I love starting a new project. Maybe it’s that ‘back to school’ feeling of new exercise books and pencils or maybe it’s just it’s exciting to be in at the beginning of something. I love the finished article too, whether it’s receiving feedback from a client at the end of a coaching programme, debriefing on a project I’ve just completed or putting the finishing touches to a birthday cake for a friend.
The bit in the middle … not so much. At work or in life, the middle bit quite often isn’t exciting or new or packed with a feeling of achievement. Sometimes it can be rather messy – you should see my kitchen in the midst of a baking session. Sometimes it’s a bit dull. Sometimes it’s just hard graft.
We spend a lot of time in the middle though, don’t we? We spend a lot of time waiting – and we don’t really like it so we fit that waiting time with activity. We check our emails whilst waiting for a meeting to start. We update our status whilst waiting for the train. We tweet whilst waiting in a queue at the coffee shop.
You’ve heard people say, ‘I’ll be happy when the kids go back to school/are on holiday/when this project’s out of the way/when I get a new job/when I finish my course/when we move house’. How about being happy or satisfied or fulfilled now?
I’ve been reading extracts from a new book by Jeff Goins called The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing. The title is pretty self-explanatory really and the book challenges us to make the most of where we are now rather than longing for the future.
When you learnt to drive, you didn’t go from having no idea how to change gear to being confident on the motorway in one lesson. When you started training, you didn’t go from couch potato to long distance swimmer in one session. When you took on your new position, you didn’t go from junior exec to director in the first week. The changes which transform us happen right here in the middle.
Today’s pebble for you:
What are you in the middle of at the moment? Don’t look back or look forward: look around – what do you notice? What are you learning here in the middle?
I’d love to hear from you,
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?