During a client zoom call today after a brief catch up about football, Covid and general life he informed me that he was super busy and was struggling to switch off, he had no time for himself or his health and fitness. Everything seemed work, work, work. This was taking a toll on him and he felt drained.
As I listened, a story from a mentor of mine George Pransky came to mind. One of his clients had decided to take his family to Disneyland. His two children were super excited and were sharing ideas of what rides they could go on and how much fun they were all going to have. However, as the day got nearer the kids started to get into their heads about the trip and were now coming out with “if we go on that ride, we won’t be able to go on mine as it’s the other side of the park” and “I don’t want to go on his ride”. Neither child wanted to get sleighted.
The day of the trip arrived; they had had a broken sleep as they were all thinking about how they were going to fit everything into the day. They arrived as the park opened and began racing around, trying to fit it all in. The father saw that they were getting a bit irritable and so after a couple of hours he called for a coffee break. He asked his kids how their morning was going….. “I hate Disneyland” said the youngest.
“Why is that son?”
“Well, when we are on one ride, we are thinking about the next one and then we are rushing from one place to another. It’s not fun”.
The father heard this and realised that they were trying to get everything done and weren’t allowing themselves to enjoy the park. During their enforced coffee break they began to relax and soon they were all laughing again. So, Dad said “shall we get going?”
“Yes”, they replied.
The interesting thing the father said to George, was that after the break we moved just as fast as we had before the break but this time, they had found their presence. Their personal mind (it’s all about me) had quietened down and this will allow fresh perspective.
I asked my client to get comfortable in his chair and to let me know when he thought a minute had passed. The only stipulation was he wasn’t to count. It’s a simple exercise that I sometimes do with clients. When he guessed at a minute, I asked him “what did you notice from giving yourself a minute”?
As he reflected on the story and by doing so allowing his mind to settle down and gain some helpful fresh thinking. This is what he said “I can see I am creating so much work and I need to not schedule so much. I realised the speed I am going is unsustainable and slowing down mentally is so important. Right now, I feel clearer and peaceful”.
Because we had created a space for insight, he realised how much he had been getting in his head and this can often lead to the overwhelm he had experienced. There is a huge night and day difference between giving advice and allowing insight to emerge. The work I do is so rarely based on advice but helping the client to come to a place of clarity. From here they will know what to do or what not to do.
How often to you reward yourself with even just a minute? One minute to yourself, not with an agenda in mind but just as a gift to you.
As always, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself.