Several of my friends are going through less than pleasant life transitions. One of the repeated phrases is, “I just want to be happy.” Another is, “I just don’t want to hurt anymore.” A couple of weeks ago, their hurt, gloom, hopelessness and lostness overshadowed me—more like 99% humidity than an overhead cloud.
“This transition is a great opportunity for you to ask yourself what would make you happy. With a full life as your guide, what will you add, subtract to your life that will produce what you are now lacking? What does ‘happy’ look like to you? Write it down. Draw a picture.”
That is what I’ve been telling those friends. Among the top truisms is, “Unsolicited advice is seldom welcomed or considered.”
In the midst of my anguish for my “clients” and my friends, I ran across Andy Andrews’ ebook “Creating the Future You’ve Always Dreamed of….” ©2008 Andy Andrews. He suggests 5 questions:
Identify what you want. What do you want to happen over the next year of your life?
Identify why you want it. Why is this important to me? What will doing, becoming, or accomplishing this mean to me?
Identify how you will get it. What 5 or 6 actions will I take to accomplish?
Identify when you will take the action to get you there.
bserve your progress. Is what you are doing working? Why? Why not? What actions need adjustment?
I doubt that many if any of those on my prayer list and in the fog will take the time. None of us can see ourselves 3600. We all have blind spots and we fear and resist asking. It is like that question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” Any man asked that question should run like the wind! Historian and presidential biographer, Stephen Mansfield has a new booklet worth looking at: “Building Your Band of Brothers.” (Available from his website) We can’t answer Andy Andrews’ questions thoroughly while in isolation.
“As he comes home to a new vision of manhood, it dawns on him that he cannot achieve it alone. He needs men around him to help him. He needs the eyes of others on him. He needs a team, a pack, a tribe, a band of brothers—all committed to the noble project of achieving valiant manhood. He finally accepts the truths that nearly always launches men to new heights: we are better together.” (Mansfield, page 10)
Bill George is professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He wrote the best seller True North. He and colleague Doug Baker wrote True North Groups. Not only did I read both books, I underlined almost every sentence. True North groups are defined as a resource—“a powerful path to personal and leadership development.”
The greatest need in our culture is for each of us to have at least one person—mentor, friend, small group partner, who will fill in the blind spots of our 3600 . Who will that be?
Start with Andy Andrews’ questions and then when you can’t figure out an answer talk to a brother or a sister who has no agenda other than your happiness, achievement and accomplishment. Join me at The Quest House for conversation in the Launch Room.
That is why we call it The Quest House.
© 2016 D. Dean Benton writer, wonderer bentonministries.com