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August 2009: Even a Seed Struggles With Its Environment to Grow

Even a seed struggles with its environment to grow. That makes sense if you think about it. Without becoming scientific, what I've noticed about seeds is that they are encased in a bit of a hard shell, not easily broken, to preserve the contents of that magic burst of life it is next destined to create. If we use ourselves as an analogy, it's similar to what we have become in our lives up to "now." With the right amount of medium, water and soil and fertilizer (or food, shelter and health), the seed will break out of its shell and become the masterpiece it is designed to be. The formulation of how the little seed begins to design, or struggle, with the next phase of its life begins.

Now imagine if you are that seed. Perfectly formed up to now in what you have worked to become in your life. Things are moving along and life is as it should be… that this is it. That this is all there is, and if left alone, life will go on day-to-day just like this, similar to how a seed can remain a seed if left in the package designed to keep it safe from growing. However, there may be that sneaking realization that there really is something else for you, something waiting to be born into a new masterpiece.

Okay, so I've been talking around a situation and not talking 'the situation' so let me use myself as an example. My life is perfect. I've done the 'right' things, I've lived the 'right' challenges and I've learned the 'right' lessons, I love the 'right' people, I've earned the 'right' credentials, I live in the 'right' home, I have the 'right' pets, and very importantly, I have the 'right' person to spend my life with. It all works for me! I could go on just like this with nothing else needing to be added. I have been living my life as of late as safe, comfortable and somewhat uneventful. Not that mine isn't the perfect life and that someone else may want exactly the life I am living and yet, using the analogy of that seed, I've been living inside a shell with a suspicion of 'what's next?' rising up inside of me.

It's as if I am a seed ready and waiting for me to begin to apply the medium, by way of a declaration, or I can continue to be safe and comfortable inside that perfectly encased miracle of a shell. Waiting and wondering if one day, someday, something will happen. I've been living in my perfect package (home) on the seed stand carousel (my city), in a store (my state) waiting for someone to come along and choose me to inspire (or plant). That's what 'we' wait for, you know… "oh, if someone would only tell me what I should do and how to do it!" all along knowing that it's not going to happen. That's actually one of the beauties of life after parents, do you remember? We are the ones that are going to make it happen.

So back to me, I have lacked incentive, perhaps based on the fear of failing, which may occasionally show up as to the 'what if' of not being successful in my next endeavor. As if I have to be. Then I think of a quote from Samuel Beckett, a playwright:

"Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better."

Or Anne Sullivan, an American educator:

"Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember."

The 'How To' begins with a public declaration to put it out there in the world so that it will have a chance of happening. I have made my declaration to my coach, my family, you - my readers, to my radio show listeners; to anyone who will listen. It has to be something that is grounded in reality; for instance, at my age, I wouldn't declare I will be a gymnast. It's just not going to happen.

My declaration is:

"I will write a book which will be published."

Secondly, making specific and measureable commitments to support the declaration of what will come make it happen. Liken it to the seed; if a seed is planted, it must be watered and tended to consistently for it to grow. My commitment will support me in ensuring my book will be written. It must be specific and measureable for accountability to occur.

My commitment is:

"I will write at least one half hour a day, four days out of the week and complete the book by 2010."

Next, is the requirement of setting up a structure of support; in other words, where I will write the pages of my 'book-to-be.' I will establish a routine that works for me away from my usual and potentially distracting activities.

My structure of support is:

"I will move my writing desk to an area in my sunroom so that I am able to sit in an inspiring environment in which to write. I will write in the mornings after my husband and I have shared our morning coffee together and after he has left for work. I will make sure I have adequate lighting, and my writing space is left clean when I've completed for the day. I will gather books around me that are inspiring and keep them in a basket close to my writing desk. I will keep a supply of wonderful pens to write with and clean, fresh paper on which to write.

I will ask my writing coach to meet with me regularly to help me with ideas that I am thinking I would like to write about and also to inspire me when I get stuck. I will ask her to hold me accountable for maintaining my commitment to write five days a week.

I will find a beginner writing group and perhaps a class to support me in what I need to learn as a writer and how to publish my future book."

The struggle has begun and with it, the excitement that my 'one day, someday' will happen.

Will you share your declaration with me?


Patricia Hirsch, MBA, Master Certified Coach and Chief Empowerment Officer with Design Your Life Coaching