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Pair #90 Step into Clear Focus
If you have ever walked into the kitchen, opened the door to the refrigerator and then stood there wondering what you came for... welcome to the club.

Our ability to Focus, or not, was my topic for this week's show (archive) and it was a good one.

One of the topics that came up repeatedly in a recent training was how can what I teach help us to be able to focus and to still be able to do lots of things?  It is as if we think that focus will slow us down somehow. That we won't get enough done if we stopped rushing around.  So we wonder how can we rush around but still focus.

So how focused do you feel as you rush around?  Isn't that precisely when you are more likely you leave the house and forget the lunch you packed?

I often hear people say that the solution to getting a lot done is to learn to multi-task better.  Many times I've had clients tell me, "my problem is I'm just not that good at multi-tasking."  We look with envy at others and their ability to be super-soccer Moms that juggle kids and high-pressure jobs. But should we? 

On Yahoo recently people were talking about how AMAZING Obama is at multi-tasking, as one put it, Obama was dealing with "Birth certificate/Trump, Bin Laden, was in Florida for the shuttle launch (unfortunately postponed), spoke at the Correspondents Dinner, gave speeches on the budget, went on Oprah, all in the last week!"  

I doubt that President Obama is managing all of these things on his lonesome and that his ability to keep the country ticking over is down to his great 'multi-tasking' but still, look at how we love and revere the multi-tasker! We imagine they are jetting from place to place while tapping into their iPad, signing up new business on the phone from a seat on an airplane all while writing a blog and the next great American novel and managing their children's homework via our revved up, multi-device, superhero lifestyles.   

Then we are down on ourselves when we are not doing the same.

We can't see a way out that is any more profound than just getting more done.

We also intuitively know that when we are overloaded our work is poor quality, we become more forgetful and we are actually more likely to need to repeat what we've done or redo it.

Ever regretted pressing that 'SEND' button in the rush of trying to get through the inbox?

Research has long pointed to the fact that the human brain only processes one thing at a time. Recently studies are showing that our ability to pay attention, use memory and switch from one task to another is deteriorating. (Stanford report).

So where is our adoration for the joys of multi-tasking coming from?  Is there real evidence that multi-focus is the new fabulousness? 

We would do well to look beyond the anecdotal evidence that multi-tasking is good. Which is the better measure of our productivity, doing a bunch of things poorly, or doing a few things well?  You don't have to choose, but if you did, which seems better to you?

What I want to suggest is that when we have true focus, we do tasks well, enjoy them more and complete them fully with fewer mistakes at a natural pace. 

Let me suggest a few simple measures of whether or not you are using that kind of focus. Here is what being focused feels like:
  • good
  • connected
  • creatively juiced up
  • clarity
  • time irrelevance
  • completion
Here is what multi-tasking feels like:
  • rushing
  • behind the eight ball
  • strain
  • tiredness
  • clock-watching
  • doing over and over
Which would you choose?


© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' on http://elesecoit.com"
 
 
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Pair #66 Wake Up Neo
You know those moments when you 'space out' for a bit?  It just lasts a few seconds.  Imagine if that were your whole life!  I  have this horrible thought that I might wake up one day  and realize I didn't have I life, just  a lot of Coach bags. A life who's motto would be "I came, I slept, I shopped."

One of the reasons many people come to me for coaching is simply the horrifying idea that they might wake up one day, like Sam Walton (Founder of Walmart) and share his last words... "I blew it."

The way I chose to deal with this whole idea was to decide that my life would be about coming awake and sharing that possibility with others.

One of the books that really fed my longing for more awareness and conscious action in my own life is Anthony de Mello's "Awareness." Please put this book on your 'read before I die' list.  De Mello was a Jesuit priest, a delightful, spiritual - and very frank - man who cared about all of us knowing that it was possible to live life awake.   He begins the book, which is a transcript of his lectures "Wake Up To Life" at Fordham University by saying we "are born asleep, we marry in our sleep and we die asleep."  Not a new idea. One that many other teachers would agree with, from Don Miguel Ruiz to Jesus.  The really horrifying this about this idea for me is that we can be asleep, but not even know it.  Like in the film, The Matrix.

Watched The Matrix lately?  It's interesting that first line.

Wake up, Neo...

Awareness for me is a commitment.  I wanted to live 'awake' (I use that carefully, since it doesn't help me to think of an aware state as 'good' and other states as 'bad')  so I could get off the merry-go-round of old mistakes! 

It's been a tough road, an amazing road, a neverending road and the most fruitful decision I have ever made.  I talk more about it on the show which you can listen to

My radio show on Awareness from December 23rd
It includes Anthony de Mello's 4 ways of taking action to come into greater awareness that you can try out for yourself.

So, to finish, here is the man himself...


 
 
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Pair #39  Put up and Shut Up
I keep a few sticky notes around my desk to remind me of what's important to me.  You see, sometimes my mind doesn't really remember the bigger picture, the higher purpose or the wider context of my life and so I've just installed instant recall of my own simple truths. 

Most of these notes are from my personal learnings, like 'everything is for good' others are nuggets of wisdom that I like such as 'communicate with a request or a promise.'  All of them are within quick glance so that if I am rushing or have a tough day, I have these sanity grabbers.

A few weeks ago I put a new one on the monitor right in front of where I set up my laptop.  It was the focus for that day and it said:

"FOCUS: Be Even More Helpful"

Today I walked into the office and before I picked up the phone for my first client call, I took a pen to that particular sticky note, added a colon, and just below  "Be Even More Helpful:"  I wrote:

"Shut Up."

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
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Pair #38 You are the one you've been looking for
“What can other teachers do?  If they don’t know for themselves, they are just swallowing other people’s saliva.”   - Yun-Men*

Enlightenment. Sometimes I think the word should come with instructions and a Surgeon General’s label. "Warning. May cause extreme bloating of ego."  Or, "Warning, May cause sanity defects."

The reason I think striving for something called enlightenment is so damaging to one’s health is that it sends us into paralysis. It is the disease of the seeker, who must by necessity, seek.  Maybe we’ll wave a quick hello to acceptance, rest and peace as we dash down the road toward the destination called Somewhere Better. 

There is no need to put off anything until such a time as we become a better person, a holier person, or a more enlightened person.   I realized that I will not find love, be able to help people more, make more money, or change the world when I am all fixed up.  Being fixed up isn't required. In fact, the last person I want to come and help me, frankly, is that perfect person (you know the one!).

Only an ego puffed on self-importance could ever think up the idea that you must be in a high place before you can engage fully and be of assistance to others.   What better mechanism to keep a narcissistic, self-absorbed, know-it-all ego firmly in place than the concept of an enlightened state, which will be reached someday in the future.
 
 
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Pair #36 I'm dead serious.
Sometimes I can take life so seriously.  

It is good to be reminded that it’s OK to forget my persona and just enjoy myself.

When I think of all the energy I have put into things like a serious career, a serious relationship or even a serious wardrobe - I notice that time has a way of just gently correcting my perspective and putting everything in it’s rightful place.

None of these things really turned out to make differences in the ways I thought they might.  I thought I could get a sense of self and importance that I could count on.  Somehow. (How exactly did I think that would work?)

I am not saying there is anything wrong with gravitas, or any of these things I focused on.  I rather have enjoyed my career, my relationship and my wardrobe.  But were they ‘serious’? Uh, I don’t think so.

Steve Chandler is here speaking at Supercoach Academy and his way of teaching our coaches to step forward into life and into powerful coaching so delightfully pokes fun at all the ways we take ourselves too seriously, that I can’t help but review my life and wonder what the heck I was thinking.

Taking a moment to chuckle - just a little bit - at all the foibles I recognize in myself is a great way to be gentle and kind to me.  Maybe I don’t need self love so much as a good sense of humor.

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
 
 
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Pair #16, Go On, Go For Nothing!
Many spiritual paths make getting enlightened a goal.  The trouble with this idea is that, barring having a burning bush experience, it sounds like a very long and arduous path to getting somewhere you are not entirely convinced exists.  (OK, SOME of us are not entirely convinced). This week on the radio show with Peter Fenner we talked about the idea that you can be totally fulfilled without changing anything at all.  That sounds so far off reality for most of us that it’s easy to just pass it over completely.  But the more I thought about it, the deeper the implications. 

It made me consider the last few years of my life when most of my effort has gone into personal change and I could really identify with the thoughts I often had that went something like…

-   I need to create a ‘better me’

-   When I understand more, life will become easier

-   If I get better at this stuff, I won’t have any more problems

Sound familiar?

Those of us who are either ‘pursuing’ personal change or teaching it, what would happen if we actually called off the search?

One of the implications of ‘loving what is’ – which Peter talks about and which those of you who read and follow Byron Katie’s work is that the only time we suffer is when we are arguing with reality.  That the result of loving things as they are with no need to change them is, in fact, peace. “When you argue with reality, you lose,” as Katie would say, “but only 100% of the time.”

 The idea that there is nothing to become  underlies the effortlessness and accessibility of the Buddhist nondual teachings of Radiant Mind. 

Here are some of the main thing you can learn from Peter on the show and in his book “Radiant Mind”

-   the anti-frantic environment

-   how to stop making a problem out of having problems

-   why we get stuck when we think there is more to know than we know right now

-   why we don't have to make anything better

It is also my experience that painful thoughts and feelings dissolve when we are not struggling to establish what needs to change in order for us to feel better.

We pre-recorded the Friday the 23rd show, as I'm in New York, but I have to tell you, I had such a wonderful experience of sharing this 'state of awareness' on the show with Peter that I think just listening to it, there is a very good chance you will feel it too. And get a taste of what it is like when there no goal to get anywhere.

 
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.