Truly Powerful People (355)

355.
Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Peter Block wrote a book I often revisit called, The Answer To How Is Yes. It is written for a business audience but like all wisdom it applies to life beyond the glass tower. One of the premises of the book is that we get stuck in asking, “How?” We leap beyond asking “why” and too soon begin searching for how to achieve “it.” Both actions are essentially an abdication of personal responsibility. Point #1: If you do not know why you should not be asking how. Point #2: Look to yourself for your answers; clarify your “why,” and “how” will become apparent and personal.

In my latest revisit of the book I realized that in many ways it is a meditation on paths. To me, stories are pathways scribed during a process of transformation. It’s a paradox because the story serves both as a guide that points the way along a well-worn route, and it affirms that your path is unique, never before trod. You create your distinctive path in the choices you make as you go. Your path is your story creation and the age-old stories provide instruction in path creation.

I went back to Peter Block’s book because I recently did a peer coaching with a woman from one of my classes. She guided me through an imagination exercise and I found myself on a path. I took great comfort in how well traveled it was – you might say the legion of ancestors that came before me wore a fine trail for me to follow. On the path I thought the relevant question was, “How do I intend to walk it?” I could race through and not see it, fight my way, fear the tigers that might be lurking behind the trees…, or I could walk slowly and enjoy it. And then the real question came to me: “Why this path?” There were other choices available to me. I could have taken a safer path. I could have chosen a path of security or one that was less steep. This path was not a default though I often try to convince myself that this path is happening to me, but it is not. I chose it.

Why this path?

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