Posts Tagged ‘Decision’

Be Still – from Conformity to Mobility

Oct 21, 2010 // 4 Comments » // Change Initiation | From The Inside Out

One of the many miracles Jesus’ performed during His ministry; “Calming the Storm” incidentally is one of the favorite story my kids like in their bed-time story. There seems to be this recurring theme about casting our worries unto His care in the Bible – I think this is more than a promise from God but a command He desires from us.

Be Still – a simple posture of not acting seems to go against the grain of our need to do, act and perform; to think useful, to feel valuable and to be justified.

In my career as a trainer and facilitator, I was privileged to meet with some like-minded people and great thinkers from around the world. One of them is Timothy Gallwey – a pioneer in sports motivation and psychology. Tim wrote the first book “The Inner Game of Tennis” in 1972 and follow-up with a series of Inner Game series in the last four decades. It was his “Inner Game of Work” that brought his theory of human potential to main stream business coaching in 1998 and to Singapore in 2002 during the association’s inaugural Human Capital conference; In which Tim and I met and became friend partly due to our love for the game of tennis. I met with him again five years later in Los Angeles and continue to be amazed with his thinking that has transcend from sports to business to communities-at-large.

One of his conceptual idea about learning is mobility – from Conformity to Mobility; the ability to learn and be aware without being paralyzed by doing and external pressure of producing result. Many of us always think that to perform is to produce, hence there is a great need to act and do. Tim has argued that in order to gain mobility is having the ability to STOP – an acronym he shared to debunk the myth of ‘performance momentum‘ – a term he argued that most of us have habitual actions we do in the course of the day without a moment’s thought of why we do them.

Step Back – to step back means to put distance between yourself and whatever you are involved with at the moment. Step back from the momentum of action, thinking and emotion. Find a place of poise and balance – a place where you can think clearly, creatively and independently.

Think – to stop thinking momentarily in order to think may sound like a paradox, but it is not. Here Tim expounded that there is a shift in the thinking gears, a disengagement of thought in order to either rest or engage in a different level of thinking. Here’s where you begin to ask thoughtful questions.

Organize your Thoughts – Thinking may not usually occur in a perfectly organized fashion. Especially in longer STOPs where there has been creative thinking about problem solving or strategic planning. ‘Organize’ is your chance to pull your thinking together, bring coherence to your plan, consider priorities, and provide a sequence for actions.

Proceed – You don’t stay on the mountaintop if you want to take action. There is definitely a right time to descend from your thinking space, and that should be when things has been refresh and clarified. When the goals and the next steps are clear, and you have been connected to your motivations and surrounding, you are ready to get back to work.

Again, do not hesitate to STOP once clarity fades. The biggest resistance to using the STOP tool is the habitual comfort of ‘performance momentum’, our inherent way of doing and ‘performing’ that may gets in our way of learning and enjoyment.

Points to Ponder:

  • STOP at the beginning and end of each workday or project.
  • STOP to make an conscious change.
  • STOP to address a mistake, ask a question.
  • STOP to correct miscommunication and to check how your performance momentum have impacted on others.
  • STOP to listen, learn, coach and encourage.
  • STOP to rest.

Have you ever Complain?

Sep 29, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Change Initiation

I once read an observation that our (Singaporeans) favorite national pastime is to complain – an act of expressing dissatisfaction, uneasiness, censure or resentment. It went on to comment that we are so superior and advance in its practice that if it is inducted as an Olympic sport we would be at the medal podium every four years…Hahaha, I kind of supported that observation as I realized that I am quite competent at this art form but might not be any where near the level of many other ‘national athletes’ in our midst.

I was at the train station 2 weeks ago and heard a pleasant (depending on your taste) jingles that remind commuters about the on-coming train towards the platform. The jingles is easy to remember and has a nice rhythem to it but maybe due to the quality of the audio system, I was desperately trying to understand the words…but I think it goes like this:

Train is coming, train is coming, train is coming,

Please start queuing,

and Love your ride!

Just a few days after the jingles went public, complainers in all national and age groups scrambling for platform to showcase their prowess. From press to cyberspaces, workplaces to food-courts, many were performing at the highest level in complaining about the jingles without any hint that they need stretching or warm-ups before launching into a 9.0 difficulty of maneuver…I was unimpressed.

Like any sports, complains does attract its fare share of commentaries. I must say that some commentaries does bothered the line of becoming the complainers of the complain depending on the commentary objectivity and purpose. But I guess this is where the eco-system of the public forum feeds itself;

  • The complainers requires something to complain,
  • and they will need a place to exercise the complains.
  • The public media provide the space for the complains,
  • because it is in the public domain, it also invites commentaries about the complains.
  • The complainers read the commentaries that was fed by their own complains,
  • and the media generates interest and eventually business activities.

Interesting. But it sets me thinking about our innate desire to complain; why would we do that? I would like to share with you about my thoughts here:

  • I complain because I am dissatisfied with someone or something.
  • I complain because I am uneasy with someone or something.
  • I complain because I want to call attention to what I am thinking and feeling.

We can perpetuate from the above and dwell deeper into this national sports. Any complains?

Point to Ponder:

1. What are we really complaining when we do just that?

2. What if we turn ourselves to the subject of the complains first…will the complain even materialize?

The Paradox of Choice

Apr 01, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Conversational Circles

Most(Czech for ‘The Bridge’) is one of the most powerful film I have watched in recent time.

I was thinking about the paradox of Choice, and almost immediately I recalled this movie I watched some years ago…

This movie is a beautiful Oscar-nominated movie and winner of many prestigious film festivals. It tells the story of the close relationship between a bridge operator and his young son and the fateful day when both try to off an impending rail disaster. A steam train full of hundreds of passengers are unaware of the danger as they head towards an open drawbridge. Most is both a heart-wrenching and glorious story that portrays the greatest measure of love, sacrifice, hope and forgiveness known to man.

In my programs, and in conversational circles we shared many times the notion of choice. Having “NO CHOICE” is one that often being discussed. In my previous blog-post titled: ” Empower your people…Challenge by Choice“, I argued that by saying ‘no choice’ we are merely taking a ‘victim’s posture’ which may have the by-product of blame and haplessness.

Remember, ‘No Choice’ in itself is a choice.

Watch the movie, you have a CHOICE!