Checking It Out Again – So Glad

3 Jun

About six months ago I became part of an on-line book club by responding to an email from my Alma Mater, University of Pennsylvania.

We have read some very interesting books and I have learned about the evolution of Zappos, the Charisma Myth, and the Power of Habits.  I hate to admit I only actually finished one of the 3 – the Zappos one because it was more story then facts and much shorter.

Last week I got an email from Jon, the guy that runs the group.  He was asking for volunteers to be discussion leaders for our next book, “Getting Things Done – the art of stress-free productivity.”

I thought about it for a few days and then said yes.  I thought maybe it would motivate me to keep up with the reading this time and finish the book.

“Getting Things Done” is fascinating to me.  It’s about getting out of your head and being present.  Lately I have woken up in the middle of the night panicked.  “What am I supposed to do?” my brain screams.  Some nights it’s hard to get back to sleep after such a violent awakening.

So, I thought this book was very relevant for me.  It says to capture everything that you are thinking about that is incomplete or that you think should be different, and that you have some commitment to changing.  When this stuff is in your head, it occupies valuable mental space and energy, preventing you from being powerful and present.

I’m not explaining it very well, but I think the concept is great.

A few days ago I got an email requesting the discussion leaders to put a post on the group’s linked in page.   Here is what I put:

 “It’s possible….with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control”

As I get older, I have trouble sleeping. My worries and concerns flow through my brain causing a mixture of panic and concern. I look forward to learning how to to be able to be present and “on”, even though I have have so much going on, and being able to get a good night’s sleep.

Does anyone else relate?

I was proud that I did it.  I felt good until the next day when I saw what Jon posted.  His post sounded intellectual and referenced a New York Times article.

I wanted to die.  I was so embarrassed.  My post was so immature, elementary and personal compared to his.  These thoughts were taking up my mental space.

In a conversation with my coach I told him about my post and how stupid I felt.

He said, “thank you.”

Silence.  “I guess I could email the guy and ask him if he wants me to resign.  If he does, I will.  I’ll know I am not cut out for this intellectual discussion.”

Just identifying what I could do about it, took my concern out of mental space and into a doable action.  I emailed Jon this morning when I woke up.  I felt better regardless of his answer.  I had done something about it instead of just worrying.

Here was his response:

Your post looks great to me! I think its helpful to get at that side of things, because in a group of a thousand members there are definitely participants who have the same interests. If you’re posting, they may be comfortable sharing in a similar way. Let me know if you’d like to continue.
Best Regards,

I was so happy.  Wow!!!  Of course I’ll continue.  How cool was that?

Once again, checking it out made a huge difference in my mental state.  I gave up my disempowering interpretation of myself (which seemed true) by finding out what was actually true for the other person.

Not only am I not worrying, but I feel free, proud and happy.  What a difference!!!!!

I can’t wait to keep reading.


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