I was recently having coffee with my dear friend JoAnne at our new favourite eatery. We meet regularly to solve all the world’s problems and analyse each other’s lives, but on this day we came upon a concept that made perfect sense to both of us.
During our co-mentoring sessions, we usually talk about what we are up to at the moment, what great strides we have made in our lives or at work and what plans we have decided to move forward on.
It is not unusual though, for the plans and goals to be different from the previous meeting’s plan and goals.
On this day, we both lamented that we suffer from indecision and fickleness because our life’s focus seem to move around like the selector on a radio, trying to tune into a station but never quite locking in clearly.
Because I did not want to appear fickle in my friends eyes I quickly explained, so as to boost her perception of my personal confidence, that I may change my mind (a lot) with regards to my plans and goals but that I always circled around the same subject universe. Her eyes widened in understanding and she replied, “It’s like you are a frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad but are staying in the same pond.”
Bingo! That’s it! I’m a frog living in a pond of my own making, hopping from one lily pad of experience to another.
My universe is the pond. Sometimes the water is crystal clear and I can dive in and play in a safe environment. Sometimes the water is murky and I hunker down on a lily pad and wait until it settles clear once again.
Other times I am happy to hang out on one lily pad for a stretch. Maybe I like the view. But every so often, I see a shiny new lily pad at the other end of the pond and off I go to check it out.
The lily pads may change but the essence of the pond stays constant and the flora and fauna of my universe thrives. In turn, I’m basically a happy little frog.
Don’t you just love when two like minded souls can connect together and create a concept greater than just one mind could ever make sense of. JoAnne and I do this all the time. We regularly come away from our coffee dates buzzing with possibilities.
I was thinking about the frog concept today because this morning I read a blog that I subscribe to from Jess Drury of Heartlines Copywriting Studio. Check it out here . Jess talks about how to know if it’s time to move onto a new create project or if you are just bored with what you are currently doing and looking for a distraction. She calls it “shiny idea syndrome.”
Now of course, I am the first to admit that I love to dabble. Read about it here . Once I have mastered a concept or my current job becomes repetitive, I tend to loose focus and begin searching for the next thing to activate my curiosity and occupy my time. In that context, “shiny idea syndrome” is definitely dabbling. But even though I dabble, I still remain with in the same areas of interest, or pond as the frog analogy would describe.
Jess also talks about divine inspiration and knowing when this new idea spark presently lighting up your senses is really just the universe pointing you in the next direction your current work needs to take.
How can you tell what this shiny new idea really is. Is it a need for a total change in your life or a need for a new direction to take your current life path? The frog concept can help solve this conundrum.
Does the attraction of this shiny idea create a new lily pad in your pond where you can easily hop over and settle in nicely, or are you required to take a big leap and hope that as you jump, a new pond will be close by to cushion the landing? Only you can say how far you are you willing to leap. And are you prepared if a new pond does not appear, what then?
As Jess says, we all have responsibilities and people who depend on us that our current path supports. There may also be a fair amount of past effort put into the current situation. Are you willing to leave it all behind and start at the beginning again?
But if your pond no longer nourishes you and your lily pads are beginning to whither from a poor environment, then maybe, perhaps, it is time to leap.
Remember the experiment of the frog placed into a pot of water that was heated slowly? The frog does not notice the slow change in heat until he ends up boiled to death.
Is this new shiny idea telling you the water is getting too hot? Are you willing to ignore the heat at your own peril?
As for me, I like my pond. The water is just right. The pool is big enough that I rarely get bored and there is enough of a variety of lily pads to keep me hopping about.
One day though, I may wake up and find that I need to leap in to a new pond. Perhaps the old pond becomes too crowded or alternately, I got lonely. Will the new pond be smaller, bigger, deeper, shallower? Who knows. But if that day comes it will be because it was time to take the leap.
How will I know the time is right? Because out of the corner of my eye I spy something new and shiny off in the distance and my heart tells me to go there.