A personal development teacher shows his students a hundred-dollar bill. He explains that one of them will leave the class with the bill if he or she asks the right question.
Hands shoot up and questions are fired: “How can I get it?” “What is the right question?” … the teacher continues shaking his head.
A student at the back of the classroom smiles, raises his hand and asks confidently: “What exactly are you doing with my hundred-dollar bill?” The teacher walks to the back of the room and gives him the bill. Why? Because the student had adopted the attitude that the bill already belonged to him!
Visualising your dream job, smelling the ink on the contract, hearing the praise for your work are all ways of asserting ownership of your future.
What about you? What would you like to lay claim to at the moment?
This summer I travelled around Italy alone. A road trip organised by me, for me. No one to share my impressions with and no one to blame.
That’s what made it a journey of initiation. I planned my days according to what I fancied, to recommendations and to opportunities that came up.
I wanted to find out what pleases me. Not what I do to please others, nor did I want to come back with great photos or the right kind of memories. No, I was doing it to travel inside myself to see what resonates. Or what doesn’t resonate.
It was a real journey of initiation. I looked at what lay deep down inside me, what was there at the beginning (initium) of me. Without the masks we wear in public.
What about you? What was at the beginning for you?
The language I am least at home in is Italian. When I cross the Alps, the native speakers can hear my accent and they make a rapid deduction: she is tall and blonde, so she must be German! Or else, she has a French accent! Depending on the result of these deliberations, the person addresses me in one of these two languages, even if I have made a valiant start in Italian.
After a week I realise that people are now answering me in Italian! Nobody is changing language anymore!
I am delighted, because it has happened so subtly that I hadn’t noticed.
Just one little victory in the mastery of a new skill. I inwardly celebrate this success and share it with you to further enhance it.
What about you? What success have you not yet celebrated? The first time your macaroons rose as they were meant to do? When you managed to do a 5k run? That you got through your child’s homework session without raising your voice?
Celebrate each success. And share it in the comments to promote it.
Here’s an interesting invitation: think of a bad habit you know you have and give it your full attention.
For example, if you would like to take care of yourself instead of being overwhelmed by your work and getting irritable, set your alarm twice a day to book yourself some time just for yourself: a 5-minute siesta, a good cup of tea, a yoga movement, a chat with friends, etc.
One of my annoying habits is always thinking everything is my fault. I am responsible for the misery of others without ever having been heard, let alone judged.
So I have decided that for 21 days – that’s how long it takes for a new habit to take root – every night (date in my support calendar) – I am going to analyse if and when I have been a victim of my own judgement.
What about you? What do you think deserves your full attention?
Standing in front of the quarries in Carrara, I imagine Michelangelo choosing stones worthy of his masterpieces. In my mind’s eye, I see him surveying these very mountains as he travelled around paying labourers here and scrutinising a rock wall there. Our ancestors accomplished some amazing feats, without our modern transport systems. But of course, it goes without saying that Michelangelo did not mass produce his David! And he only painted one Sistine Chapel.
And what if that is the secret? Only do things once and give it your all to do your best? That’s what the 4 Toltec agreements teach us.
What about you? What is the project closest to your heart that would be worth you spending a month, a year, or even 25 years on?