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Gaining access - Often, I’m in conversation with a business owner or other client and some flash of brilliance comes from within them. As they realize the thought, they are also aware it’s not a new one. I sometimes joke: “Yeah, I get paid a lot of money to tell people things they already know!” It’s actually not in the telling. Rather, it’s helping someone discover something they already know.
I was inspired to write this blog post this morning as I reflected on my own conversation with my coach yesterday. He offered a thought, and I knew it was spot on something I needed to do. And will. That took hold in my thinking very quickly because… It was something I already knew.
My coach had an advantage in that he is not me. He’s outside of me. I generally stay slowed down and open in my own thinking. Nonetheless, I would have missed this one. Even though it is inside me somewhere. Even though it’s a perfect fit for something I’m dealing with right now. It was not coming to the top for me to use.
Slowing down the mind – This is a powerful idea for anyone. Most high achievers have their heads crammed so full and running so fast, it’s exhausting. And you miss a whole lot. If you want to create some space for those things you already know, and more, consider this idea of slowing down your mind.
Meditation is a critical practice. I started to say, “good practice”, but it’s more important than that. The idea might seem weird, useless, or otherwise non-applicable for many. But there are lots of people in all walks of life who experience the benefits of a meditation practice. What better way to learn what it means to slow down the mind and create some open space?
Thinking time – The Road Less Stupid, by Keith Cunningham, is a good read. He advocates thinking time for CEOs, at least a 45-minute thinking session twice a week. He has a particular twist on this. Let’s say you have an issue you’re trying to sort out. Keith recommends you use the first 45-minute session to only think about the questions. I like that a lot. If you go into answer mode, then you’ll head down that path and miss the questions. So, no answers. Just keep looking for, and writing down, “what questions do I need to explore around this topic?” Once you’ve gotten your list of important questions, you’re ready to start working on answers and next steps in subsequent thinking sessions.
Nancy Kline is an authority and author on the matter. Time to Think and More Time to Think are two of hers I recommend.
Stop Doing it the Hard Way – Business owners and others really do make it harder than it needs to be. It was hard as hell when they started. Hard, just doing whatever it takes, becomes like their DNA. This whole idea of slowing down the mind, and accessing things we already know, is a powerful opportunity. Of course, when we slow down, we find not only things in there we already know, but plenty of brand new. New questions, and new answers. We have more clarity and make better decisions.
Create more space for yourself – You’ll gain access to more of what you already know. That’s knowledge that can help you a great deal. You’ll see things you were too busy and too close to, for you to see before. You’ll have a chance to translate that slowed down thinking into things like stronger leadership. You’ll find more energy and a richer experience of life!
I hope I’ve convinced you! I know this is true because I get to see it happening every day!
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