Jeremiah, the senior vice president of engineering at a mid-stage, mid-size software-as-a-service startup, was talking with Rose, his coach.
“Transforming my environment to be easeful has paid massive dividends,” Jeremiah reported. “I feel more comfortable and calmer. I’m amazed at how much difference those little changes have made.”
“Oftentimes, little changes have outsized effects,” Rose said. “I’m glad you’re experiencing more ease in your environment.”
“I’m still struggling to maintain my momentum, however,” Jeremiah continued. “Last time, you said three factors tend to be involved with such struggles. So what are the remaining two?”
“Let’s start with the second one today and see how far we get,” Rose suggested.
“Sounds good,” Jeremiah said. “What is it?”
“As your environment because easeful,” Rose explained, “you have space to consider the resources that replenish you.”
Factors beyond food+drink replenish you
“What, like the food I eat and drink I consume?” Jeremiah asked.
“Yes, for some people,” Rose affirmed.
“I’d think those are important for everyone,” Jeremiah posited.
“Well, yes, everyone needs to keep their body nourished,” Rose agreed. “For many of us, however, that’s just a technical detail. Often, other factors are more important to sustaining our movement.”
“Umm, ok…” Jeremiah said doubtfully. “How do I identify those other factors?”
“Imagine a day when you have eaten exactly the right quantities of exactly the right foods at exactly the right times. You’ve also drunk exactly the right amounts of exactly the right liquids at exactly the right times. How do you feel?”
“Most days are like that,” Jeremiah said. “I’ve put a lot of effort into determining all that. I’m usually able to arrange my day so that I can consume everything just right.” He paused to think. “And, well, I’m still having trouble sustaining my movement. That’s why we’re having this conversation.”
Rose nodded. “That’s exactly what most of my clients report. Nutritious food replenishes their body. It’s not what replenishes them.”
Jeremiah nodded in understanding. “I get it. I’ve been searching for what I’m missing nutritionally. However, you’re suggesting I may not be missing anything in that regard. Instead, other factors also give me energy.”
“Yes, exactly,” Rose agreed. “Go back to that space where your body is perfectly nutrified. What is missing?”
Jeremiah thought for a moment. Then he said, “I’ve been doing all this thinking. That’s just using my brain. Let me consult my entire Council of Counsel.” He settled into his seat and turned inward.
A few minutes later, he returned his focus to Rose. “What my Council suggested is sun and music. But they are already part of my easeful environment. Can they also be my replenishing resources?”
Environmental factors may seem replenishing
“What belongs where can take some detangling,” Rose said. “First, is your Council suggesting sun and music replenish your resources? Or are they pointing out they are lacking in your current environment? Or are they telling you something else?”
Jeremiah opened his mouth to answer, then shut it again. “I’m not sure,” he said.
“Let’s add them to the environment and see what happens.” Rose went over to her blinds and opened them fully. Sunlight now flooded her office. Then, she started some samba music playing softly over her office hifi.
“How’s that?” she asked as she returned to her chair.
“Much better,” Jeremiah said with a sigh of relief. “I hadn’t realized how much impact your quiet, softly lit office had on me.”
“How much do you feel your environment is more easeful now, versus your resources are more replenished now, versus something else?” Rose queried.
“My environment is much more easeful now,” Jeremiah replied instantly. “No change in my resources.”
Resources may seem tangled together
“Check in with your Council of Counsel again,” Rose suggested. “What do they have to say now?”
“They’re reminding me of times when I’ve felt full of energy. Times when I’ve challenged myself physically. Times when I’ve done something just to play, not for any particular outcome. Times I’ve spent with people I love.”
“Are those factors always combined? Always separate? Sometimes one or the other or both?”
“It’s all a big mix.”
“So, sometimes you’ve challenged yourself physically by yourself, and sometimes with other people? Sometimes you’ve challenged yourself physically as part of play, and other times to achieve a particular outcome? Sometimes your play hasn’t involved a physical challenge at all?”
“Well, no,” Jeremiah said slowly. “The physical challenge is always present. The play is always with other people, especially people I care about. Sometimes that play involves physical challenge.”
“Sounds like you have two different resources, then: physical challenge, and play with people important to you.”
“That feels right,” Jeremiah said, nodding his agreement.
“Imagine yourself having had the perfect amount of physical challenge, and the perfect amount of play with people who matter to you,” Rose instructed. “Do you feel fully replenished?”
“I feel like there’s something more,” Jeremiah said. “Maybe a few things are still missing.”
“That’s fine,” Rose said. “These sometimes take a while to identify.”
“I’ll reflect on these two I have and see what else makes itself known,” Jeremiah said.
Your replenishing resources fill you with energy
“What has been most helpful today?” Rose inquired.
“Experiencing the difference between environmental and replenishing factors,” Jeremiah responded. “My easeful environment helps me feel comfortable and safe while my replenishing resources fill me with energy. I guess they work in concert?”
“They absolutely do,” Rose confirmed. “Both are necessary to sustain your movement.”
“And the mysterious third factor. We’ll cover that next time?”
“And the mysterious third factor,” Rose said with a laugh. “We’ll get to that soon enough. For now, focus on identifying the remaining replenishing resources you feel you have.”
“I sense a plethora of conversations with my Council of Counsel is in the offing,” Jeremiah said wryly.
“You may have,” Rose agreed with a laugh. “And no worries if you haven’t identified anything more by the next time we meet,” Rose assured him. “Having the conversations and doing the reflecting is the important part. The answers will come in time.”
“Thanks for reminding me I don’t need to get everything done right now,” Jeremiah said. “See you next week.”
This is part two of a series: