Life is full of decisions. What to wear, what to eat, where to go, who to hang out with, what direction to take your business. We make a choice, try it out and if it feels good and gets the results we want, we continue in that direction.
A choice is not an ironclad decision
When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in my semi-retirement, I had several “false-starts.” I first thought I would help people moving into retirement to repurpose their passion into a lighter version of what they had been doing. As I began to figure out what process I would take them through, I realized that I’d much rather write than coach. I let go of that original decision and explored the new possibility.
I got interested in the process of change because I was rather clumsily feeling my own way through major change. I began to document the steps and processes I created to help myself. I began to figure out what I would teach to make certain that those who used my method would experience the results I promised. The idea of developing a repeatable method for creating positive change felt both exciting and rewarding.
Let it unfold
You can’t force change. I was down on myself for what looked like my inactivity. I could not start writing a new book. I seemed content with occasional articles. When the concept of writing about positive change began to gel, I suddenly found myself with four books going at once! Once I had found the direction I wanted to take, I was suddenly motivated to declare my new direction by changing my bios on my social media accounts and restructuring my About Me page. Landing pages for each book were effortlessly written, the books themselves grew at a rapid pace. When it’s time, you will be like the cork from a champagne bottle. You will explore into action.
Use your emotions as a guide
If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. “Emotions are just a sign that you have left the center,” says Stephen Mitchell in The Second Book of Tao. Sometimes all it takes is a small course correction. When I switched from the goal of helping seniors repurpose their passion to the broader objective of creating a method for positive change, it expanded the type of people I could reach. I had repurposed my own passion for exploration and change. One of the phrases I use often in the Introspective Processes of the Magnetic Method for Positive Change is “How do you feel about that?” Are you willing, are you afraid, does it excite you? Your feelings are powerful guides as you make your life choices.
Build on the choices you rejected
When you explore a choice and decide not to pursue it, you have learned a lot. You know what you don’t want to do. I no longer want to help people build a business. I’m not even very interested in coaching people in developing content. However, huge portions of what I learned while doing both of those things are in play in my new direction. I know how to organize my ideas, I know how to write a powerful landing page, I know how to format an ebook, and I know how to set up my shopping cart to deliver the products I create. Although I am no longer teaching those things to others, I am using them in my own adventure.
Make a course correction
Sometimes a slight shift of your sails will steer you in the right direction. I embarked on my current path by writing a book on How to Help an Older Person Make a Major Change. It came from my personal experience of being unprepared for some major changes in my life. As I wrote that book, I began to see important steps that could/should be taken in order to consistently make a thoughtful, conscious decision. I began my Magnetic Method for Positive Change book. Then I realized that I didn’t have much of a support system for the direction I wanted to go so I went exploring and began to write How to Create a Positive Support System from Your Inside Out. Each of those books was another sail added to my ship to help me move faster across the sea of change. Add, subtract and modify steps in your process. Take a slightly new direction. Keep testing the winds and follow what feels right.
Take small steps
Past experience taught me to take small steps. Rather than put all these ideas into one big book, I’m creating a series of smaller books that can easily be completed and published to give me a sense of movement and accomplishment. Perhaps when I’ve finished I will put everything into one book, but for now, small completed steps work best for me. How can you break your choices down into smaller steps?
Create and adjust
Make a choice, try it out, adjust it, then either keep it and expand on it or toss it out. Look at life as a buffet. You can try a bite of something and have more if you like it and move on to something else if you don’t.