To be your superpower, being generative is an invitation to slow down, get quiet, listen deeply, pause, listen again, receive something unfamiliar – your blank spaces -- and be with it, open to what could emerge that is new and fresh.
To achieve our evolutionary destiny as human beings, we are responsible to break through our complacency and experience of plateaus.
To embody your superpower, generativity is an invitation to slow down, get quiet, listen deeply within, pause, listen again, receive something unfamiliar into your “blank” (not blind) space and be with it, opening to what could emerge that is new and fresh. I recognize that these words are easy to write and likely for you to read. Practices for being generative may challenge you with a tension between achieving through effort and achieving through trust that you are already and always whole, resourceful, capable, and innately creative.
Our chosen mindset is very important to being generative all the time. Mindset includes frame of reference, attitude, values, beliefs, thoughts, and routines. All these aspects motivate how we choose to show up, make decisions and engage in our relationships. To say a person is whole means nothing is missing. Bring the image of an iceberg to your mind’s eye. Notice that you can see above the water line in your everyday actions and conversation. However, you do not notice or contemplate what is under the surface unless you choose to become self-aware, on purpose. What does it mean to be resourceful, all the time, regardless of the situation? You always possess an internal instinct to be responsive to any situation, using all your senses to get your needs met. To be capable means you access an internal will to be to be responsive to any situation, originating and producing choices and actions. Creative describes the innate ability to originate and create responses that express your wholeness and satisfy your desire in relationship to any situation.
Not being generative in mindset or skill set is supported by your brain, in fact the oldest part of your brain stem called the reticular activating system or RAS for short. Over time you develop speciﬁc filters for your thinking and feeling to prevent reality from being seen as it is occurring because that is scary and unknown versus the reality your RAS operates from for the purpose of creating an experience that feels familiar and safe day to day. To live fully potent requires putting the RAS on wobble, on purpose to let something new in, past the filters. This occurs through intentional reflection: on experience, on perception of the experience, on self-regard during the experience, and choosing to identify the habits, preferences, assumptions, and biases that shields you from perceiving what a breakthrough could be in thinking, feeling, intuiting, and sensing.
Every person has a set of mental blinders and emotional barriers that prevent seeing the world as it is and as a result, experience obstacles to living fully potent in every moment. Anything that prevents you from seeing the world as it is, is worthy of your attention. You can look at Nature and realize that growth occurs all the time. Ask yourself right now, what is your part in attending to growth, deliberately and on purpose? As a tree grows over time both light and water nourish the tree to grow. Absence of light and water creates thin rings and makes the tree vulnerable to cracks in heavy wind and lightening. Light and water serve you as a learning metaphor. For example, unconscious habits are a common way you miss the light shining on your best growth conditions. Mental blinders generate a plateau, feeling stuck or stalled, and this occurs through your thoughts that block the “light” from shining. Emotional barriers arise for you through an attachment to duty. Duty clouds our choice to experience life fully and this occurs through your beliefs that block the “water” from flowing.
To achieve our evolutionary destiny as a human being, we are responsible to breakthrough our complacency and experience of plateaus. There are several ways to identify that you are in or are entering a plateau: poor sleeping, quickly fatigued, self-sacrificing choices, addiction of any kind, doubt, annoyance, edgy, surprising sadness (not depression), obsessive reinvention, fuzzy logic, and stalled decision-making. Reference the table below and notice which of the common blinders and barriers occur for you that are the source of the experience of a plateau. It could be more than one, and it’s useful to reflect quietly and select the most dominant one to begin your self-reflection toward a breakthrough to living more fully potent.
Living fully potent is never a habit, always a practice of continually choose your relationship with the conditions of your life. In other words, to be sovereign. Fighting against a plateau extends it. Plateaus are normal, a part of life’s cycle and evolution. Accept this with a sense of wonder of what’s next provides a front windshield view of your life. Awareness that continuously notices and chooses deliberately becomes the source of achieving breakthrough. The set of activities below support you to personalize your experience of breaking through plateaus and liberating your fully potent expression.
1. Face your patterns of being and relating with a beginner’s mind to activate the generative capability to originate and create.
2. Act by experimenting and engaging from insight versus intellect to activate the generative capability to learn.
3. Exercise deep honesty to believe there is always more than now to activate the generative capability to produce.
For further exploration about generativity in a professional setting, watch this 4-minute video, What is Generative Wholeness, check out my TED talk, Why Judgment is Key to Inviting Change, and read my best-selling leadership and coaching book, Invite Change. Lessons from 2020 The Year of No Return, also available from Amazon.
Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
Read more about Janet »