The Fork in the Road

The Fork in the Road

by Dr. Craig Overmyer, Director of Coaching, Canterbury Group

In his book Scripts People Live, author Claude Steiner shows that people develop early patterns of belief based on negative or positive influences of those around them. Thus children decide, however unconsciously, whether they'll be happy or depressed, winners or failures, strong or dependent. Having decided, they spend the rest of their lives making the decision come true. For those who choose a negative script, the consequences can be disastrous.

If you're living a pattern that says growing older means deterioration and limitations of your health and wealth resources, only a conscious decision to change the pattern will bring you positive results. Here's a fun little exercise to bring about that shift.

Imagine you've come to a fork in the road. The signpost on the right reads, "New Choices." The one on the left says, "Old Choices."

Let's consider the left fork first. Honestly examine any patterns, tendencies, and beliefs you have about the concept of aging. Do you believe aging results in less energy and more limitations? See yourself 5, 10, or 20 years from now, living those patterns. What do you think your life would be like? Are you afraid you might not have enough financial resources to sustain you? Will your lifestyle leave you de-energized and demoralized? What a frightening picture!

Now, envision the right-hand path. Suppose you made a new choice to believe people improve with age. Imagine how your life would be if - starting today - you did everything in your power to create a reality of increasing energy and possibilities. See yourself 5, 10, or 20 years from now, living those new patterns. What would your life be like? What would you be doing that resulted in a high quality and length of life, with all the resources necessary to sustain that vision?

If you like what you saw in the right-hand path, what new choices could you make today to invite an optimistic vision of your future? Adorning my wall is a teakwood plaque with the words, "Lead With Vision: "˜Where there is no vision, the people perish.'" This signpost daily reminds me how critical it is to have a vision - but not just any vision. Old, ineffective patterns invite a future just left to chance. Compelling, energizing, transformational visions are like signposts to a wonderful life. This exercise is about creating a new, empowering signpost. By taking a few minutes to write down your answers, you'll begin to experience energy, vitality, and renewed vigor. But this is just a beginning. Time well spent with a trained coach can make a dramatic difference in your life experience. Your vision would not adorn your wall, it would be etched upon your heart.