3 Questions for Healthy Backstep

Healthy Backstep (4-26-17)lightbulb

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.”

-Abraham Maslow

There’s two different cuts we can take at stepping back.

The first is when we revert to the comfort zone in the face of the challenges and contortionisic stretches required to play bigger, express broader, and adventure into new territories.

The other is when we move away from the machine so as to get a bigger picture than the next rung on the rat wheel.

We can all fall prey to working in our career vs. on our career, in our business vs. on our business, awash in our life vs. perspective on our life.

For example, it’s great to have that current job or business, especially if you love it and feel your highest self-expression pouring forth. Yet, we all know that nothing is guaranteed and, according to standard business wisdom, if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving back—there is no standing still.

Also, there may be personal or business practices, tried and true, that we engage in without thinking anymore of whether they are working.

Therefore, stepping back from the activity to get the bigger picture is a wise, forward-focused practice.

The same goes for the progress forward of our relationships, health, finances, personal mission and overall sense of well-being. Nothing stands still. It’s forward or back.

Alexandra (my partner in Back Forty crime) and I recently took a 911 weekend away. We cancelled all appointments and booked a last-minute hotel and unplugged, unscheduled, and unwound. Yes, we relaxed, and yet we began some meaningful (but not significant) conversations about how we want to design our Back Forty from the long-view perspective.

That weekend, and the inquiry thus begun, has produced ongoing ripple effects which have shaped our consistently upgraded views on many aspects of our work, mission, and enjoyment of life. Good thing! We figure that, with us being the forerunners, scouts and pioneers of creating a radical second half of play, passion and purpose, we are to live it to prove it’s possible!

From the bigger picture, all of us can see what’s working and what’s not…and put in the pieces we don’t see when up close and personal.

Incorporating healthy backsteps into your dance, to catch that bigger perspective, can make for a far more workable final choreography.

Here’s a few questions to ask from our own exploration:

Sustainable?

Sometimes, it’s necessary to look at the State of the Personal Union to see if how we’re living, how we’re working, how we’re relating is actually sustainable over the long term.

Sure, there are some crunch times in everyone’s life. Yet, you can’t really sustain crunchtime. Over the long term, you tend to get crunched.

ReFrame-able?

Consider the impacts of machines running on High all the time – they wear out, burn out, or at least don’t perform at their highest productivity.

Is the career, business, life you’re running safe and sound at the pace or peace it’s going? Is it worthwhile to re-evaluate and re-frame what’s really important and what’s really working (and what’s not)?

Unchainable?

We may think, at first blush, that everything is tied with a bow as it is and there would just be too much upset caused by rethinking and reorganizing the pieces.

Yet, that’s simply not the case. Were something major to happen in your world today, truly, all bets are off. So, what can we let go, mix up, or do differently?

In the 80’s, there was a Fram Oil Filter commercial with a famous tagline: “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

Today’s Back Forty question is: where can you step back from the trance to enhance the workability of your own dance?

“Often stepping back you see more, don’t you?”

-David Hockney


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