How much are you willing to demand of yourself? That was a question the trainers asked us in the first class. I was walking to work one morning and feeling overwhelmed by this experience. My inner voice was reminding me of all the stuff I need to do and I started feeling overloaded. As I neared the office, the inner voice chuckled and asked: “€œSo Stef, how much ARE YOU willing to demand of yourself?”€ I could give you the answer here, but I would much rather you read on!

A few years ago, my mother-in-law went to see her son play in a bowling tournament for four days. We knew she was leaving and planned a special surprise for her. During the time she was away from the house, we redid her kitchen in four days. We repainted the cabinets, changed the counters, removed the vinyl tiling from the floor and installed ceramic tiles. I remember two days into it, just after removing the vinyl tiles walking around the kitchen and thinking: €”Oh my god, what have we done! Do we have enough time to put this back together?”

It looked like some form of natural disaster occurred in the kitchen. We could not go back, all we could do was charge on. Let the record show, we finished on time! When I walked to work this week, the same feeling came to mind. They call this course Tribal Leadership Intensive and now I understand why. Between the homework, blogging and trying to carry out my five week strategy, I am spending much more time than I anticipated.

To answer the question how much I am willing to demand of myself, anyone who knows me will tell you I will find a way to carry out my strategy. By hook or by crook or by any other means necessary! Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one feeling overwhelmed right now, maybe I should ask around in the LinkedIn group. The hard part about this class is there is a lot of introspection going on and you need to go places you maybe did not originally expect.

The EARN boxes are a tool I will keep working on after the class ends as it is a great introspection tool. Sometimes we go through life without thinking of the way we are living it and this tool allows you to do that every day. I am seeing some of the relationships between the boxes and I am slowly edging up my weekly scores.

The theme this week is disassociation or rather letting go but before you can let go, you must first notice what is there. I found myself driving back from work one day with anger and negative thoughts, I noticed they were there, but shutting them down was a challenge. I tried imagining crushing them and throwing them away, but my car seemed to be filling up quickly with crushed negative thoughts. I think I will throw them out the window next time. What I found worked for me was playing songs from my CD collection and singing out loud to drown out the noise.

Our triad call was good this week. I believe I experienced an epiphany but I cannot share it entirely now because it is time sensitive and personal. A member of my triad gave a pitch that made me question my approach to an upcoming event. This forced me to realize I needed to create a strategy for this event over the weekend because I was approaching the event from a stage 3 perspective instead of stage 4.

I watched a video this week I really enjoyed from Dave Logan speaking at TedxSinCity. I strongly recommend you watch it! The Batman story resonated with me. I stopped writing since the site relaunch of December because last year I made a bad decision that caused me to lose myself. I am working to correct that decision but it caused me to lose my fire. I became someone I did not recognize anymore but I wanted the old me back. Last fall, I bought an audio book for “Lynchpin” by Seth Godin. That book reminded me of who I am and this course is pushing me through a similar process. I am learning to use these tools we are learning in this course to get my life back.

Before I go tonight, I have a silly story or rather I should say a confession… I am a horrible gardener and every couple of years I try to grow grass (real grass, not anything I could smoke) on my property and fail miserably. My property has several pine trees and the needles choke out the grass. I am so bad, one year, one of my neighbors told me: “What, not giving up yet?” In fairness, grass grows until I mow it the first time and then it dies away on me. In the spirit of visualizing this week, I am making another try with a couple of twists:

  1. I am working on three specific small patches
  2. I manually water these patches every day there is no rain. As I water, I imagine I am growing something good for myself.
  3. I will baby the darn grass to grow successfully if I have to!

As for my five week strategy, I am recording my podcast tomorrow night which was my goal of the week. I am a tad behind on the overall strategy but I believe I can still deliver what I said I would. I am looking forward to recording that tomorrow and see how it sounds!

Have a great week everyone!