Elizabeth Tull is a Professional Excellence Coach who lives with her two children outside of Atlanta Ga. www.agapelegacycoach.com
A client of mine told me of a post recently by a woman who feels professional coaching is teaching "New Age" philosophy and that we promote thinking outside-the-box. She feels that way of thinking is not an encouraging idea to promote because it is unrealistic and a waste of time for people who want to live successfully in today's society. I had to laugh. She posted on a 12 Step chat room! Where would she have posted if Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob and Microsoft had NOT thought outside the box?
My answer to this woman is: I don't know much about Mew Age but cheers, high five and AMEN for any encouragement and current day success stories that promote outside-the-box thinking! Thank you Bill Gates and Christopher Reeve to name two practical and easily recognizable outside-the-box thinkers that have lived outside the lines of "normal and reasonable thinking." How about some older examples? Jesus Christ, Galileo, The Pilgrims, ancient Greek democracy and philosophy, early American colonists, The Beatles and most recently stem cell research which brought Americans out to the polls in record numbers this election? Talk about your catalysts!
The treasure that I have found my way back home to is personal greatness.
In my experience, living and internalizing personal greatness means not always being comfortable, reasonable and "realistic" according to today's society. That living-in-the-minute and having real freedom, full self-expression, creativity, innovation, excitement and joy is the result of saying yes to challenges, people or my own voices that point out "it" may be hard or "it" wont be easy as well as using my outside-the-box thinking and understanding that I might feel vulnerable, uncomfortable, stretched or just plain tired at times. That's not an extravagant price to pay for freedom and excitement in my book.
Laugh in the face of danger I say! Run with the Bulls! Swim with the sharks! Surf the pipeline!! (Well, not really unless you have great health insurance?). I am not promoting unsafe measures, rush of adrenaline living or fantasy. I have had a re-awakening to a tool that I hold, live and learn by in which my highest self is captured, inspired and triggered:
Doing the unthinkable, being unreasonable and living outside the lines.
What is reasonable and unreasonable anyway? Tell Cro-Magnon man that we've put a man on the moon and he's left in bewilderment speaking as if we are Gods. Share the same thing with Galileo and he wants velocities and time factors.
I took a powerful seminar a few years back called The Landmark Forum, www.landmarkeducation.com in which they defined it for me:
Being reasonable: honoring the reasons why I can't.
As I honestly look at my life, I can recall memories or experiences from childhood up through today in which my disappointment, fear, frustration or doubt was re-invented into an awesome feeling of pride, victory and accomplishment. The times when I'd either thought or were told that I could NEVER pull "it" off. "It" was impossible, too hard, unrealistic, selfish or great for others, but not for me.
I have heard those reasons my whole life, though as a child I wasn't listening. I was unreasonable. I was too busy discovering and inventing ways to make it work. My attitude back then was, "Watch me." I didn't comprehend the words:
" No? I/you can't? It's a waste of time? No one has ever pulled that off? You'll get hurt? That's impossible? What will people think?"
So why is it that at 39, I am only just rediscovering that part of the power in personal greatness that is being willing and intentional in taking on hard, difficult or risky projects? Where does that undefeatable kid spirit go?
What happens to some of us as we reach numerical adulthood in which not only do we hear the "you can'ts," the "you'll fails" and the "it's a waste of times," but we buy into it hook, line and sinker? That only being cooperative and socially reasonable is what makes you a successful member of society? (Successful to them maybe, but how fulfilled are you?) Could these messages come from the media, our parents, peers, society, co-workers, religion, living in our own mistakes, or this one:
"Act like an adult."
Some, like myself, buy into the smear campaign unintentionally sent out by those looking to protect us and keep us safe and a few, perhaps, even out to keep us small.
Today, I am an adult. Today, I am fully responsible for family AND I am once again a risk-taker and visionary reaching for glorious heights and thriving from Higher Purpose Living. I am once again rolling up my sleeves and saying "So what?" or "Yes it will" to challenging or difficult opportunities.
Today, I am unrealistic and unreasonable as far as society's definitions and my own self-imposed restrictions. Today, I love living outside the lines and thinking outside-the-box. Once again, I am an explorer.
Today, I understand that the personal heights I achieve are directly proportional to the whats, hows and whys in creating my life. The larger my goals or vision, the larger the call to action. I don't need results or outcomes to turn out the way I envisioned them anymore--it's all in the climb, knowing when to surrender and when to ask for support from others.
So for you reader, I wish you extraordinary challenges, glorious heights, unreasonable opportunities and life outside-the-lines.
When you hear "It might be hard," reply with, "So? What's your point?"
Elizabeth Tull is a Professional Excellence Coach who works with those interested in crafting and designing Legacies of Excellence, Enhanced Sober Living and Support for families affected by Clinical Depression. Please enjoy The Coaching Catalyst newsletter a gift http://www.agapelegacycoach.com to sign up.