The most rewarding work I do is helping people move from point A to B on this graph:
The limits of the outside-in approach
Everything leading up to point A is done through the lens of self-control and reacting/responding to the world around us (eg. establishing successful strategies, routines, processes, tactics, habits etc.). A lot of clients come to me after having spent a great deal of time and energy fine-tuning and fixing their circumstances so they can function at a high level.
This is how the vast majority of people view life. And it can, of course, take a person pretty far in terms of reducing stress and enhancing performance.
But people inevitable come up against a wall, and realize that no matter how intelligently they manage their inner and outer circumstances, those circumstances are cosntantly changing and are never fully in their control.
Life starts to look like a game of Whack-A-Mole. An endless problem-solving exercise. And when they clue into this, they start questioning their entire approach.
The wall they are hitting is a result of living life with an outside-in, materialistic/objective/mechanistic worldview.
Living from the inside-out
To go beyond point A requires people to transcend their current worldview and open up to a co-creative relationship with the forces beyond their immediate control.
People thrive at this stage when they begin pursuing what seem like “impossible” projects in work and other areas of their life while learning how to relax and let go of knowing eactly how to get there. There is a simultaneous increase in ambition and inner peace.
I find people are often incredibly resistant to this at first given how deeply engrained the “no pain, no gain” attitude is in our culture. But with a healthy dose of playfulness and guidance, I’ve seen people adopt this Impossible Mindset and accomplish more than they’ve ever dreamed of with less stress and strain than ever before.