"THE BETTER QUESTION"
Drew Rozell, Ph.D. partners with a select number of dynamic individuals, groups, and progressive companies who understand the value of raising their level of awareness to deliberately create the coolest version of their lives and businesses.
"This stuff works"
First, I want to extend my gratitude for all of you who took the time to write me a personal note or post a comments regarding the death of my dog, Thai. Knowing people care means a lot and it was wonderful to connect with so many of you again. Thank you. We’re doing well and life moves forward.
The flu’s been having her way with me for the past few days. Amazing how quickly one can be transformed from a strong, healthy man to a weak little boy. Makes me appreciate my health that much more.
Slowly but surely, spring is making its way to upstate New York. A fire still burns in the wood stove, there’s snow in the hills, and I have not yet transitioned from my collection of knit winter hats to my Yankees baseball cap. But the days grow longer and fat robins hop across my lawn. A few more days of spring skiing and it’s time to break out the softball bat and glove.
A few updates:
Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts —
THE BETTER QUESTION
What Do You Really Want?
For a decade, this question greeted every visitor to my coaching website. Because most visitors to a professional coaching site are actively seeking something more in their life, this question did a nice job of framing the conversation that followed on the page. My pitch was that I would help you get whatever you told me you wanted.
I spent several years training as a coach and during that time, I was taught that my job was to help you reach your goals. Here’s how it worked: I asked you what you wanted. You gave me an answer. I helped you get it.
In some ways, I served as a human cattle prod, zapping my clients to push forward and do that which they did not feel motivated to do on their own.
For example, if a salesperson told me she wanted to double her income, I made requests that she up her activity level to meet her objective (i.e., double the number of calls she made that week).
Following this coach-by-numbers approach, some of my early clients actually achieved their goals. In my mind, these little miracles were to be savored and celebrated. After all, we made it, right?
Yet to our mutual surprise, this is not what usually happened. Any feeling of elation evaporated almost immediately. Instead, after a virtual high-five, we were left with an empty space, typically filled by my client asking, “okay, so what now?”
Shortly thereafter, it was not uncommon for me to have received my electronic pink slip –- the e-mail thanking me and suggesting that we “take a break” from working together.
I’d be left scratching my head. Didn’t we just hit the bulls-eye? And now I’m getting fired? Clearly, my formula needed some tinkering.
While reviewing the situation, I began to entertain a rather counter-intuitive thought. Perhaps people did not know what they really wanted. Perhaps the greater truth was most people were clueless as to the true underpinnings of consistently feeling good and enjoying life. While this seemed strange, the evidence seemed to support this idea as my clients were getting what they told me what would make them happy, but when they got those things, they were not noticeably happier.
I was reminded of this change in my perspective as I was listening to a conversation between Eckhart Tolle (author of the wonderful book, A New Earth) talking to Oprah Winfrey. Mr. Tolle made a very powerful point that I’d like to share with you. He said that most of us begin our journeys by asking the very question I’d posed so many times. We ask what we really want from life.
While this is fine, there are some potentially powerful limitations to asking this question. By asking what YOU want, you are likely asking and answering the question from your ego. To be clear, your ego is composed of the thoughts, beliefs and conditioning that you’ve adopted through the years. In other words, the intentions you formulate from this place do not come from your true self, or a place of alignment.
Einstein once said that you cannot solve a problem on the level it was created. If you feel like something is missing from your life (and most people do), and you address this feeling by orienting your life around attaining ego-based desires that you believe will make you feel better, you will most likely be led down a dead end street.
This is why the salesperson who doubled her sales felt no better after doubling her income (the greater truth was that she was miserable at her job). This is why it’s not uncommon to see examples of people (e.g., celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, etc.) who seemingly “have it all” engage in self-destructive behaviors in the pursuit of more.
Looking back, it’s little wonder people do not know what they really want. We’ve been programmed to look for happiness in all the wrong places. Driven by the ego, there is no peace. No contentment. No rest.
A powerful way to move in a better direction is to ask a better question. Again, the risk of only paying attention to the question of “What do I want?” is that this addresses the problem at the level of the problem – the egoic level.
According to Mr. Tolle, the more powerful question is this:
“What does Life want from me?”
(You can substitute the word God, the Universe, or Source for Life – whatever resonates for you).
I don’t know about you, but just asking myself that question fills me with a sense of relief. I inherently recognize and resonate with the truth in the question.
Each of us is built in a unique way, with a unique operating system. Like a cut diamond, when positioned properly, we reflect a spectacular light out to the world.
However, as you continually chase your ego-based desires, you never allow yourself to catch that perfect light. There’s a world of difference – a difference you can feel at your core — between spending your energy doing what you can do (even if you do it very well) and doing what you are built to do.
When you are patient enough (yes, you’ll probably have to wait for clarity) to know the answer as to where Life is guiding you, you align with your true purpose. From this place of alignment, the rest of your desires flow to you with little effort. The emptiness of endless searching is now filled with the feelings of freedom and peace.
What does life want from you?
If you feel curious to know the answer, remember, you must first ask the question.
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I use this free service to alert me of flights in my web browser from my home airport, little ‘ole Albany, New York. In January, I flew round trip to Denver for less than $200 because of this service.
Check out Airfarewatchdog.com.
Tip: Subscribe to the RSS feed in your browser if you want the freshest fares and don’t like getting cluttered with e-mail.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
I read this book when it first came out. Seems like it was at least two years ago. Anyway, I thought this book was the best of its genre — true wisdom on every page. I bought 25 copies that Christmas and gave them to clients and family members. Some loved it. Some never mentioned it. Some never cracked the cover, I’m sure.
Depending on where you are, this book will be unreadable or brilliant. I am not sure there’s any in between. Re-reading it and listening to Mr. Tolle’s conversations with Oprah on my iPod in the mornings. Worth your time if you are ready…
In any case, like the law of attraction, I find it interesting that this book has hit the big time. Signs that things are moving forward, people are waking up… Unrateable
Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo
Each night when I go to bed (brushing my teeth gives me a bit of a second wind), I look forward to read a dozen or so pages of this book. Am quite certain the setting the book was based upon is the area where I grew up. Russo nails the characters. A
No Country For Old Men – (thanks to Eric for this). I am big Coen brothers fan, so I was anxious to see this, regardless of the Oscar. I had heard mixed things from people, but I enjoyed this film very much. In my opinion, it’s a guy’s movie. Darker, edge of your seat type of drama. I heard people complain about the ending. First the movie’s based on a book, so take it up with Cormac. Second, I think it’s just fine to be left without everything resolved in a nice little package. Sometimes it’s more fun to use your imagination. Anyway, I dug the film. A-
|On The Waterfront- Every so often, I throw a classic movie in the queue. And then I am always a little disappointed when it arrives and it sits, clogging the queue for two weeks or so. And so it was with On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando. For the time, I am sure it was great and while it had its moments, I don’t know that it seamlessly stands the test of time. One thing I dislike about these older movies is that the music is overly dramatic — knocks the viewer over the head, telling you what you’re supposed to feel. B-|
|The Sopranos – Just finished the final season. So, yeah, we’re like a year behind… I’ll miss the characters… and I was just fine with the ending. My opinion: Tony did not get whacked in the diner. And Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believing" made me think of junior high school dances…|
RANDOM NEURAL FIRINGS
|Giving someone a book — especially a personal development book can be seen as an act of aggression. Unless you know the person very well and know they want the book in question, best to give something else.|
|Twice in the past month I’ve hammered out an e-mail when I was feeling in a tizzy. Instead of sending them, I put them in my Gmail "draft" folder. Just to sit on them, wait to see if my feelings changed. In both cases, I was thrilled I did not send the message. If you feel a charge in your body when cranking out a message, take a breather before you click that send button.|
I love magazines. But enough with the little "seeds" — those cards that fall on your floor, hoping you’ll pick them up and subscribe. Um, I already subscribe… and now your magazine is making a mess in my house. Please. Stop.
My nephew Neddie pushes the limit of his sister’s Hello Kitty kite on Easter
Th-th-that’s all folks! Check this page for updates throughout the month… Next issue, May 2, 2008.
ISSN: #1530-3101 Library Of Congress, Washington D.C., USA
© Copyright 2008 by Drew Rozell, Ph.D. – All Rights Reserved