To successfully navigate life’s transitions we need to get moving, keep moving, and enjoy moving. That’s what this Provision series has been all about. This week I bring this series to a close with a simple summary: celebrate life!
We’ve come to the end of our series on Navigating Life’s Transitions. I can summarize the lessons learned over the past 16 weeks in two words: celebrate life. There is no life without change and transition. That’s the nature of the beast. The question is whether we celebrate or grieve that fact. Those who celebrate life trust the flow to generate positive value, both along the way and in the end. Those who grieve life fear, and bemoan the flow, worrying that things will only get worse. The choice is up to you.
On Tuesday I had a marvelous, unexpected experience. I left my hotel room in downtown San Francisco for what I thought would be about a one-hour run. I headed down to the water without knowing exactly where I would come out. You can imagine my delight, then, at seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. The bridge drew me like a magnet, although I had no idea whether or not pedestrians were even allowed on the bridge.
Fortunately, the Golden Gate Bridge • now more than 65 years old • was built in an era when people were expected to walk and ride their bicycles across. Modern bridges are designed to keep pedestrians and cyclists off the bridge. This one turned out to be a runner’s delight. From the taste and smell of salt water to the sounds of passing ships to the feel of cool breezes coming in off the ocean to the sights of a city awakening in the morning light, this was a run to remember. I got back to my hotel room more than two hours later, having lost all track of time.
You can imagine my surprise, then, to learn that the bridge had just been reopened that morning following a terrorist alert. The authorities had apparently gotten a report that someone might fly a plane into the bridge over the weekend. Had I known that, I might have felt a bit different about running over the bridge. But I would still have gone. The pull of the magnet was just too strong. And the choice was clear: trust the flow to generate positive value rather than fear the potential negative contingencies.
That’s what lies behind Derek Mahon’s poem, “Everything Is Going To Be All Right.” For an Irish poet who knows all too much about violence, war, hatred, and disease, it’s truly a remarkable statement of faith:
How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling.
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the daybreak and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.
Do you have the faith to believe that everything is going to be all right? Do you have what it takes to celebrate life? That really is the key to successfully navigating life’s transitions. Whether it’s running across a bridge • literally or figuratively • all transitions involve moving from one place to another. Our attitude impacts if and when we will start across that bridge as well as whether or not we will enjoy ourselves along the way.
Over the past 16 weeks, these Provisions have been designed to help us get moving, keep moving, and enjoy moving. That, in my book, is the definition of transitional success. People who fail to navigate life’s transitions either never get started, get stuck along the way, or end up miserable. They see the negatives rather than the positives. They may get to the other side, but not without plenty of kicking and screaming.
To avoid such unfortunate eventualities, I wrote about the 80-20 Rule, Visualizing the Flow, Developing Effortless Systems, and Using Peripheral Vision. They all make the process easier. My faith that everything will be all right didn’t rule out the importance of Grieving the Loss. Rather, it enabled me to write from a strong position about Sitting Still, Moving On, Engaging our Body, and Forgiving Ourselves. Simple tips such as Ply Your Curiosity, Learn Names, Pay Attention, Add Value, and Be Friendly were designed to say the obvious in memorable ways. Finally, we tackled the problem of moving through transitions with your spouse or life partner. Enjoy the Dance is another way of saying Celebrate Life • the choice is up to you.
All these Provisions • as well 150 others • are available in the archive section on our Web site (Click). Next week we start a new series: Ten Winning Secrets for Leadership and Life. I look forward to sharing them with you.
To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form on the Web for a complimentary coaching session.
Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob.
I really liked your last Provision. How true. I’d like to suggest one other which was somewhat implied in what you wrote. Work to each other’s strengths or stop expecting your spouse to be strong in an area they are not. Usually each of us is strong where the other is not, so it just makes sense to use it rather than abuse it.
I appreciated your last Provision. My husband and I have been married for 20 years and while our love grows and we have two wonderful children and MUCH to be thankful for • our communication is so very much lacking. Our relationship works far better when we do communicate but my husband has always said that he just doesn’t have the skills. He has also never taken the time to do anything to get his skills healthier even though he would love to improve his marriage. I’m wondering if you know of any way for him to get healthier in his communication without doing all the work, study, and reading and whatever else it takes to learn good healthy communication? (Ed. Note: Developing new habits takes desire and effort. Perhaps a coach could help.)
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Immediate Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time, Online Retailers
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