Provision #216: Take Stock

Laser Provision

Take stock of your life, of where you’ve been and where you’re going. It’s an important way to learn from experience. I took stock of my life this past week in order to discover the threads that weave their way through LifeTrek Provisions. In the process I came away more motivated than before to write my first book.

LifeTrek Provision

My vacation this past week took place at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York State. What a stimulating and yet relaxing environment. Most forms of electronic communication and motorized transportation are nowhere to be seen. It’s rather an opportunity to unwind and to focus on the things that are important.

My days at Chautauqua went something like this. Upon rising I either went running or biking. One day, while biking with a friend, I saw the orange sun rising over a misty cornfield surrounded by hills and valleys. The beauty was at once breathtaking and inspiring. “That,” I exclaimed, “is why we do these early morning rides.” To be surprised by the ordinary, as though we were seeing it for the very first time.

Upon my return I would clean up and go with my wife to a class on breathing and Yoga. The focus here was on breathwork more than postures, although the two can hardly be separated. A very accomplished and humble Yoga teacher taught the class. I look forward to sharing some of this with those LifeTrek clients who are interested.

After Yoga we would either go to a morning lecture or relax for some family time. My parents came up for several days, and it was good to all be together.

In the afternoon, I took two more classes • one on Publishing a Book and the other on Listening to Life. I learned a lot from both. The listening class confirmed two things: (1) My own series on listening, in LifeTrek Provisions, was not far from the mark, and (2) I still have a long way to go to be a good listener in all areas of life. In my desire to help, I can be too quick to speak. In my desire to succeed, I can be too quick to push. But I am better than I used to be even if I’m not where I want to be. It will come.

The course on Publishing a Book gave me an occasion to look back over my writing during the past several years. LifeTrek Provisions began in January of 1999 as a weekly coaching tip. It was sent out to about 50 family members and friends. Who would have guessed that more than 100 issues and 30 months later, our readership would have grown to more than 7,500 people in at least 37 countries? It is at once invigorating and humbling to write for such a growing, diverse, and engaged community.

My thought is to use Provisions as the basis for my first book. There’s plenty of material that will have to be edited and supplemented. The course became an occasion to think about how to do this and to learn about the publishing process. It was an opportunity to take stock of where I’ve been and where I’m going, which, it occurred to me, is an important habit for success. If we don’t take the time to review and learn from experience, we’re destined to be on the treadmill for life.

My review of 116 Provisions came up with 10 distinct series and one special topic. Given the challenge of scrolling through and making sense out of so many Provisions — all of which are archived on our Web site • I decided to reorganize the archive index by series instead of byProvision. Here’s the table of contents (from the latest to the earliest):

• Daily Habits for Lifelong Success
• Ten Keys to Better Listening
• The Road to Financial Independence: Making Money Work for You
• Optimizing your Experience at Work: Learning from Gallwey’s Inner Game
• Positive Attitudes for Positive Being: Setting your Mind on Solid Ground
• Ten Questions Worth Asking
• Ten Changes Worth Trying
• The Coach Approach to Healthy Living: Paying Attention to Flesh and Spirit
• Being and Becoming Happy: Living Well in the Here and Now
• Ten Keys to Personal Mastery: Setting up Systems of Support

In and around these series there has been one special topic that surfaces from time to time, without warning or advance planning. I label that topic:

• Running as a Metaphor for Life: Lessons from a Marathon Runner

Seeing the list, you may have new interest in reviewing some of the past issues of Provisions. Click on the series’ title to go there directly. You may also have some idea of where this book is headed. Let me know if you have any good leads or suggestions when it comes to agents or publishing houses. One thing I learned: it’s all about networking.

Let me know, too, if you take stock of your own life and want to strike up a conversation. Coaching, if it is anything, is the art of creative conversation. It can move you forward and set you free. It can even help you to end each day with something sweet • as anyone who’s ever been to the Chautauqua Institution knows.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School
Immediate Past President, International Association of
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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