Where Do You Go When The Thrill Has Gone?
By Sally Anderson
The gleam has gone out of the Axis on his desk. Even his pride in the Cannes Lion has waned. Jeff's agency is on the shortlist for a blue-chip client they"ve been courting for years. Yet as he gazes out of his elevated office, across the silver harbour, his head throbs. His mouth feels dry. The thrill has gone.
Thousands of creatives, suits, planners, managers and directors live their lives focused on the next award, the newest client, the best campaign. We're groomed and conditioned that way. But what happens when it stops being all there is? What happens when award winning ideas are replaced with questions? Life-altering, soul-splintering questions.
"We are trained in our society to live into, strive for, a future, says Legacy Coach Sally Anderson. "People seek validation in their self-worth through external goals. But what frequently happens is the goal never quite matches our expectations. Our barometer on our level of happiness is always reliant on external circumstances shifting.
"What, she asks, "would life look like if how you feel about life was not reliant on something external? Anderson encourages people to "get present to three key areas of life: integrity, responsibility, and commitment. These, she says, are the key to freedom and they form the framework for people to live life in the present.
"I am not discounting the importance of achieving goals but I am contesting living in a world which looks like there is always somewhere else to get. Like "someday is the 8th day of the week. To sustain any level of happiness or satisfaction in this life does not, contrary to popular opinion, lie in the achievement of goals."
Anderson proposes that it's important to charter your "boat (you and your goals) in the direction you wish to head, but not be attached to the outcome. This is where most people experience dissatisfaction, for "it did not meet their expectations. Anderson notes that most people's thoughts on a day-to-day basis are either past-based or future-based. In other words, we are hardly ever present. This is a human phenomenon.
Daily, Anderson listens to people saying they are "not there yet", or they're "getting there". But she questions "where are they trying to get to? The fact is, there is nowhere to get to. That "one day in the future doesn't exist. This is "it here and now. The past is but a thought, and the future an illusion, a projection from the moment that is now. But by focusing wholeheartedly on the present, aren't you running the risk of removing the essential drive - the thrill of the chase, the delayed gratification - that this industry thrives on?
"I work with executives in the creative industries and a common theme is that there is lots "to do", in order to achieve X, Y, Z. Their experiences range from overwhelm, struggle, no freedom, pressure, anxiety. They operate from a state of doing, or trying to make it happen.
"When they look outside of themselves for gratification, they will always be left disappointed. But a life where the individual learns to take responsibility for their state of being regardless of the circumstances, is a different life.
"Imagine living a life where you are operating at peak performance, high energy levels. You are able to de-trigger from any situation within a millisecond, silence the internal destructive voice (I call the "inner critic"), the one thing that destroys human potential. You"ve transformed your relationship to fear, and are living in the zone, being the conduit for attracting synchronistic opportunities to come to you."
All this is possible, says Anderson, when you start living in the present. What role, then do drive, passion, enthusiasm take in this new life? "These are functions of choice. Most people do not know what motivates them to do what they do, nor do they know what they are committed to. In three years of developing my coaching practice I have met few clients who could articulate the core motivators that drive them in their lives, she says.
"Passion doesn't lie in something external, nor does happiness. It lies in you choosing it as a way of being, regardless of the circumstances in your life. If you are not clear on what motivates you to do what you do, or to breathe for that matter, how can you live a life of passion?"
About The Author
Sally Anderson is New Zealand's first Legacy Coach for Legacy Leadership. As an Executive Coach, Sally facilitates sustainable transformation in individuals, which is frequently lacking in the corporate world. To find out more about Sally's coaching and development work, visit www.sallyanderson.co.nz