For Christmas, I got a TV. I can just imagine the look on your face right about now as you read that statement.
If you don’t know my television history, your look is probably accompanied by a question along the lines of, “and what does that have to do with me?” And if you do know my story, your reaction is either, “well, it’s about time!” Or, you are just as shocked as I was as I looked at a box, hidden in plain sight, containing a 32″ flat screen TV asking, “What’s this?” I kid you not…
In a moment, I’ll flush out what my lovely new TV has to do with you, but first some context: It’s not that I didn’t own a television (although I don’t watch it much); it’s just that I’ve had my now “old” set since 1989 – rabbit ears and all! And because I don’t have a cable subscription, I also have the digital TV converter box. Go ahead and laugh, it’s okay –
But my “old” TV worked just fine.
However, now that I have this fancy-dancy thing, I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. The picture quality is AMAZING! The colors are crisp, clear and vibrant. TV watching in my own house never looked so good.
New Year Ruminations
My Christmas present got me to thinking about clichés, comfort and paths that go unexplored.
There are two popular clichés:
Cliché #1 – You can’t miss what you never had.
Cliché #2 – You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
The major problem with the above is this:
What if you don’t know what you’re missing until you get what you didn’t have?
Need examples? Think about that awesome relationship where you are getting (or got) more than you asked for…in a good way! Or, think of that job that – to your surprise – surpassed your wildest dreams and expectations and is (or was) the best career move you didn’t plan.
Just like with my old TV, where (or what) in your life is working just fine – there’s nothing particularly wrong. You are quite cozy in your comfort zone. In this state, you don’t really know what you’re missing because you aren’t experiencing any pain or discomfort, which usually is what plants the seed that a change is needed.
At this time of the year, there is plenty of talk about new goals, new to-dos, and new resolutions. All declared with the intent of this year being better than ever. And in typical fashion, what triggers the desire for the “new” is that something is wrong with the current. But, what about when the “current” is cool?
What to do when your tank is full
When your tank is full, you don’t always know what you’re missing – or what to ask to discover what you’re missing to make your experience over-the-top great. Courtesy of my TV experience, here’s a suggestion to strengthen that muscle: As you reflect on the year that has passed and contemplate the year that is ahead, experiment with reframing how you create some of your 2013 goals, to-dos and resolutions.
You have probably already addressed those areas where you want a transformation from pain to pleasure or discomfort to comfort.
Now take an inventory of the areas of your life where things are rolling along just fine — they are working — and sit with the question: what would make my full tank overflow?
See, I told you my there was a connection between my new TV and you! And here’s to hoping your New Year is off to a fantastic start, setting just the tone you want for the days to follow. Happy New Year!
p.s. if your financial tank is running on empty and debt is the culprit, register for our FREE webinar – “Got Unmanageable Debt? Tackle it With Four Small Steps & Experience Big Wins.” Click here to find out more.
As you may know, last week we held the Financial Intimacy Conference in Los Angeles – the second city in our multi-city tour. The conference there followed the same format as in New York. With many of the same speakers, we kicked-off the evening with three TED-like plenary sessions, followed by the Male Perspective panel, followed still by Q/A.
I really enjoy Q/A time because you never know what’s going to be asked. But a curious thing happened during LA’s Q/A and it got me thinking about human connections, human behavior and a human truth:
Yes, you are special. But your problems/issues/concerns/fears/questions, etc. are not as unique as you think they are.
Here’s the question that triggered this moment of illumination: “How much of my money should go toward paying for my boyfriend’s children’s expenses?” This came from a woman in a relationship with a man with two children from his previous marriage. And as she and he move in the direction of marriage, she wanted guidance on how to address this thorny and potentially combustible issue.
Turns out, she wasn’t the only one in the room with the same question! Further still, there was someone else in the room who is dealing with this precise scenario!! This person was able to describe what she and her husband do to navigate this terrain and she shared how it is a fluid process that changes when necessary. The exchange that ensued was incredible, in part because it was so darn organic.
And it became even more incredible to me the more I reflected on the evening overall and a basic need we each have — we don’t won’t to feel alone.
You’re not alone…really!
Yet despite the desire not to feel alone, we often keep things close to the vest and suffer in silence. Even with close family members and friends, we don’t talk about the experiences that we typically label as “unspeakable” (e.g., molestation) or uncomfortable (e.g., pooping) or that we describe as too personal (e.g., money). Nor do we discuss the questions of doubt and confidence our experiences frequently raise.
Because of LA, I’ve discovered a newfound beauty in Q/A time:
For starters, it tackles the issue of isolation head-on. What we each experience as very personal is actually universal. It just never feels that way, right?
Likewise, Q/A encourages sharing, which opens up the possibility of discovering solutions you may not have considered. And in the case of a conference, the perspective you most gravitate toward may come from another attendee, not necessarily the “experts.”
Groupthink may not be valuable, but group sharing can be tremendously beneficial!
That is why I’m introducing a free Monthly Q/A Call beginning in April. It’s an experiment and if it gains some traction, we will keep it going. Stay tuned for more details.
In the meantime, If you weren’t self-conscious, what question would you ask right now and share with the world? (You don’t have to confine it just to money related matters.) Write it in the comment section.
You never know your question may help someone else realize that they are not alone!
Earlier this week, Andy Bellatti, my Careepreneur colleague, wrote a piece that really resonated with me. In it, he described how uncomfortable he is with people ascribing to him the label of “guru” – as if he possesses, and not his clients, the answer/s his clients are seeking. I share a similar challenge as Andy with the work I do as a financial coach and trainer, despite my many efforts and exhortation to the contrary. Saying, “there isn’t a singular answer that will work equally for everyone,” often falls on deaf ears.
And like Andy (or what I took from Andy’s post), I, too, get frustrated that some people don’t really understand the value I/we bring. Hint: it’s not in providing the answers. (Read more…)