Hanging out in the zip code of Genius

(Photography by Lean Smith)

Up until a while ago, I was obsessed with planning every tiny bit of my life. I had a plan A, a plan B and a plan B to plan B. But all of this planning was not really created from a place of “What could be possible for me?” or “How can I live a life of joy, of love, of contributing to a greater good?”.

It was basic day to day operational trouble-shooting. The questions that were actually guiding me were more in the lines of “How can I get work done faster so I can get to what I REALLY want to do?”; “How can I push myself more to resist in this way of living that is just meh?”. Basically, how can I look busy in a socially acceptable way while I postpone doing what I really know I am capable of.

So about a year ago, I just had this inner knowing that I was going to quit my job at a very specific date. The date was June 2017. I had no idea why this date popped in my mind so strongly. I laughed at it as if it were just a funny, cute quirk of mine. I dismissed it.

And then, what do you know? June 2017 came and through a series of seemingly small events, I opened up the space for a completely new possibility. I was in there talking to my manager and announcing my decision to leave.

The truth is, I became sick and bored with my own way of being — controlling and in disaster-avoidance mode. My strongest intention was to surrender and to catapult myself into a line of destiny where I had no plans. I intuitively knew that making these decisions would be a fantastic lesson to me.

And oh boy, was I right.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to let go of your carefully-crafted plan and just be open to what was showing up? Open to going with the flow? And has that ever led you to an outcome so much better than you could have created in the first place?

See, as a coach and as a natural consequence of my personality, I am a very goal oriented person. I am a planner. At some level, I believe that if you want something done, you gotta envision it in your mind up to the tiniest details, create a strategic plan, and engage your passion, enthusiasm, inner genius and perseverance to get it done. And all of this screams of “me! me! me!”. And all of this is true, to a certain point.

But if you really opened your eyes and if you were open to a new type of understanding, you could kind of see that there are 2 parts to every plan. There’s the things you can control, and there’s the things you can’t.

Last night I was watching an interview with the cast of a comedy show. They have THE BEST comedy show in Romania, really great content, but they have one of the smallest audiences. This gave them some food for thought. Sometimes, things get really popular and famous for no apparent good reasons, and other things that are, in fact, more valuable, just kind of remain in the underground. Sure, there’s a part of all this that might be explainable through consumerism psychology, the quality and quantity of marketing done, yada yada yada. To be honest, though, a lot of ideas and projects are just like throwing rocks into the fog. You have no idea what’s on the other side, and many times no way to actually influence how many of the rocks will be received, wasted, or sent back.

I once heard of a super cool goal-setting process called the Doormat Process. Essentially, for any big goal that you would have, you would draw up two columns: “My to-do list” and “The Universe’s to-do list”. Of course, in the second column, you would include the type of things that you don’t have control of and are essential to reaching your goal. This reminds me of something I read in a book: “I am in charge of the why and what, and the Universe is in charge of the how”.

‘Cuz here is the thing. We are … not that smart.

There’s a lot we don’t know. There’s a lot we can’t see and predict. And my invitation, for me first of all, and for you, is to create a mindset and a lifestyle where we leave room for the unexpected.

Where we make an awesome plan, but create space for whatever you want to call it: luck, grace, fortitude, Divine Intervention, Universe, hazard, innate intelligence… Be open to the possibility that you might have set your eyes on a destination that is way beyond what you can get. Switch it up. Venture in a territory that is completely new for you.

Michael Neill, a coach that I quote and paraphrase a lot, said something that blew my mind open. It is when you venture into a new territory that your inner GPS starts to kick in. When you are doing the same old thing, at the same level of trust, adventure and creativity you have always operated from, you will miss on the opportunity of knowing what you are really capable of. Just like when you drive your car using the GPS and you have to stay on the path for 80 more miles; your GPS remains silent. It doesn’t tell you every two minutes: “Keep going. Keep at it. Aham. Continue.” That would be completely unnecessary and annoying.

As long as we are threading on the same old beaten tracks, we don’t get to tackle and draw in from our innate wisdom. From our innate ability to eventually make sense of any situation, as difficult and overwhelming it may initially seem. We are natural-born trouble-shooters and problem-fixers, so why don’t we go ahead and give ourselves more fascinating problems to fix?

While trying to describe all of this, I cannot shake this feeling of an impossible mission. It feels like trying to give shape to something that is formless. Like trying to describe the taste of water, or trying to describing color to someone who is blind.

The power of learning to love living with uncertainty is something that you can only know through experiencing it. From taking the leap. You can get inspired from what other people say, how they live, from books, movies and songs — from, hopefully, this article. And if you get curious about this, if you get this feeling of “although I can’t really explain how this would work, I kinda feel there is something valuable here”, I would say that is precisely the voice of your inner GPS kicking in, y’all.

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Alexandra Serediuc - Founder of Light inSight

Alexandra Serediuc - Founder of Light inSight

Leadership Coach & HR Leader

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