took the action I felt drawn to. Now it’s your turn… Stop. Breath. Trust Your Self. Take Your action.
This works for Corporations as well as individuals. For more inspiration in doing things your way, trusting you, and getting extraordinary business results…
- Check out the book “Big Think Strategy: How to Leverage Bold Ideas and Leave Small Thinking Behind” By Bernd H. Schmitt, Harvard Business School Press