Rusty Cline sent me a portion of his most recent blog post because he knew that I had raved about going to see 75-year old Leonard Cohen perform in Phoenix. Cohen performed with such energy, beauty and repeated poetic brilliance.....but Rusty says it better:
I went to see Leonard Cohen in concert April 5th, 2009 in Phoenix, AZ. Wow! What a concert. I aspire to be like that someday. He is 75 years old and as spry as a chick. He was skipping around on stage like he was 20.
His humility and giving was surpassed only by the dependability of his lyric, word and wit delivered by his hypnotically rich baritone voice. It was a show of shows, I thank God I canceled other plans and went! I will stop here because this really isn’t a review or critique of his concert (his concert was above such things in my mind) rather this is an opportunity for me to share something he taught me that evening – something I am still learning. I always know when I have been in the presence of someone great when I look up months or years later and even in their absence they are still teaching me.
As I watched Mr. Cohen get down on one knee and deliver Hallelujah, and Anthem I was startled yet again to remember the age of this gentle man down on one knee: 75 – as the kids say: OMG! There was this giant in the industry of song writers kneeling before us telling us “There’s a blaze of light in every word, It doesn’t matter which you heard, The broken or the holy hallelujah” and “Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.” – sure if you know Leonard Cohen you know these words, but what I saw that night was this aged man so cracked and worn and yet SO FULL OF LIGHT! And his light was now coming OUT of the cracks and filling the auditorium with love, peace and wisdom.... Click here to read more:
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A great email from friend Johnny Jones one of the most talented people I know. He is the father of our own Pineapple Princess, featured in previous blog posts to the delight of so many.
I was reading your book SHIFT YOUR MIND SHIFT THE WORLD and on page 50 (6th graph down from quote) and you said "Their inner intuition tells them to jump and run!" These photos made me think of that.
The Pineapple Princess and I were at Santa Monica beach last week playing in a grassy area. There were these set of stairs and Lucinda went right for them. And the best thing is that no one said she couldn't make it up the steps. Now I did have to catch at the top because she was just taking off and there was a homeless women yelling to keep the baby away from her. So I said God bless you and picked up the princess.
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No more expectations
The coaching school mentioned in the last blog removes expectations. That's why it's so successful at teaching consultants how to make money by building a beautiful practice. Most coaches and consultants go into business expecting to make it based on how good they are at what they do. Expecting to make it. And that's why it doesn't work out so well. Expecting. The school for prosperity eliminates that future-based anxious thinking and replaces it with prosperity.
And there are four places remaining of the nine if you are a coach and want to attend email us immediately! STEPHENDCHANDLER@cs.com
Expectation is the problem everywhere.
In SHIFT YOUR MIND.... a book sent to all club fearless members....and available to the public in 2010......I say exactly this about expectations, and how they ruin everything
What an unexpected pleasure life is to a child. Have you ever watched a child running around discovering things? That's how we were meant to live, we think as we watch them.
What happens to us as we grow older? Why do we lose that ongoing sense of unexpected pleasure?
I believe it is because our expectations start to accumulate, and weigh us down. When we accumulate enough of them life becomes almost unbearable.
A lot of times my work involves coaching clients who are having problems with their partner-their spouse-their life partner-whatever is the politically correct way to say it these days.
They're having trouble with love.
They might have had a fight with their partner and so today in the coaching session at their office they're gloomy. I sit down and we're talking about productivity, performance and profit, but they're not having fun with this, so I finally say, "What's going on?" and they say, "Well, I had a fight with my wife and I'm kind of depressed today."
Now it's really important to see that expectation versus agreement is an even more useful mind shift in personal relationships than it is at work.
In personal relationships, the more expectations I have the more anxious, fearful and depressed I will be with my family.
Because my family members are just innocently going around being human. So they can't be causing all this pain. It must be something else. And it is. It's expectation.
Because if I have no expectations, I really can't be upset. If I don't expect my dog to make me dinner I'm never upset when he doesn't.
Is it possible to have no expectations of the people you care most about? I've worked with people who have learned to do it. To go home, and walk into their house, and be carrying absolutely no expectations whatsoever of any person in that home.
When you have no expectations, the only thing that's possible is fresh adventure. Continuous surprise. If your loved one does something nice for you, what a nice surprise. If he says something nice, and you didn't expect anything, you are living in pure delight.
If he says something negative or edgy, it doesn't floor you, because you didn't expect anything. It's easier to get to neutral if you start in neutral. You're already there. Most people spend most of their emotional lives fighting to get from upset to neutral so they can have a civil discussion. It's much easier to be accepting of others if that's where you begin.
When you don't expect anything to begin with you can flow with whatever is said. And whenever you want to, you can let the words roll off of you like water off a duck.
Soon your loved ones are realizing that you are never disappointed in them! What freedom that gives them to relate to you in more open and positive ways. How easy to create an agreement from that position!
A lot of people think "If I have negative feelings, if I'm judging someone critically, if I'm upset with someone, it's healthy to just say it. It's healthy to attack sometimes, it's healthy even to hurt someone else, because that takes the hurt out of me; and if I say something hurtful to you it's because the hurt in me is intolerable! But at least I can tolerate it now when I am hurting you and it goes over to you."
But how sensible and loving is that, really?
I had a client who said he had a fight with his wife and I asked him "How was it" and he said, "Well, you know, you've had those."
And I said, "No, I really haven't."
"Oh, come on," he said.
I said, "I really haven't. Kathy and I have been together for over fifteen years, and we've never had a fight."
He said… "Well…I…oh…yeah…ok…I forgot you're a saint, right? But I'm not, I'm a regular person."
"No, no, it's not that, I'm not a saint at all, in fact if you look at my biography I probably shouldn't be allowed to walk the earth a free man. So I'm not a saint, but I'll tell you that I don't fight with her and it's for the same reason that I don't punch the pizza delivery boy when he's late, or I don't strangle a cat in my backyard and kill it. Same reason exactly. I don't want to. I've decided that is not the kind of behavior I want to indulge in. I won't do it. It's not useful."
Some people say that fights are great. They clear the air, they purge things, they're so wonderful. They make life worth living!
But the only people I've ever heard say that are now divorced. Because, no, fights are not wonderful. They're hurtful. They can be unforgettably hurtful, and they're mean and they're selfish. It's like two children just scratching each others' eyes out. Two tantrums indulged together.
You can lose your vision that way.
So, even in personal relationships, expectations are toxic and they are cowardly. It is cowardly to walk around with a ton of expectations for other human beings.
"I expect this. I expect this of him, I expect you to be on time to the meeting. I expect. I expect."
That is cowardly because that's putting everything on the other person. If I'm a true leader, and you're consistently late for my team meeting...that's on me. That's my lack of leadership. But I'm too much of a coward to take responsibility for the fact that I have a team that thinks it's OK to stroll in late to meetings. I'm too much of a coward so I make that all about you and I even say to you the "e" word: "I expect you to be on time!"
What happens when I use the "e" word? When people hear the word "expectation" they go down their ladder into a very rebellious, nasty state. Whenever they hear the word! Try it out. When people start telling you what they expect of you, feel how you feel it in the pit of your stomach. Feel how you tense up and get defensive right away. It doesn't bring people closer, it drives them apart.
Let's say you show up late for the meeting and I call you aside later (I don't want to embarrass you in front of the whole room) and I say "I expect you to be on time for our meetings."
Whenever you hear what some other (superior!) human being expects of you, notice the feeling in your body. Is it warm? Does it open you? Do you feel like embracing that person? No. What usually happens when you hear the "e" word-expectation-is you get a knot in your stomach, you clench up, you get tight, you contract, and you start building your defense. You begin to defend against what the other person expects.
Human beings know deep down that they were not put on this planet to live up to the expectations of others.
Therefore, whenever you use the expectation word, you create rebellion, and now there's less likelihood that what you expect will happen. Less likelihood by expecting it!
So by expecting something to happen, you make it not happen.
I've never seen expectations work. I've never witnessed any kind of positive benefit they have in any relationship (personal or otherwise). I've never seen expectations bring people closer together. I've never seen an expectation make one partner more faithful.
I've never seen it do anything but damage. Terrible damage. Every time it is used inside the human system.
What I have seen work, beautifully, on the other hand, is agreements.
Human beings do not like breaking their word. And I mean all human beings including criminals. You know the loyalty oath, you know that honor among thieves is more than a concept. It's very real. It wasn't just made up by novelists and screenwriters. People will want to keep their word.
For the last ten years I've worked with leaders who move away from leading people through expectations and move over to agreements. They are very surprised. They have told me, "I don't think he'll keep the agreement." And they were pleasantly surprised.
And if he does break the agreement, and doesn't keep his own word, then that's a beautiful opportunity to have another, more basic discussion. That can be a very powerful conversation. When you give me your word, will you keep it? Can I count on it? Will you not give me your word if you don't intend to keep it? Can we start there?
Because if we don't have that fundamental agreement, how can we have a relationship? If someone will actually tell you that their word means nothing, that they are going to lie to you, they are going to tell you that they are going to do something and then not do it, you can't have that person even as an employee; because the basic social contract is not there.
People will keep their agreements such a high percentage of the time you don't need to worry about the few times they don't. And the times when they don't are such wonderful opportunities to sit down with them and say, "Let's look at our basic relationship with each other and how we can start over with a change of heart."
Do any of these futilities sound familiar?
"I expect you to make me feel romantic and attractive."
"I expect you to make me feel appreciated."
"I expect you to make me feel loved and celebrated for bringing money home."
"I expect you to make me feel how I want to feel."
If I walk into a conversation expecting something of the conversation, I can't be open to all possibilities anymore. I can't be surprised or surprising. I can't really have fun. I can't be compassionate and discover new things about you.
It's running into someone or something unexpectedly that is the most fun in life.
"What an unexpected pleasure!" people say, giving the secret of happy relationships away right there.
But can we hear them when they say it-are we really listening? What…an…unexpected…pleasure.
There's no pleasure like it.
An unexpected pleasure.
Life can be filled with unexpected pleasures. When you shift your mind, you find this out again.
And the beauty of shifting away from expectations is that I shift away from being at the mercy and at the effect of everyone else. I now take full responsibility for my happiness, for my financial well being, for my energy level. It's back to me. It's not on you anymore and the good thing about it being back to me, is that I'm the only one I can really work on anyway.