2006: Issue 12
Many of us are gearing up for our summer vacations, often difficult to sustain our excitement about our destination(s), yet often not as excited about the trip there and back. Whether by plane, train or automobile, it’s the close quarters that often bring out words such as “Billy, stop bugging your sister. ” Or “Honey, can you stop smacking your gum in my ear.” Or the terser, “Stop it!” Seems we find ourselves freely telling others to stop doing something, and miss the many opportunities to tell ourselves the same…
One of the popular coaching tools is the creating of a “stop doing list”. We are all familiar with the common “to do” list with some of us using it quite effectively; others avoiding it all together; and still others who keep a running list, rarely able to check off item # 1, let alone item #54. The idea behind the “stop doing list” is to create the space — mental, physical, and emotional — to accomplish the items on your “to do” list.
My clients often tell me, “I don’t/didn’t have time….” The first thing I do is encourage them to rephrase their response to “I didn’t make the time” to make the point that they truly are always in choice as to how they spend their time. Then, we work on finding the time which usually means they must identify what they can stop doing in order to fit something else in.
I have realized, both personally and professionally, that to stop doing most things is as difficult as beginning to do new things. Clients frequently push back, “Oh, I could never stop doing that.” Or exhibit unbridled enthusiasm with “that’s easy to do” only to report back a week or so later, sheepishly saying it wasn’t as easy as they thought. Yet, once the momentum kicks in and they realize the benefit of stopping “it”, watch out. They become unstoppable with stopping.
In his book, The One Thing You Need to Know, Marcus Buckingham claims that his research has shown him that the difference between the “twenty percenters” and the rest of us, can be found in what they choose not to do rather than what they choose to do, defining the twenty percenters as those few who manage “to experience extraordinary, repeated, and sustained success.” He contends that the one thing we all need to know to sustain our success is to:
Copyright 2006, Extra Ordinary Living, Inc. All rights reserved.