Your Creative Self

In addition to all of the other roles you play, there is a part of you who loves to be creative. How well do you know that version of you? When was the last time they were allowed out to play? You aren’t being fully human until you know your creative self.

I have posted in the past about the different roles we each play as a person (lots of different hats). You are a complex and multi-dimensional person! In addition, I have also talked about being creative and the vital (if not required) role creativity plays in our daily lives.

Today I am asking you to combine those two ideas into a new perspective. Who is your Creative Self? Given all of the things we have been through in the last few years and all of our work stress, family stress, and general daily stress, I am willing to bet that creative role has been stuffed into a corner and hasn’t been able to stretch much lately.

Ironically, part of the solution to navigating through some of the doldrums of life is to develop your own personal creativity! How are YOU creative? There are nearly infinite ways to be creative. Who is the part of you that finds joy and fulfillment in doing those things? How old are they? What clothes do they were? What music do they like? Most importantly, where have they been lately?

My request is simple. Find a way to let that Creative Self out to dabble and play. You get to pick the topic. But don’t spend the next two months sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Shake the cobwebs off and practice being creative! –

your creative self - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

False Positives

It might be dangerous to not know something, but it is a far greater risk to know something that isn’t true. Watch out for false positives!

Have you ever heard the quote, “I honestly believe it is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so“? Any guesses as to who said it?

If you are like me, you would have said Mark Twain. That would be a false positive. Something you believed to be true, but wasn’t. As far as we can tell, Twain never said it. Josh Billings may have been the first and is quoted for this version.

False positives are inherently riskier than a wrong answer, simply by the fact that we believe them to be true. Usually believing something that is false will turn up evidence pretty quickly to the contrary. But believing we have the right answer usually means we stop looking for other answers. It creates a sense of completion.

Say you have a pregnancy test that gives a false positive. It says you are pregnant, but you actually aren’t. You might be really excited, or really upset, but the incorrect answer gives you a false impression. You head down the wrong path.

Where does this happen in your daily life? The belief that it doesn’t happen in your daily living is again a false positive. Where do you believe you have something right, that is dead wrong? It might be worth paying attention to yourself and observing where you are supremely confident. What stories are you telling that don’t match reality? What are you losing by holding onto false positives? –

false positives - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Puzzles Instead Of Problems

We struggle with how we see ourselves when trying to fix a problem. Try looking at dilemmas as puzzles to solve instead of problems to fix.

Ever find yourself feeling guilty or embarrassed for having to ask for help in solving a problem? Ever looked down at someone who is in the same situation?

As a culture, we have a tough time separating our identity from the situation we are in. This means we believe we are weak if we have a problem. It also means there is something wrong with us if we can’t solve a particular problem or have to ask for help. This internal perception actually adds to the problem instead of helping.

My request is to try a perception shift. Instead of looking at a conflict, miscommunication, error, mistake, or failed attempt as a problem to solve, try choosing to the see the dilemma as a puzzle to put back together.

What does this do for you and the person on the other side of the conflict? For starters it takes one or both of you out of the seat of blame, shame, guilt or embarrassment of having a problem. It also allows room for collaboration in finding a solution instead of competition. Your perception of the problem itself may change. It may turn out that you actually LIKE puzzles and there is some fun and excitement in solving a tough one.

Where in your life do you only see problems to solve? What is your attitude toward those problems? Is your identity, and belief about who you are, attached to the solution of that problem? Try approaching the problem as a puzzle and see what happens! –

puzzles instead of problems

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Your Personal Boardroom

We have an idea why corporate boards are created. Have you ever considered that having a personal boardroom of advisors could be a valuable motivator and development tool?

Amanda Scott and Zella King developed the idea of a Personal Boardroom after coaching clients who struggled with the idea of networking. A corporate board is created intentionally. Experts, advisors, and motivators are recruited to guide a business towards its vision and goals. Using this idea, a personal board would work in the same way for an individual.

Who do you turn to for advice? Where are your closest advisors who understand what you are trying to achieve? What do you use as a motivator to keep you moving forward and prevent from losing focus?

It turns out we probably have some version of a personal boardroom, whether we are intentional about it or not. By focusing on the idea as a development tool, however, you have the ability to assess gaps in your board. Where are you missing essential roles? Do you currently have someone sitting on your board who is not helpful? Maybe even destructive? Is it time for a review of your board?

If you develop your own personal boardroom, who will you invite to sit on it? What roles do you need to invite? How will this team motivate and hold you accountable? If fortune 500 businesses benefit from this idea, why can’t you? –

Personal Boardroom - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Describing Reality

How often do you slow down long enough to contemplate describing reality? Ever wonder why we have such a hard time agreeing on what is real? Turns out there are different layers to what we believe is real. Here are three descriptions that will help!

Objective Reality – At some level this has to be measured. The temperature water boils at sea level. How much grey hair will be in my beard this year. The time the sun will rise and set on a given day.

Subjective Reality – A personal opinion or belief about something. Whether a specific sports team is the best (in a day, season, or all time). Whether the clothes I’m wearing match or clash. If the pizza in one city is better than another.

Inter-Subjective Reality – An opinion or belief that is held across groups of people. The value of a piece of paper inscribed with 20 euro, yen, or dollars. The age at which children become legal adults. Red means stop and green means go. That there should be a penalty for not stopping on red.

Are you beginning to see the complexity with which we interact not only with each other across multiple layers of reality, but also internally with ourselves as well? Defining which layer of reality we are processing on a specific topic and at a particular moment makes a BIG difference!

What is in it for you to pay attention to these layers? Where are there conflicts and misunderstandings due to talking across layers? What pitfalls do we fall into by not calibrating each layer for ourselves? What would help you in developing your understanding of which layer you are in? There are significant opportunities to relate to each other in healthier ways by paying attention to how we are describing reality! –

describing reality - rhoads life coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

The Beginning of the Race

An important observation! You aren’t preparing/training for the beginning of the race! You are preparing for the end of the race, when your skills and talents are worn out!

Maybe that is a subtle distinction. It was enough for a lightbulb to go off in my head this week when it came up in two different conversations. The shift in perception makes a difference.

It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete, unemployed, planning a trip, working on a project (pick a topic), we frequently convince ourselves that we are preparing for the beginning of the event. That’s not true! We are preparing for the second half or the end of the event.

Think about training for a marathon. ANYONE can start a marathon! Even me! My natural strength, skills, and talents will begin to wear out somewhere in the middle of that race. For me it will be way early in the race. The training and preparation is for the END of the race when strength and endurance are wearing out and we have to decide that we want to keep going.

Where is this happening for you in daily life? Some of us are actually training for marathons. But what about a job search? Or trying to find a new car? Or preparing for a tough conversation? What about training a new employee?

My request is to change your perception of training and development. Instead of preparing for the beginning of the race, you are actually preparing for the end of the race. A target that us much more valuable and meaningful! –

beginning of the race - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Grounds & Lightning Rods

Our emotions function like electricity. They are meant to flow. Just like the wires in your house, it helps to have emotional grounds in the outlets and emotional lightning rods on the roof to prevent overloads.

Imagine what your life would be like without electricity. Those currents flowing through practically everything, keep our daily lives moving. Our emotions are the same. Life would be dark and dull without emotional current.

It is possible to overload the system, though, both with electricity and emotions. It might help then to build emotional grounds and lightning rods into your life. We don’t pay much attention to that third prong in the kitchen or bathroom outlet, or the small wire on top of the buildings we go in and out of. They are there to prevent overloads of electricity and they save us from lots of harm all the time.

What does an emotional ground or lightning rod look like then? Maybe you are already doing it to some degree and don’t know it. Those grounding techniques could include: going for a run/walk, calling a friend to vent, writing in a journal, throwing rocks in the river, singing/yelling to loud music in the car, etc. The possibilities are nearly unlimited once you recognize that your emotional system gets supercharged and needs to ground energy in a safe way!

The intent, though, is that you have a mechanism built into your own wiring that is in place and ready to act when a large emotional spike comes down the line. The request then is to be intentional about putting those safeguards in place and to use them when needed. –

Lightning Rods - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Defining ‘Enough’

By not defining ‘enough’ for ourselves it is possible to fall into the traps of always needing ‘more’ or ‘never enough’. Take some time and define what is ‘enough’ in the different areas of your life.

Here is an interesting twist on the fundamentals of my coaching practice. Usually we frame what we want in terms of goals, vision, priorities or values. Defining what we are doing based on a target or finish line we are aiming for.

Rarely do we ever talk about what is ‘enough’. While we use the word frequently, think for a minute about what it means. It defines upper and lower limits. Either we do not have enough of something and need to add something else, or we have too much of something (you can hear your parent’s voice saying, ‘That’s enough!’).

What if defining ‘enough’ can be used as a tool? In addition to upper and lower limits there is also a time component. What timeframe are you working on? Today? Next week? This year?

By defining ‘enough’ we prevent ourselves from falling into the default trap of always needing more. Our culture uses ‘more’ as the foundation for our thinking and actions whether we are aware of it or not. By understanding where ‘enough’ is for a given topic, we automatically remove the trap of ‘more’ and especially, ‘never enough’.

What aspects of your life could benefit from clarifying for yourself the upper and lower limits? How would goals change if you had a clearer definition? Would pressure and anxiety decrease if you clearly defined your own understanding of ‘enough’? –

defining enough - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Pride vs Arrogance

Do you understand the difference between pride and arrogance? They aren’t the same thing. Frequently our relationship with pride prevents us from seeing the difference!

I’ve posted previously that we have a weird relationship with humility. The same is true with pride. We want to be proud of ourselves and others, but we are afraid of being TOO proud. We think poorly of others, and ourselves, when we have too much pride.

What if we put ‘pride’ on a spectrum and tease out the positive and negative characteristics of it? On one end we have healthy pride where we lift up the valuable things we do and are in ourselves and others. It is possible with healthy pride to be proud of someone else’s accomplishments without being intimidated by them.

On the other end of the scale we have unhealthy pride. This is where arrogance lives. It is different from pride in that it tears others down. When we are arrogant we overstate the value of something at the expense of something else. It can even tear us down inside. This ends up being why we are so awkward about being proud of our accomplishments. We don’t want to be labeled as arrogant.

The dilemma is by leaving healthy pride out of our lives we diminish the value of the good things around us. My challenge to you is to sort out for yourself how pride is difference from arrogance in your own life, and value the healthy things that don’t bring others down. –

pride arrogance - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Trust The Process

Has anyone ever asked you to ‘Trust The Process’? What was your reaction?What is embedded in that statement?

First, there IS a process. A sequence of events is developing around you even if it looks chaotic. It implies a mindset that your life has something bigger going on that you can’t see. The internal resolution that whatever decision you need to make, or conflict you are in, has a solution out beyond where you are currently standing. How often do you get bogged down in the details of your daily life and forget there is a bigger plan playing out around you?

Second, you have the ability to trust. I’ve talked before about what trust is and how it works. Understanding that for yourself creates a willingness to let things play out. Having faith to see what comes next. An attitude that you are willing to let go of a bit of control to find a solution you don’t have yet.

The ability to trust the process occurs at many many levels in our lives. It can be applied personally to your own story (do I need to change jobs?), corporately to our community story (when will it be my turn for the vaccine?), and universally to The Story (where is god leading us?).

Which levels in your own life could use 10% more of trusting the process? How would you appear differently in the world if you allowed the process to unfold without knowing the outcome? Where do you need to start? –

trust the process - rhoads life coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life