Last week I conducted another workshop on how to achieve your stretch goals – goals so big you don’t know how to achieve them. The first exercise is to describe Current Reality in detail, without judgment or analysis. And then to identify the consequences of Current Reality (e.g., unpredictable income, lack credibility, unfit to climb Kilimanjaro) and the emotions and sensations one feels (e.g., fearful, overwhelmed, embarrassed).
Having facilitated this group exercise scores of times I suddenly noticed a pattern: the exercise is very challenging regardless of education, wealth, country, work experience, etc. Why is it so difficult to objectively describe Current Reality without judgment or analysis? Why do we find it so difficult to look Current Reality square in the face and describe it?
The simple exercise seems to be hard because it requires us to observe reality without the tired stories and interpretations we have created. It requires us to pay attention, to be awake to the here and now, to accept reality. It is so much easier to live in the past (“It was because blah blah”) or in the future (It will be blah blah). And there we suffer.
We suffer daily unhappiness because we are avoiding reality (by being busy working, talking, fighting, worrying, watching TV, making excuses). And what happens? We get stuck. We expend great energy trying to get to the solution/destination/happiness but we do not know where we are on the map. Current Reality tells us where we are. Only when we know where we are can we course correct and map the route to our destination. Otherwise we are winging it. We are delusional. We are suffering.
I am curious, do you know where you are on the map and how did you figure it out?