In a recent conversation with a client, he described to me several times in his life when he felt he was operating in Partner Mode. As he related these experiences, I began to notice a pattern. When he finished, I suggested the pattern to him, and he concurred. Each of these situations had these three attributes.
1. He didn’t complain. Perhaps he simply didn’t have anything to complain about, but I suspect he did. In the instance I’m using as an example, he was a server in a busy restaurant. He could have complained about the customers, about the hostess, about the kitchen staff, about the management, about the tips, about his feet, about the hours, even about his commute from home to the restaurant. Instead he developed a supportive relationships with the kitchen, he treated the customers with respect and became friends with the regulars. He dealt with challenges and appreciated the other servers. He liked his work, and he became very, very good at it.
2. He didn’t worry (at least not in any of the situations he described). Again, worry could have been part of his demeanor: Will my tables be full tonight? Will I screw up any orders? Will the kitchen staff get things right? What am I going t do about my aching feet? I’m still haunted about that time I set a tablecloth on fire. Am I earning enough in tips to pay my bills. Instead, as he described this experience to me, he clearly felt in flow with every aspect of the situation. Even when something went wrong, he knew things would work out all right.
3. He didn’t try to control every little thing. He took care of the tasks that were his to do, and he trusted everyone else to do their parts. He felt no need to instruct the kitchen staff. He didn’t compare himself with the other servers. He didn’t think it was his job to fix the emotions of a customer who was in a bad mood – although he did take care of his own attitude and always presented a good front to those he served.
And this, I realized is the secret of ease: 1) Avoid complaint. 2) Avoid worry. 3) Avoid the need to control.
Since summarizing these three factors into a basic pattern for ease (and for Partner Mode). I’ve presented it to several other clients. A client I talked to this very morning said she realized this was true while putting together a new bed for her daughter. The first screw she tried to inset got hung up, so she left it and went onto the second. This one went in smoothly, and she thought, “Ah, this one was exactly aligned.” So she went back to the first and wiggled the parts until they were aligned, and it went in smoothly. She realized this was a metaphor for life. When things are hard, they are misaligned. When things are aligned, they’re easy.
When we try to control everything, it often means we’re afraid to let things be easy. When we worry, it often means we’re putting barriers in our own way. When we complain, it often means we feel helpless and we have fallen our of touch with our own power.
If we remove complaint, we will find that in its place, we can see options and recognize opportunities. If we believe things can be easy, worry simply evaporates. When we no longer try to control everything, we often discover we have unrecognized, and fully competent, partners.
May your way always be easy, Kathy
Look at the world with wonder and at yourself with warmth.