Parts One and Two Summary
We’ve been looking at our resolutions to change, to go to war with our weaknesses. We’re often dilettantes making resolutions: we take on too many changes at once; we focus on doing rather than learning what we must learn; we underestimate the challenges of changing; we get discouraged and quit the effort. We need to remember that we are emergent beings in an emergent world. We are beings who must resolve to evolve.
Our resolutions fail to manifest if we don’t mobilize sufficient energy for change Usually, our resolutions fade quickly and then are tabled for another day because we have not mobilized sufficient energy for the change we want to make:
v We pursue our resolve alone, mistakenly believing that we might succeed if only we will get disciplined around new behaviors. Perhaps no one else knows about what we’re doing. Or perhaps we have told people close to us about our resolve, but we have not enlisted their support. We have only our own energy to work with, and it will prove insufficient for the task of deep change.
v Alone, we can find some helpful knowledge from books and other sources, but we haven’t created high quality talk around our resolution with someone who has a stake in our commitment. High quality talk creates energy and distinctive new knowledge. We haven’t engaged others in a learning dialogue that could produce that energy and knowledge.
v We don’t build accountability into our resolve. We create energy around our resolve when we make commitments to partners in our learning. But pursuing our resolutions alone, we cannot be accountable no matter how earnest we are about our resolve.
v Finally, insofar as our resolve goes, we have lost our poise. Failing, we have been unable to stay present—to keep our commitments in each moment, in each hour, in each day. We haven’t stayed connected to our own values and longings. We aren’t grateful, but feel deprived somehow. We haven’t brought sufficient creativity to the challenge. And we haven’t maintained a light heart, but have gone heavy and earnest. Not keeping these deep elements of poise alive, we were unable to focus our full powers on the transformation we want to make in our life.
Three strategies for mobilizing energy around your resolve.
1. Recruit, engage, and nurture a team around your resolution. Who will join you in learning and changing? Who will provide abundant support, knowledge, and tough love accountability as you learn and change?
If you already have a key partner in your life—a spouse or a best friend—you can invite that person to be your learning partner. Maybe you’ve both made the same resolution, so the match-up is perfect. Or maybe your special person will be inspired by your resolve to identify and pursue a critical resolution for growth. Now you will be able to reciprocate, both of you benefiting from the energy of the other. This is love in action.
If you don’t have a close partner already, you can find one or more partners in the logical places: your church, a therapist, an existing learning group formed around your resolution like Weight Watchers, AA, or dozens of other support groups formed to help people make the changes they need to make around specific issues.
And add to your team as you go. Tell family and friends what you’ve resolved to do and invite their support and counsel. Let your colleagues at work know about your commitment: someone may come forward offering a partnership.
You and your team will create energy around your resolve. Your job is to form the team, keep the process interesting with your own energy and generosity, and give as much as you get.
2. Create high quality talk with your partners. You have a lot to talk about and a lot to learn with your partner or partners:
v What exactly have you resolved to do? Is everybody clear? Lose 50 pounds? OK, how fast or slow? What is the starting point? What is the ending point? What will you look like when you reach your goal? What describes the life you will be living once the transformation is complete?
v What is the learning agenda? What must you learn about yourself, your habits, your thinking, your behavior, if you are to make a breakthrough and actually move to the next level of your development? Where are you stuck? What is currently dislodging your poise when you lose it? Do you have a fear to overcome? What emotional issues do you have to know more about to stop eating more than your body needs? How do you handle the discouragements of your life that send you to the refrigerator? What must you learn about nutrition and weight loss? The resulting learning agenda will be the focus of your dialogue with your partners from now on.
v Initiate high quality talk every time you engage your partner or partners around your resolve. High quality talk is intimate, open, authentic. In high quality talk, we venture out onto the frontiers of our own learning, looking, looking, breathlessly. We are personal scientists, discovering new knowledge about ourselves. In high quality talk, we can enter times of heightened awareness in which our consciousness comes fully alive and our learning moves into its most powerful and exciting mode.
In the example above of weight loss, the high quality talk will stay focused on the goal and all the issues you identified as the learning agenda. Without high quality talk, both you and your partners will lose interest, drift back to the status quo, and finally abandon the resolution.
You are the leader here, and leaders bring energy to bear on an agenda. You must have partners to create enough energy for success with this resolution, which is the most important issue in your emergence. Think of yourself as the Director of Energy and Initiator of High Quality Talk.
3. Bring your full integrity to accountability.
You can be overly polite about holding each other accountable. If you tell your partner, “Well, I haven’t done anything I said I’d do in the last week. I was overwhelmed at work….” And your partner says, “I understand. You’ve had a big load….,” Your partner is not helping. If your partner lets you off the hook when you don’t follow through with your commitments, the energy you both need for change will quickly evaporate. Take the risk of requiring accountability as a condition of your involvement. When partners are doing what they say they will do, progress toward goals will happen, and more energy will be created.
Integrity is a fundamental of resolve.
It is a great advantage to master these strategies. Once you practice them successfully, you gain knowledge and confidence. You can more easily identify your next stage of learning. You know how to change. Leading a life of resolve becomes completely natural ,and there is no limit to how far your learning might take you.
Next: The last post about resolutions will be about a powerful adviser you can engage easily in any moment as you live a life of resolve.
Please post your comments: what are your experiences with these issues?