Coincidence & Preparation
I do not believe in coincidence.
Sure, I get the actual deconstruction of the word (co - incident, occurring at the same time), but it isn't something magical or mystical to me. Just like the "Law of Attraction" -- coincidence is all about tuning your awareness.
I certainly subscribe to the notion of giving an idea more conscious processing time when I've noticed it in 3 different ways/places/forms in a short period of time. I'm not saying that any of those 3+ interactions were not divinely inspired. What I am saying, is that independent of the externals, I noticed it three times.
By focusing on the internal aspect, I have some control over what happens -- unlike what happened when I used to focus on the externals. I can only partially control what stimuli I'm exposed to, and that only by being aware of what environments I put myself into each moment of my day.
What I can take control of is my own internal state. I can apply that small amount of willpower in ways that have the biggest positive impact in my life, independent of the environment in which I may find myself.
The challenge is this: you can't dig your well when you're thirsty (HT to my friend Donna Fox). You have to plan ahead, do the work in advance, and have those resources at the ready when the need arises. It can be hard work, and you rarely have the extra resources available to do that hard work "on the fly" -- any extra resources you can gather are usually needed to deal with the current situation.
Athletes do not walk onto the field/court/ring without having spent many hours perfecting their craft. They don't go out on game day and expect to learn a new technique. They often spend years getting the mechanics internalized enough that they can then spend the rest of their life, or at least their career, perfecting the nuances of their craft. And that perfecting is a function of regular practice, tested through training with others, and proven through competition (HT to Scott Sonnon).
I take those "coincidence" moments, when I become consciously aware of a specific part of my world, and use them as triggers. This is a "privileged signal" from my unconscious that has become conscious. When I'm ready to receive that information, I know it is prompting me to "dig my well" and take some knowledge, awareness, or behavior to the next level.
What are the "levels"? Just like the athlete example, it is either going from nothing to gross skill, adding a layer of refinement to existing skills, or deconstructing a skill in order to teach it to others. These transitions correspond roughly, in NLP vocabulary, to moving from conscious incompetence (or possibly unconscious incompetence) to conscious competence, from conscious competence to unconscious competence, and unconscious competence to mastery modeling.
Right now, I am hyper aware of two related things: the physical ways in which we release our emotional tensions and the verbal mechanisms for shifting the beliefs that drive those emotions. I am putting in conscious time "practicing" by refining my skills at Sleight of Mouth language patterns as well as developing new skills in renewing joint mobility and releasing muscular tensions.
What do these promptings have to do with business? Only as much as your business involves you thinking clearly or moving smoothly. Last time I checked, even Internet-only business people have a body (all you brain-in-a-jar folks, please correct me) and that body influences your thought process (and vice versa)!
Taking a step back, business owners also need to know what skills need practice and training to prepare for the testing during "competition." It's also handy to know what situations are truly competition versus training versus practice. (My own rule of thumb: if it just involves internal skills, it is practice; if it involves your team or partners, it is training; if it involves other businesses in the same market, it is competition.)
For those of us not directly retailing, this time of year is perfect for practicing and training for the new year. While your competition is off thinking about the holidays, you can be digging your well -- developing the skills you'll need in the moment when things pick back up post-holidays.
Taking another step back, developing your awareness of how you're being prompted, internally, can lead to some great moments of flow -- both the "in the zone" type flow and cash flow! Of course, you need to do something because of that awareness and hopefully the little bit of knowledge shared here will help drive that behavior to prepare in resourceful ways.
If you'd like to find out more about the product I'm preparing to help "dig your well" emotionally, sign up on this page so I can send you updates via email.
How have you been prompted recently?
What are you practicing right now?
Please share below!