4 Hours, 4 Weeks, 4 Months

Tuesday 10 December, 2013

Regardless of the time period or indeed the specifics of a situation, there is a process at work. A process which represents the fundamental elements of any development journey or project we undertake. When we see it clearly we are able to make our lives easier by harnessing the insights we gain and applying them resolutely to future projects. This post takes examples from one group and two individual clients to demonstrate how much of this underlying information is available and how easily accessible it is.

The first example comes from a 4-hour workshop I gave last week. Although they were exposed to a wealth of information, in their final feedback the participants distilled their process effortlessly into the most important insights of the whole session. They talked about feeling reluctant to begin with, even sceptical, but how they gradually opened up and connected with each other more than they might have expected, and more than they usually do. They saw the advantages of connecting, and suggested they do more of it with each other. And there was also an intent to share their experiences and insights with those colleagues who had not been present.

All of that happened in just four hours. The second example comes from a client who, last month, saw his process unfold in four weeks. We had contact throughout and when we reviewed his experience I told him it was a textbook illustration of the development process. I asked him to write it down. He did so in eight paragraphs, which I then summarised for him in this way:

  1. Progress has already been made. Confidence is there. (This is the first place we are likely to get cocky.)
  2. Belief in the process is still lacking (understandably).
  3. Experiencing the self with eyes open – your behaviour has been like this for years and now you are seeing it more clearly and feeling saddened by it. (This is normal & natural).
  4. Everything seems to be getting worse, not better. (Again, all normal & natural parts of the process.)
  5. The realisation that this is going to take discipline.
  6. Breakthrough – all the hard work is paying off. Whatever the catalyst was, progress would not have happened without all the work you put in beforehand. You are more relaxed, more accepting.
  7. Good things start to happen. You have created the space for the right people to come into your life. (This is another place we are likely to get cocky.)
  8. Realisation, belief, calm.

The third example has already been documented in the post, ‘Close To A Breakthrough’. In that story another client, earlier this year, worked his way through the same eight steps in four months. It took longer because the starting conditions were different, but that’s the point: it doesn’t matter what you are facing or what your destination looks like. My training took four years, but the process was the same. It always is. It happens at different rates and at different scales, but the fundamentals are the same. And the moment you become aware of that, is the moment your life gets a little easier.

Related posts: The Lifecycle Of Development | The Process
Two years into my process: On The Edge Of A Breakthrough

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