Enabling people to find greater fulfilment through connection with their purpose and discovering how to express that in their personal and professional lives is the focus of my work. These ‘4Ps’ are the essential elements of that work, and they can work for you, building one upon the other.
This is the basis of everything with value, because if you are not here, in this present moment, where are you? That ‘chattering mind’ in which we place such great importance, is really just telling stories about what has happened or what will happen. Some of these can be useful (forward planning, for instance, or looking back to understand), but many of them are just ‘looping’, self-orientated ‘fantasies’ that distract our attention from what is actually going on and waste our time and energy – and often cause unnecessary complications through incorrect assumptions!
That ’chattering’ part of our mind can only live in the past or the future, and the stories it tells us are a diminished abstraction of our actual experience. The body, however, can only exist in the present moment, and it is through the body that we experience the unique gifts that each moment brings. It is through sensing the body that Presence can be achieved – becoming aware of the sensation of your feet on the floor, your hands – breathing techniques, peripheral vision, mindfulness practices .
Presence is the doorway to that fearless state of ‘Flow’ or ‘Being in the Zone’ – that space of connection, high-performance and fulfilment.
It is also the pre-requisite for Emotional Intelligence … Self-awareness is the cornerstone of EI, and to be self-aware, we need to be present …
So, what do we do with presence? We link with our Purpose – whatever it may be for that moment, for that situation, for the people we are connecting with.
Have you ever found yourself doing something you don’t really want to do (perhaps for prolonged periods of time)?. Or suddenly finding yourself in an argument when you actually wanted a real conversation? Or walking away form an interaction or situation and thinking to yourself’ “What happened there? I didn’t want that …!”. Or all those times when you had a sense that you had somehow become distracted and ended up missing or losing something …
If we don’t have a purpose, or are distracted from it though fear or attraction or excitement or greed or worry, there are plenty of other people who are quite happy to have us serve their purpose, which is what we end up doing. And we lose ourselves … Our purpose is the keel of our boat that keeps us on track however stormy it may be above the surface … it is our personal magnet that brings shape and pattern to the confusing randomness of circumstances around us.
What is your purpose when you walk through the workplace door in the morning; when you enter the meeting room; when you walk through the door of your home to your family or friends in the evening; when you make that call or go to that match …?
Some of my clients change their situation dramatically because they realise it does not suit their purpose anymore … most others continue with just small adjustments because they have revitalised their connection with their own purpose. Do you have that ‘vital’ connection that feeds and nourishes you?
This does not mean that you have to spend the day humming “Everything is awesome!” to yourself or tying yourself in knots trying to convince yourself that, “Everything that happens s for the best in the best of all possible worlds” in an excessively Panglossian way!
The positivity I mean here is that of positive intent. This an aspect of purpose, which requires presence …
How many times have you gone to a meeting feeling and thinking, “This is going to be awful, really difficult!”? Or gone to meet someone for whom, for whatever reason, you have a dislike or fear feeling and thinking, “Oh no!”, “This is going to be awful!”, “I’m going to get my own back/give them a piece of my mind/not let them win!”? This is not a positive intent … and is not likely to give a positive outcome!
We can all find a place within ourselves that is a source of positive intent – whatever the situation. Here are some of the ones that work for me:
- Connect with the fact of our mutual mortality. We are none of us on this amazing planet for very long and it helps me to remember our shared humanity – however much I might ‘dislike’ the way they may express theirs!
- Remember that if they are angry, upset, aggressive, I am not responsible for their emotional state. Their ‘re-actions’ are a function of their conditioning, of their past fears and experiences being triggered in this moment. They most probably don’t even see me!
- My primary responsibility is for my emotional state – only if I stay calm and present can I help me and them/the situation. If I get triggered by their fear/anger, all is lost …
- Before entering a potentially difficult situation, remembering my purpose and presence and connecting the common purpose of the person/people with whom I am interacting
- Being very clear about what the worst that can happen really is – to prevent ‘catastrophising’ through irrational fear or panic in a distracted moment.
We all have a sense of what this means in our work lives – what does it mean elsewhere?
For me, ‘professional’ means balanced, putting the interests of the group, team, organisation ahead of my own personal desires in a balanced way. It means ‘Adult-to-Adult’, co-creative, respectful, connected, caring, responsible …
From this perspective, how ‘professional’ are you as a partner, a friend, a parent, daughter or son?
This is not an ‘imposed’ way of behaving. It is where presence, purpose and positivity come together in a true, connected, compassionate relationship with ourselves and those around us. It ensures that we are best placed to ‘do no harm’ and, at the same time, to help minimise and heal any done, usually unintentionally, by others …