I and Who? (part four)
So, how does one transform from putting tasks above relationships, from using people to get things done, and instead enjoying people in their made-in-the-image-of-God-ness?
For me, four essentials.
We who are J’s get inordinate satisfaction from completing tasks, achieving goals, succeeding at what we deem signficant.
I get to surrender the arrogance that convinces me that my way is somehow superior to yours. Changing myself necessitates that I give up what’s keeping me stuck where I am. Since I’m not a crazy person, I do what I do because it works for me. And, surrendering what works for me is the pathway forward. There is no other.
Surrendering what’s comfortable, familiar, and has made me “successful” is a lot like trading my wingback recliner for Nike’s and My Fitness Pal. I get to embrace the discomfort of my new life … a life that’s set people over getting stuff done.
Embracing discomfort calls me to settle into “non-productive” time that, quite frankly, I’d forgotten how to do. It is in the expansiveness and ease of this unproductive space that love and value can emerge organically. And, since this is no longer familiar territory for me, I’m supported by the grace of God, to whom I prayed: “Lord, make me comfortable being uncomfortable.”
Surrendering what I prefer and embracing discomfort sets the stage for me to live into what I’m committed to become. The process of “living into” is rich with opportunties to practice the unprecedented. Realizing the comfort I receive from my industry has revealed just how self-indulgent my productivity can be. And, seeing it as self-serving rather than strictly virtuous helps me, as a “J”, to get off it.
“Living into the unprecedented” is one way to express a lot of trial and error, stumbling and getting back up, of failing and going again. My family can tell you that, while I’m much better being with them, I’m a long way from being consistent or doing it well.
Years ago a group of us regaled in an epic snow day at Grand Targee. Pristine, untracked, waist-deep, airy-light powder blanketed the ski area. Experienced on hardpacked snow, we struggled to adjust to these “optimal” conditions. We’d find our balance over our skis, then be thrown forward or back by the moguls beneath the billowy depth, then find our balance. And so it went for several runs. Bruce coined the term “linked recoveries” to describe the continual process of losing then regaining then losing and regaining balance while bounding down the mountain.
“Linked recoveries” describes my process well. I lean in with people for a while then abruptly resort to “conquer mode”, crank out a bunch of work, catch myself, and re-embrace the priority of people and relationships.
Fall, recover, fall, recover, fall, recover.
My new life.
Coaching Distinctions #90.docx