283 – October 10
“Every great oak tree was once a nut that stood its ground.”—Unknown
Big goals take longer to achieve than small ones. It’s like the difference between the ponderous sailing of big cruise ships and the darting action of speedboats tearing through the waves. The speedboat will get to its destination quicker, but there will be more cargo to unload at the dock when the big ship comes in. When you have a big goal, the most important thing is to work on it regularly. Every day, do a little work on it, and one day it will be accomplished. It’s the Ulysses S. Grant theory, per Michael Korda in Another Life: “Provided you’re always moving forward, even if it’s only a foot a day…eventually you will get to Richmond.”
When I was president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, I learned an important lesson about sailing big ships. As the owner of a small business with four employees, I was used to getting things done quickly in my little speedboat. It was my show, so if I thought something was a good idea, we did it. But here, I had a twenty-member board of directors, who all had a say in whether or not something got done. Not only that, they were all business owners used to getting their own way, too. My skills of persuasion were going to get quite a workout here.
Not yet conscious of this situation, however, I tried to pass a motion at my very first board meeting to establish a new program. Pandemonium! I had had lots of time to think about what a great idea it was, but it was a complete surprise to everyone else. They needed time to consider it, discuss it, argue for and against it, identify problems, and come up with solutions. As every board member jumped in with their opinions, I called for a recess. I resumed the meeting sweetly saying, “There are no problems, only opportunities for growth”; there were hoots of laughter. We established a committee to study the feasibility of the new program. Everyone was happy with this idea, and I learned another lesson in patience…
A year later, the board approved the program. Then we had to go to the national board and get them to approve it. That took another year. But it was worth it. It was a great program and is still in place today. The important thing was, I learned to take the time to prepare before launching a big ship. The next time I had a program I wanted put into place, I sent a promotional package outlining the entire project and backing it up with reams of information. I called each board member individually to ask their opinion of the idea and garnered their support.
Work on your big ship today. Load some cargo, hire some sailors, check the rigging, store some provisions, set your course. Launch day will come.
“I gather help and support from everyone I meet for my big projects!”
Sometimes, we’re just stuck in our ego/small self instead of being connected to our evolutionary self. My friend Sylvia had a great lesson in that, so I’m sharing her blog post with you today. Makes me go, “Hmmmm….”
Shopping for groceries is not at the top of my list of favorite things to do. I like to get in and get out as fast as I can and be done with it. It is a chore at best and my attitude reflects that. Before I was enlightened by the evolutionary teacher, Craig Hamilton, I thought that’s me. “No,” he said, “You choose it.”
What? Are you saying I choose to be grumpy and withdrawn instead of cheerful and friendly? In my head, he affirmed that was true.
This morning, as I drove to the grocery store, I reflected on my grocery store attitude. I realized my default position for grocery shopping was the narrow viewpoint of my ego/small self. I don’t know about your small self but mine when allowed to express complains, contracts, hurries and top of the list, speaks to no one. And when spoken to is not that friendly.
But that is not who I am. That is not who I want to be. As Craig illuminated, that is an attitude I am choosing. Blink, blink! Lightblub moment here. That is my grandmother’s attitude! Not mine! By not consciously choosing a more expanded view, I default to the small minded, contracted view of my grandmother, better known as the ego/small self viewpoint. Craig’s name for the expanded viewpoint beyond the egos is the evolutionary self. This aspect of me sees the world very differently from my limited ego aspect. It views grocery shopping as a fun adventure and like a child is willing to talk to anyone.
I parked my car and entered the grocery store consciously choosing to shop from the viewpoint of my evolutionary self. My attitude was more relaxed and not hurried. I flowed through the aisles tossing things into my basket taking time to thoughtfully look at items marked “new”. When I checked out, I bantered with the lady itemizing my items.
But the real test came when I entered the elevator with my basket. I wasn’t alone. There was a single lady struggling to find her keys lost in her huge purse. My ego self would not have said a word but my evolutionary self was eager to engage. My mouth opened and we conversed the length of one elevator ride.
As I walked to my car, I noticed I felt good about our exchange. It gave me a lift. I also realized the ride would have been in silence if I had not spoken first. An evolutionary attitude takes the lead. It’s not shy, nor hesitant, nor afraid. It steps up, opens up and evolves the situation in the direction of the good, the true and the beautiful. But I have to choose it. And before I can choose it, I have to remember that I have a choice. Otherwise I default to the ego viewpoint like everyone else. I like me and everyone else better when I am seeing the world through the eyes of my evolutionary self. What about you?
Until you return, fill your days with GIGGLES, JOY, and APPRECIATION!
Sylvia Silk, D.D. Director of the Institute For Balanced Living, Los Angeles,CA, USA
DoctorofDivinity, SpiritualCoach, ReconnectiveHealingPractitioner, Writer