Idyllic. If the day had to be described in one single
word, that would be it. Your afternoon is spent
whiling away the time in a rowboat on a serene body of
water. You have chosen to surround yourself with those
you love the most dearly. Together you are enjoying
the lusciousness of a late Spring day. The air smells great,
the sunshine is perfect and the company is divine.
After you have been enjoying the scenery for a while, you
notice something a bit unusual. Nothing is changing.
The boat is not moving.
You put the oars into the water and stroke. Still
Peering over the side as you try not to tip your entire
group, you experience a revelation that groans from the
depths of your being.
You have landed squarely in the middle of a sandbar.
Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.
No matter what your role is, you will experience bumping
into a "sandbar" from time to time. You will
experience stuckness at some point, even if it is for a
split second. It's exactly because of this that you
will want to be aware of ways to insure you do not have to
wait very long for the tide to come up so you can once again
enter smoothly into the flow.
These techniques are for everyone: computer programmers get
stuck while working towards a technical solution.
Parents get stuck while dealing with a challenging phase in
their children's life. Artists get stuck when crafting
a work of art. Business people get stuck when the
current campaign hits opposition or unexpected snafus.
Public officials get stuck when they hit an unexpected leak
in their budget and have planned for assets disappear.
And then again, none of those blocks are mutually exclusive:
anyone may hit a block or get stuck at a sandbar at anytime.
Finding yourself stuck in and of itself is not
"wrong" it simply is what it
is. It is your privilege and opportunity to learn from
Thomas Szasz said "People are afraid to rock the boat in
which they hope to drift safely through life's currents,
when, actually, the boat is stuck on a sandbar. They would
be better off to rock the boat
and try to shake it loose, or, better still, jump in the
water and swim for the shore."
There are those who act as if drifting is superior to
partnering with the people in the boat to create a different
These same people may speak as if drifting is objectionable
and yet take no action which is consistent with that speech.
It begins and ends with talking. Nothing happens.
The boat and all its occupants stop feeling so heavenly.
In the movie Grand Canyon Steve Martin portrays
a character who has a brush with death following a stabbing
on the streets of Los Angeles.
Suddenly he is interested in the beauty of the sunrise.
Suddenly he is no longer interested in creating schlocky
movies which glamorize violence.
Suddenly he has a desire to create something of
significance. As he is wheeled out of the hospital
into a waiting limousine he tells his friend, "I don't
want to talk about it. Something about spending a lot
of energy talking about it may keep me from actually DOING
In other words, he is saying his project is much easier DONE
than MERELY said.
The simplest way to insure you will not get stuck on any
sort of "sandbar," carefully observe what you do
as you approach the various pieces and projects which
combine to create your life. You may follow this
checklist and you may use this as a springboard to craft a
1. What percentage of time do I spend continuing to talk,
talk, talk about a project without taking any intentional
forward action in relationship to it?
2. Is my concern about "how-to" make my plan work
stopping me from making the necessary connections to bring
it to fruition? Who do I know who I can partner with
to solve my "how-to" stuckness? Or who do I
know who knows someone else with whom I can create a
3. Am I only looking at the huge leap from where I am today
to the end result or am I looking at what's next in creating
a bridge from this moment to the next and the next and the
next and eventually to my desired result? What can I
do to look at both the larger picture AND stay firmly in
4. What daily practices am I using to continue to attract
new energy, creativity and breathe life into my project?
Am I meditating, free writing, praying, mindfully exercising
or setting aside special time to remain firmly grounded as I
look vividly towards the future of my dreams? Am I
using each moment optimally or am I stalling by just talking
about consciously doing my practices?
5. Am I giving more power to minutia and details while
allowing myself to fall into overwhelm rather than staying
firmly in conscious, mindful, deliberate action? What
can I do to simply stay balanced in what is really the most
important: maintaining a peaceful level of movement,
continually in the flow.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said, "Knowing is not
enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must
do." It may take getting out of the boat, it may
take collaboration, it may take doing something you never
thought you could do.
The best way to get off the sandbar and stay successfully
off the sandbar is to consistently and consciously take
action in the direction of the flow of your life.
© Julie Jordan Scott. Julie is a Personal Success Coach who
left her career as a government bureaucrat and built a
successful business in less than six months.