Friday, March 26, 2010

What's That Voice Trying to Tell You?

One of my passions is encouraging others to pursue their passions. It’s way too easy to get caught up in everyday minutia, the nitty gritty details of work, family, housework, shopping, always on the go, always doing for others. (And not to say we shouldn’t do for others—especially if it rewards us!)

But is there a still, quiet voice inside you, urging you to do something? To try something new? To think in a new way? I’ll be honest, it’s not always a still, quiet voice inside me. Sometimes it’s this screaming, raging monster, demanding a release.

Whether you’ve got that quiet voice or the screaming monster, what’s it telling you?

I was feeling as if I was in a rut, eating at the same restaurants (and the same foods at those restaurants!), going to work, coming home to write and coach. The little voice in me knew it needed new experiences, a new take on life. So I started saying Yes to a whole lot of new experiences

I said Yes when I had an opportunity to go to the Olympics and experience all the sights and sounds of being among the best in the world. I say Yes to skiing at Whistler. I said Yes to a chance to visit San Francisco.

Recently, I’ve begun eating foods I’ve never tried before. I’m trying new restaurants, actively seeking out places I’ve never been before. (Last week, I ate octopus for the first time—“cooked” in lime juice. In January, I sucked down oysters on the half shell—and I don’t mind admitting that it took a glass of wine to work up the courage to get that first one into my mouth!)

I’m training for the insane Warrior Dash—an out-of-this-world even put together by the crazy minds of people who thought it might be fun to combine Navy SEAL training, American Gladiators, and some beer.

I’m also taking risks with my writing, trying to see where I can push the envelope.
I decided to go “cold turkey” with the daily news and talk radio. I haven’t turned on the telly since the Olympics. I haven’t listened to talk radio in weeks. (In fact, I now have Sirius in the car. I’m learning about classical music in a way I haven’t before, and I’ve actually tried the 40s channel!)

If you were to take a few deep breaths, shut off the television, put away the newspaper, step away from talk show entertainers, unsubscribe from the news services, what might you hear?

As a coach, I encourage you to do a “media fast” for one week. (C’mon, it’s only seven days!) Shut it off…yep, the TV, the newspaper, the stereo (except for motivational/inspirational stuff that encourages you to go for it!), even the bad news on the Internet. Ignore politics—it’ll still be a raging fight when you get back, I promise.

If something winds you up, step away for seven days. Instead, listen to that quiet voice inside you, the one that says maybe you should focus on getting fit, or planning a vacation, or eating better, or writing a book, or trying a new experience, or going to the spa, or even sleeping in a bit more.

What can you learn from yourself?

You’re the wisest one around you. You know what you want, what you need. Is now the time to listen?