I set an appointment with a potential client to discuss their situation. I said in my email, “I’m looking forward to our discussion.”
I look forward to discussing people’s challenges. I look forward to my workouts. I look forward to my talks, workshops, and writing.
The real question is why do I look forward to all these things? What do they have in common?
I enjoy discussing client issues. The act of problem description, generating possible solutions for their concerns, all of that energizes me.
My workouts—even if they are difficult—energize me.
I love to speak because I understand more what I am thinking. I love to teach because I learn every time I do.
With all of these, I find more energy and feel satisfied.
With writing and speaking, I don’t always know where an article is going. Same thing with my speaking–it doesn’t matter what I practice, I say something different in the moment. Writing and speaking help me explore, helps me see possibilities.
When I describe what I look forward to, it’s about energy, satisfaction, exploration. I have autonomy and develop mastery.
I work to master problem-solving with my clients. I work to master my writing and speaking and workouts. Note that I don’t say I *have* mastered these things. I learn every day. I am on my way to mastery.
Are there things I don’t look forward to? Absolutely. They are things that reduce my energy and don’t add to my mastery. One example is cleaning my office. I need to do so every so often, but I don’t learn from it, I don’t gain energy. Even after I finish, my satisfaction is limited. , and I don’t have much satisfaction, even after I finish.
Thinking about what you look forward to might help you understand what energizes you, what you want to do with your life, what you want to master.
We have choices about what to do with our time. When we make choices that we enjoy, that we look forward to, we create a positive feedback loop that feels like an upward spiral: we do something we like, we get energy from it, so we can do more things we like.
When we make choices we don’t look forward to, it’s still called a positive feedback loop, but it’s a downward spiral: we do something we don’t like, it’s hard to find the energy to do something different, we do fewer things we like.
Are you doing things you can look forward to? Are you doing things that create an upward spiral in your life? If not, what would you have to change to create that upward spiral?
That’s the question of the week this week: What do you look forward to?