Living Wide Open - A Dirt Bike Experience

Life Wide Open

What are you capable of? Do you ever dare to imagine just what you are capable of when you put your mind to something? How often do you operate at your highest level of capabilities?

There is an inspiring (and challenging) quote by Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

On a scale of 0 - 10  (10 being high) how many times over the last month have you stretched beyond your comfort zone? 26 days ago Kiri & I drove to Rotorua and worked with the Encounter team to develop a team leadership and development programme for businesses. In order to do this effectively, we went through the day long programme. Kiri wrote about this in her last LinkedIn post after the event. Almost a month on I had occasion to reflect on that intensive day of training and share some insights below:

Personal growth occurs when we are stretched. Most of the time we are happily muddling along inside our ‘circle of comfort’. Growth occurs outside the circle of comfort.

Learning needs to be applied. Information is only as good as the application of it. Applying what we learn is where true change occurs. Breaking down my learning into specific actions makes a difference - little and often builds steady and strong. I wanted to ensure I applied what I learnt and Matt Cutts 30 day challenge  has helped make fun approach to my first key take-away of “focus.”

It is incredible what you can learn and apply when you have the right environment and trainers. To go from creeping forward to “Flying High” in a single day reinforced the value of training with professionals.

Team members inspire and motivate each other to do far more and go further than one might on their own. When a team wants the best for each other and focuses on finding and catching other team members doing well, it encourages one to keep taking “responsible risks”.

A safe environment allows you to push yourself harder and further. You can focus on what can be achieved rather than being distracted. We have reorganised our office and seen a huge benefit in our new space, with quicker communication and more collaboration through an open plan set up.

The value of feedback cannot be overstated. The quicker and more specific the feedback the faster you can respond. “Feedback is the food of champions” and this is amplified when the feedback focuses on the positive. You get more of what you focus on and aiming to catch people doing things right encourages more of the same.

Continually redefining “failure” remains important. One does not really ‘fail’ if one learns and adapts as a result of the learning. Ed Catmull in his excellent book “Creativity Inc” shares how ‘failing fast’ allows organisations to learn fast. In riding the dirt bike, I crashed in quite spectacular style twice while learning to go around the beginners track. I learnt quickly how to take corners and on the advanced track managed far more challenging corners at higher speeds. Failure is not failure unless you fail to learn. As the current mantra sings “Fail forward!”

Thanks to the Encounter team. Tracey, Mary and Josh: you guys are awesome and we are excited to see the new business leadership programme up and running. There is much to be learnt and plenty of growth opportunities outside of our comfort zone. Stretch yourself. Learn. Grow.