Provision #803: Patterns Matter

Laser Provision

How would you describe your daily patterns? Your weekly patterns? Your monthly patterns? Simply put, patterns matter when it comes to life and work. They can either be life serving or life denying; they can either build up or tear down your body, mind, and spirit. I’ve been paying attention to my life patterns even more now, in the wake of my seizure problems. Interested in what I’m learning? Read on?

LifeTrek Provision

One of curious things in recovering from my brain inflammation has been the loss of my memory functions. What once was taken for granted has now become a continuous challenge and adventure. Where do we put stuff on a day-to-day basis? Where do we store stuff long term? What’s my routine when it comes to morning, noon, and night? In other words, what’s my pattern of living?

I’ve come to appreciate the value of patterns in life and I challenge you to think about your own patterns. In my case, having had pretty healthy patterns before I went down for the count at the end of last August, my challenge is discovering • or, you might say, rediscovering • what those patterns look like. Fortunately, I have more than 700 Provisions posted online, an archive which documents those patterns and gives me some clue as to the healthy lifestyle I have been advocating and striving to live.

But those patterns only begin to approach the challenges I now face. Because of the parts of my brain that have been damaged, it’s hard for me to remember the immediate past. I’ve probably written about that before since I started writing again at the end of November, and I just don’t remember. Hah! I have the online archive to refresh my memory and I refer to it frequently as I prepare these Provisions on a weekly basis. I encourage you to read it as well.

One of the games that I play with myself is to simply try and remember what I did in the past hour, the past 6 hours, the past 12 hours, and so forth. I encourage you to work your memory muscles as well, even if your memory hasn’t been damaged by a medical challenge.

Recalling the immediate past is harder than doing things I have done all my life. That’s because the doing of things is embedded in a different part of my brain. In fact, I like to think they are imbedded in the body-brain. That there are things my fingers know how to do even when my brain can’t explain what they are doing. Like going to find a tool or fixing a damaged light switch or preparing our healthy, morning fruit chewy. We joke that we would call it a fruit smoothie if it didn’t have so much fiber!

These patterns run deep. The best part about them is that they are healthy patterns that make for wholesome, happy living. It doesn’t have to be that way, you know. People can fall into unhealthy ruts rather than healthy patterns. None of us want that, but it’s easy to do. And one rut has a way of leading to another.

So the whole point of these weekly Provisions is to identify healthy habits that you might adopt and turn into patterns • or, as my son used to say when he was a young boy, “patter-ins”. We still throw that funny pronunciation around every once in a while, and chuckle to ourselves. It reminds us of good times with good friends and good places. What can be better than that?

The point of patterns, of course, is to reduce how much we have to think about things. Can you imagine having to think every time you went to find something simple, like your pajamas or a spoon or a screw driver? If you can, then you can imagine what I have been going through in the wake of this brain disease. It’s been tough.

Fortunately, as time goes on, I discover that I am redeveloping both kinds of patterns. I am starting to know that George picks me up for Kiwanis on Wednesdays (since I can’t drive yet, and wouldn’t know how to get there even if I could) and I am starting to know what cupboards to open to find the glasses rather than the plates rather than the pots and pans. That knowing is not a matter of memorization; it’s a matter of repetition. Do something often enough and you start to remember who that person is or where that something goes.

I’m a long way from where I want to be, but patterns are helping me to move forward. The key is to pay attention to your patterns and to make sure they are turning you into the person you want to be. Because you will become what you do often enough.

  • Do you want to be healthy and fit? Then develop good eating and exercise patterns.
  • Do you want to be calm, cool, and collected? Then develop good relaxation patterns.
  • Do you want to love and be loved? Then develop good intention and communication patterns.
  • Do you want to have sufficient funds for a good life? Then develop good money patterns?
  • Do you want to make a contribution in the world? Then develop good work patterns?

You get the idea. The key is in the word pattern. There’s no way my brain can get back into the swing of things without patterns. But then I repeat myself. And that’s the point! Repetition takes the effort out of life. We no longer have to think hard, and often no longer have to think at all, to do the things that make life worth living. We just develop healthy patterns, start the motor running, and let things run.

The question, you may be asking yourself, is how do we develop those healthy patterns if we currently have unhealthy patterns or weak patterns. The answer is simple: one day at a time. If we don’t set the course and start out on the journey we will never get anywhere.

But there is another secret. We also need partners for the journey. No one gets anywhere without partners. Thinking partners. Traveling partners. Friends. Family. Folks who can encourage us with their wit and wisdom and who can ask us questions, important questions, when we get off course. Like where are you going? Where have you been? And how did you get to where you are?

It’s ironic that those simple questions, which are so challenging for someone with an inflamed brain such as mine, are also the core coaching questions that I and the other LifeTrek coaches have been working on with our clients since LifeTrek Coaching began way back in 1999. Those are core coaching questions and having a thinking partner for the journey, free of judgment with good questions and a little bit of advice once in a while, can make all the difference in the world.

If that sounds intriguing, as though you, too, might benefit from having such a partner, then I would encourage you to contact us for coaching by responding to this email or through the Contact for Coaching form on our website.

Coaching Inquiries: What patterns are healthy one for you? On a scale of 1-10, how on track would you say you are with those patterns? How might  a coaching partner be helpful to get you back on track? What’s stopping you from reaching out and taking the plunge today?

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 to arrange a complimentary conversation.

LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)

Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Form or Email Bob.


I find that your Provisions have gotten sweeter and more profound since your return from the deep. Keep them going!


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

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
Past President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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