Greater Clarity 5 Cent Action


#action #accomplishment #inspiration #leadership

Knowing exactly what to do, when and how, is not our normal state, pined George, feeling very normal, not having any idea of what to do. Speaking to his coffee cup, “most of the time I’m doing what I believe might work and if things don’t blow up, well, I guess that choice was a good one. Man, a hit and miss life, that’s what I’m living.” Feeling hesitant, stalling, or stuck are indicators that I’m not on my best game, he thought. Hearing Cassidy say, ‘hello George’ ploughed him back into the moment. He caught his breath and pretended to be the easy going, got it totally together, George. Clearing his throat in response, “hi, yes hi Cassidy, how are you today? Going my way I see, great, uhm… “. Breathing, yes, good idea.

In his state he felt it impossible to just walk out into the certainty he’d really like to experience. Impressing Cassidy as ‘the got it together George’ was top priority now. He was pretty sure his act was not working. Drat. He liked Cassidy.

They walked in silence. She asked, “how is your coffee?”. “It is good, a hint of sweetened soy to make my latte. OK by me.” “So, what have you been up to George?” She was so nice. George lit up at the invite and told her about the conversation he had been having with himself about not knowing exactly what to do.

“I’m thinking it is a human thing, George.” As they walked, she added, that the most successful Execs are the quickest to notice that they are in this ‘not knowing’ state. They, too, are adept at moving past it,  another attribute of a successful Exec. “How do they do that?”, asked George. These Execs Cassidy referred to must be 8 feet tall and don’t touch the ground when they walk, thought George.

The silence was becoming ‘big’ so George asked again, “how do they do that?”. Cassidy responded, “remember the Peanuts cartoons, with Lucy offering psychological counselling for 5 cents?” It only took a moment for George to respond with an enthusiastic, ‘yes’. He loved the wisdom of Snoopy, Peanuts, Lucy and the others. Cassidy then shared, “the magic in that idea, George, is the 5 cents. Five cents is, well, almost nothing, not to be concerned about. Five cents was, and is, permission to accept a small improvement as valid, not to pass it over.” Cassidy let that sink in.

George thought, ‘first the noticing, then starting to challenge and replace the thoughts of having to know exactly and all of what to do. When the fee is only five cents, the pressure for a complete solution is low. Ahha, the bonus! He said, “so we notice small positive steps and appreciate them with a smile that says, yeah that’s worth a nickel”. Cassidy excitedly added, “that noticing brings the fleeting peripheral thought, a part of a solution, back into the mainstream. From there it can be used, rather than lost.”‘ George was captured by that thought string. Then, “Wow. Really? Wow! Is this a find or what?”

George can be a kind of cerebral guy but when he gets an ahaa, he likes to explore. So he and Cassidy came up with a formula.

Notice the ennui of not knowing. Name it. Design a nickel contribution to making it more the way I really want it.

Celebrate  the five cent contributions.

And look for the next one.

Cassidy summarized it well, “from this process the most successful Exec pulls ahead of the crowd stuck at ‘knowing exactly’. Moving yes. In a positive direction, yes. And moving again, yes. Might this be one way that those successful Execs got to be so successful?” Cassidy has a way about her, thought George. She is such a great Lucy.

Joseph Seiler MCC 2011-2022

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