Patterns That Served You Well in the Past
Warning: Life’s ruts start feeling like well-worn jeans. Every morning you slip into patterns that served you well in the past.
You need a kick in the pants to reignite the adventure.
Sunday afternoon, I looked my wife in the eye and said, “What could I do to live a more meaningful life this week? I’ll do whatever you say.”
She said, “I need some time to think about it.”
Monday morning, before I left to visit a client in Philadelphia, she said, “I’m ready to answer your question. Are you going to do whatever I say?”
I tried to sound casual, “Yes, I’ll do whatever you say,” but it felt humbling. I confess that my pulse raised a little, although I tried to hide it.
“I want you to make a list of everything you do that someone else could do.”
Sunday, after lunch, my wife said, “What could I do to live a more meaningful life this week? I’ll do whatever you say.” I didn’t need to sleep on the answer.
A couple hours later, I asked, “Are you going to do whatever I say?”
She said, “Yes.”
“I’d like you to take at least fifteen minutes a day to reflect on your experiences in life and write three life lessons you have to offer the world. Think about the good and the bad. Distill three things you’ve learned into three sentences.”
- You slip into ruts unless you shake things up once in awhile.
- The phrase, “I’ll do whatever you say,” changes the dynamic.
- “I’ll do whatever you say,” is humbling.
- I don’t trust as many people as I thought. Maybe I need to deepen some of my relationships?
Let me know if you’re willing to shake up your life by trying this experiment.
Read more: The Life Changing Experiment Anyone Can Do. (There are several options for limiting the question on that post.)
Brings back memories of my father ” Do as I say, not as I do” was one of his rules so to speak! Typically my response “sure dad whatever you say”, more out of fear and respect, knowing there are consequences should I not obey! The lessons in life are humbling for sure“I’ll do whatever you say,” is humbling as you stated,often times falls under the rules of hierarchy, which is not a bad think, surely a leading statement from our management perspective!
I think the key for all of us is “not to mold ourselves so rigid” that we overlook the simple things with our relationships from a business and personal point of view, surely we need to raise ourselves up out of the doldrums of complacency! “Shake up”, “wake up” and “ruffle the feathers” and set the sails captain!
I like the general theme “challenge yourself with new things” here’s what presses back against me…
Time – where do I add?
Responsibility / predictability… when I was younger it was perceived as “cutting his own path” but now it’s more like “has he lost his mind?” (saying nothing of the need for income)
Built-In’s – I have new roles coming to me.. Grandfather for example and others that seem to evaporate.. “Gee, I’m not asked to consider the School Board anymore! ”
I’ve seen a Program from AARP called “Life Reimagined” my observation is that many who benefit from this have had dramatic changes occur, like losing a Spouse to death, that becomes a door opener… while you are looking for something more like a willful decision.
Just my random thoughts.. you can tell I’m working –but unsettled– on this! 🙂
After reading your post, I sent my husband a text that said “What can I do this week to make my life more meaningful? I will do whatever you say.”
He sent back, “Huh?”
I responded with “I trust you. What is your advice?”
He said, “Huh?” So, I reiterated “What can I do this week to make my life more meaningful? I will do whatever you say.”
He said, “Are we having lunch today or not?” LOL!! 🙂
I guess I should’ve let him know this wasn’t a trick or a set-up. I am interested to hear what he tells me. His perspective will give me valuable insight into what he sees as opportunity for me to improve … to be continued! ; )
A saying we had at the best place I’ve ever worked is “The only difference between a rut and a groove is a rut is groove you’ve stayed in too long.” Great lesson, thanks for the reminder.
And thanks for the practical advice on how to find a path out of a comfortable groove. Makes me think of another saying from someone else in my life, “If only we could see ourselves as others see us.” This is a great, but gentle, way to get some insight into how someone else sees me.
Your observation that maybe you don’t trust as many people as you thought you did was worth the exercise. I shall ask my husband to participate with me on this and see how it works out.
The line “I’ll do whatever you say” is the secret sauce to this whole thing. It adds an element of optimistic apprehension and anxiety. That’s what makes it so fun…and so powerful. Going to try it!
I like this challenge. The thing about trust depends on the context. And it seems to me you and your wife have a professional outlook in your relationship. I understand the uneasiness of an unknown challenge. But what’s the worst she could ask that’s legal?