Like many, many others I watched the 2017 total solar eclipse and I was affected much more than I thought I would be. I was initially blasé and thought, “I’ve got too much to do to watch the moon pass in front of the sun.”
I changed my mind after a routine trip to the eye doctor that morning that resulted in a free pair of official eclipse viewing glasses. Then, I arrived at my office at the same time as office mates who were returning from a mad shopping trip looking everywhere for the glasses that I held in my hand. “Hmmm, maybe I’ve got something special here…”
So, at the appointed time I joined numerous others on the front lawn. My blasé quickly morphed into amazement. Words like “majestic” and “incredible” kept rolling through my mind. I was so glad I ventured into the heat and shared my special glasses with strangers. For just a little while we were united in our desire to honor and celebrate a celestial event that happens only once every 99 years.
Slowing down, pausing, stopping. Not typical for life today, is it?
What IS typical is head down, plow through, don’t stop and ultimately run around in circles. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t, stop reading right now. If it does, keep reading and consider this your wake-up call.
This typical life-style is not a place of high performance or problem-solving, creativity or deep fulfillment.
Everyone I know wants to perform well in their professional role while longing for a sense of contribution. Together, these form (for most) fulfillment. Yet we consistently make choices that put us firmly in that circle-running mode described above.
Tony Schwartz, one of my favorite authors and consultant to companies like Google, Ford, Sony, Shell, IBM, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Cleveland Clinic, makes a persuasive case that we routinely neglect the four core needs that energize great performance:
Rather than running like computers at high speeds for long periods, we’re at our best when we pulse rhythmically between expending and regularly renewing energy across each of our four needs.
I experienced an unexpected energy renewal through the eclipse. When was the last time you experienced your own eclipse? If not within the last five days, it’s been too long.
Just something to think about as you go about your day.
If you’d like to discuss other ways to find clarity in your personal and professional life, contact me for a consultation.