Hey, if you are looking for Sharleen's page, it's here. If you ended up here, you probably just missed the www, and I don't know how to make it less fussy about it.
As my other post of today also came from a comment I made, I share this one as well. This was in response to a person feeling stuck about her work and future.
For those who feel stuck at work, I invite you to do what another of my muses, James Altucher suggests: keep finding ways to add value. I'd suggest that work sucks for most of us because we see a lot of limits there that often are of our own creation.
And then there is the notion of the entre-ployee, and I think it's a good one. Come up with ten ideas a day that could make your workplace better, or your job more appealing. Think of ten ways that would be of value to your employer. And then go ahead and do (there are those who suggest it's better to apologize afterward than ask permission), or suggest, as is appropriate.
But if that's not your direction, then find a way to bring your true self out in the world outside of work, and do that when you are not at work, and then find a way to monetize that.
Or be creative in other ways. Maybe you could launch a house-sitting service, and then rent wouldn't be an issue. Or you could try to go live somewhere else just for helping out while you “find” yourself. Maybe create yourself as an airBNB concierge (I don't know if that's a real thing), where you help people run their homes as airBNB sites, and offer connections to local services to boot.
It's a new world, and a new economy. If you exercise your idea muscle, start making a list of ten ideas a day, and then allow idea sex to occur, you might find some great ways to express your inner self, and make some money at the same time.
And, as always, if you'd like some help doing it, reach out and schedule a consultation. We'll take a look if it's appropriate for us to work together, and then set up a structure to start you on your way.
I had all this rage in me before, and now it's not. It's been sucked in to become another glaze of malaise.
So what's bothering me. I was up until close to 4:30 working on a house that I don't really want to have anything to do with. Then I get on the phone with Amy, a coach. In discussing the house, I tell Amy my Princess Bride story, that as Sharleen and I sat there in the architect's office, I have this feeling of having a year of my life sucked out of me, and I finally understood the ridiculous machine in that movie.
So Amy asks:
“Do you share this with Sharleen?”
“Of course not. Why would I do that?”
“Does Sharleen knows how you feel about being here?”
“So why are you here?”
“Well, when I met Sharleen twenty years ago, I didn't have any clear vision for my future. She did, and I married her knowing that. So I don't really have any right to supersede that now. It wasn't part of the plan. That, and I think it's good for the kids here.”
In other words, I completely absolve myself of all responsibility for how things are in my life. Instead, I get to be a victim of my circumstances and the choices of a younger me, like I have no say in the matter any more.
So, now a step back. At the beginning of our call, Amy asks what I want to celebrate this week. I have what to celebrate. Two weeks ago, I made a promise to have seven clients by tomorrow. I was completely tormented by this promise. I decided I was going to call my fellow Kaps (members of the Kappa Alpha Society), most of whom I know for more than 20 years, and ask them to help me out, or work with me.
Other than a ride or some hospitality, I have never asked these people for a thing in my life. I didn't want to be seen as someone who abuses his relationships. So with tomorrow's deadline looming, and not willing to look that bad, I finally set down to make some calls at about 1:30 Monday morning. And by 3:30, I had had some pretty awesome conversations. I mostly asked for help rather than if they wanted to work with me. That was a big step for me. I also got to know these people a lot better. That was just amazing.
And then the next day I was in the fifth session of the Integrity Seminar at Landmark, and we were working on Perpetration Withholds, which is a fancy way of saying lying and then lying about why you are lying. It's like when someone says “No problem, I got it handled,” without any intention of ever taking care of it, and instead of fessing up, doubling down with a hundred excuses why the thing not getting done is due to circumstances outside of his control. In other words making a big mess where he could have just said, “Not interested. Why don't you ask someone else?”
So inside of this exercise, I took on my business, or rather lack of drive to generate it, and I noticed I have a conversation that I have to do it alone, and that I am alone in this world. And I started to get the impact. In my case, I tell people I got it when I really have no clue, and instead of telling them I really need help and don't know how to ask, I spin my wheels, run away, hide under a rock, do things I know how to do, but don't really further my cause, and so on.
So back to this stupid house. I don't even know what to say. So I tell Amy that Sharleen is right, I will never happy with it. I just want to Sharleen to do her own damn thing and leave me out of it. But she won't do that either. She wants it to be our project, she wants me to enjoy it and have some attachment to our home. Mostly I want to get her house built, so I can move on. And mostly, none of this gets said. Amy suggests I am doing my go it alone thing here, and suggests that I actually (gasp!) talk to Sharleen.
So I do. Sharleen and I both move forward suffering in our own way. It's enough, and Sharleen and I finally talk (and I recognise another promise to my wife broken). And we don't say anything we don't already know. And inside a raft of emotion and tears, we get clear that we're not designing the house she wants - she keeps compromising to try to make me happy, and she's scared that when it's done, I'm just going to leave - and I'm not doing anything useful at all.
So I notice I have this saying, “If you can't be happy, at least be useful.” And I notice I'm living into this more than I should. I take care of the cars, and the taxes, and the stuff that needs to be fixed, and some cooking and laundry and dishes. And I do enjoy and play with my kids, but somehow it's never good and never enough.
And I notice that maybe I am setting up a false dichotomy. Maybe I can be happy by being useful. And maybe if I'm not happy, nothing I do is of any use at all.
And then I am on a coaching call this morning (the tomorrow of earlier in this post) - this one is group format on the business of coaching - and we share what we have to celebrate, and I mention that I am actually starting to bring the possibility of vulnerability and intimacy to my life, and after an hour about asking clients for more money, we start to wrap up the call, and our moderator and coach of coaches, David Wood, suggests that I have only scratched the surface of vulnerability, and invites me to stand inside of “I don't know” this week. And I just start to laugh.
With Sharleen, and with myself, I have been using “I don't know” as an excuse for not being in action, and it had a lot of meaning. But I have never taken on “I don't know” as a powerful place to stand, as a place to be open to what the universe and my inner compass has in mind for me.
So that's where I am. It's been a roller coaster of a week, and it's nice finally to “not know,” being with what is, and isn't, and trusting that path will reveal itself, rather than being stuck in the “I don't know” that sucks the life out of myself and everyone around me.
One of the people I follow, James Altucher, suggests that an "I did" list makes a lot more sense than the "To Do" variety. So, I'm going to share with you my week of Honda. I've now come close to the end of it, and could really use some sleep, but as I am half listening/participating in an Executive Council call, I can use this to keep me awake.
I don't even know what I did on Sunday, except call the car parts people. The power steering pump in Sharleen's new Accord had begun making noise. I was told they had a rebuilt one; so I formed a plan. This might have been on my way down to the Seminar for which I am production supervisor at Landmark, for which I must have left before four as I made a stop at the bank and still arrived with time to spare.
I would get up really early on Monday to . . .
So that's as far as I got trying to multitask. I actually started engaging in the conversation instead, which only took till about 3:12 in the morning, and as I had another scheduled for 4:00, I didn't sleep much last night either.
So I figured out what I did Sunday morning. I went with Sharleen to the architect, taking Uri to school along the way. We were home around 11:00.
So back to the plan. I would get up at dawn to pull out the power steering pump, and the hydraulic line to the steering rack, and then (because the starter didn't work on the other Honda) take Sharleen, go get the parts, be back and have it together by noon.
Oh, the best laid plans . . . The pump was not the right pump. The line, forget it, it's 1400 sheqel when you can get it, and there aren't any in the country. So I came home, figuring I'd just get the other one started and go get that one fixed instead. I was home about 10:30. I went tap, tap, tap on the starter, turned the key (nothing), again tap, again nothing, another tap, tap, tap, half a crank, and I knew I was going in the right direction. It was a few more attempts, and then it started (Yeah!!). So I left the car running and did a quick search for my parts on line, just in case. I don't know how this fit logically into the progression, but apparently it did. Then I went to dump the recycling, cause it was all in that car (and I noticed that I missed the bris of the new son of one of our neighbors, feeling a pang of guilt along the way), and was over at the garage a little after noon.
Ayad was busy replacing the head on a Puegot; so I removed the starter, went to the bank for money, and headed over to the junkyard, where I had ascertained that a similar starter was available on my way in. We compared the starters (he had one from a 1998 Civic, we have a 1996 Accord), they were similar, but different. The same heart, but maybe a different head, which is what I would swap out in the worst case. So I bought it and headed back to the shop. So the Civic starter was not close enough to install as it was, so I went to swap the head. I got that apart, and realised that I would have to discombobulate to a different level to get to the parts they had in common.
So I ended up taking the armature, field coil, commutator assembly and solenoid from the Civic starter and putting it on the Accord assembly, which was just the head and the end cap now. I didn't leave the shop until after 4:00, got home in time for a shower and quick bite before I was out again with Ilan to go to our Integrity Seminar. I got to sleep on the way down as a friend drove, and got a few winks on the way back as well, taking over again just after Yoqneam on the drive home. I finally got to bed some time after 2:00.
So now Sharleen had the green car (the 1996 Accord) for Tuesday morning. And I was determined to find the pump, and away I went to Nazareth. After trying a few more places, I found myself with Rafa'at (he who had sold me the starter) again. He did not have a direct swap, so we started to dismantle. We were going to pull the guts off the other unit to put in mine. And then we were without a new oil seal, which I went to find, but had to be ordered (for Wednesday). And I came back to Ayad (I had parked there). And in speaking to him, he informed me that I could have the relevant part of the hydraulic line replaced, and he sent me to Azawi, who said it would take time. I said "How much?" "An hour" he says. I says "You've got till Thursday." And homeward I went. I suppose I got on-line to check my e-mail and facebook, finally had my second bicycle ride of the season, and took some action on the restaurant marketing side.
In the meantime, Sharleen noticed a garage near one of her places of work, and had her AC recharged, as we were headed to the desert on Wednesday.
And then Sharleen shared that we got another sketch from the architect, which she sent over to me around 11:00. So we went over that, marked it up, and that went out to the architect at 1:46 in the morning. I got to bed after two, and got up just before 4:30 for another phone call.
Wednesday should have been Honda in the Background Day. We went down to the Shivtah Army Base for Meir's completion ceremony for some training period in the army. The car started to get hot twenty or so minutes from our destination. We limped it in, turning off the engine every time we were stopped. The temperature gauge had this nasty habit of climbing every time the car was not moving.
After a very hot ceremony at which water was provided, but restrooms not, we started home, topping off the radiator first. We missed the bypass for Be'er Sheva, and thus were in stop and go traffic into and out of town (killing the engine at every light). I must say I was very happy that the starter was fixed. We had to stop twice because the car was overheating and had boiled off a lot of water. It took us more than four hours to get home.
I was shot, and slept for an hour until it was time to go pick up Lani from Givat Avnei, and then collecting Manu.
Thursday, I rose at 5:30. Sharleen was without a car again and had to get to Tel Aviv. I dropped her at the station in Haifa, then came home to take the Green Accord to the shop before the day got too hot. Everything was working again and I couldn't get the gauge to budge. Both fans worked just fine - one hadn't seemed to the day before - and I was left scratching my head as I went to pick up the parts for the car. The hydraulic line wasn't ready (another half hour). I went to get the pump. We got that together. I then went back for the line, and finally headed home.
I intended to take a nap, but had kids to feed, and then decided to put the newer Accord back together (mostly) with some great help from Uri, and then found myself on the phone for at least two hours yesterday evening, and another three on the overnight.
Now Sharleen was going to be back with the Power Steering Fluid, or more likely Automatic Transmission Fluid, shortly; so I could complete her car, but instead, she could not find the place and the Green Accord started to overheat again. So I'll take a trip down the hill and get what I need, or just make do with what I've got.
And that's this week from the Herz (in Israel) Household.
I'm headed to Cornell in June to celebrate the 25 years since I've been out in the world. And as my friend Heather Robbins has suggested I come up with my ten-point plan for making it all it could be, and living into my possibility of being trusting, bold, and generous, I did:
- See a part of campus that I haven't yet.
- Find an old classmate who is now a professor.
- Introduce two people who haven't met before.
- Ask five people the magic wand question.
- Ask five people the advice they'd give their younger selves.
- Ask five people who their heroes are.
- Find a way to introduce five people to their heroes.
- Ask five people to have a conversation with me about coaching.
- Encourage five people to follow a dream.
- Thank everyone for coming.
- Thank everyone for being who they are.
- Find at least one reason to acknowledge every person I meet.
So it appears that I can't count. That's okay too.