December 21, 2015

2016: The Year of Integrating Parts

As a strategic planner I believe in a certain amount of intuition to set direction. Each November I begin a personal practice of reflection with the intention of pursuing mindful development for the coming year. I frame this as GOST: Goal, Objective, Strategy and Tactic. Since 2009 this been my motivational process. It takes six to eight weeks for a goal to formulate into an evolutionary exploration that manifests intention into action.

2015 was framed as The Year of Creative Expression. When I first set this goal I did not have objectives strategies or tactics fully formulated. Instead, I imagined what "success" would be a year out if I truly did allow myself to savor creativity. Upon reflection, the objective was to reconcile the seeming disparity of being both a business teacher and a yoga instructor. Strategically, I looked for opportunities to lead a creative practice of bringing yoga Asanas into the business school classroom.

In the final quarter of 2015 I took the tactical leap and began each Monday morning Leadership and Organizational Behavior class with yoga, breathing and mediation. My confident and creative voice guided the college students in what became their favorite part of the day. With their continued trust I wondered where I could take this creative expression in 2016. This was clearly a step on the pathway to reaching fuller potential as a teacher.

This morning there was a sign that clarified my goal for 2016. Walking to a client meeting in San Francisco's Mission District I had a lot on my mind about controlling change in myself and others. The sunlight unexpectedly caught my eye as a fallen object glistened bright yellow with morning dew. I reached down to pickup an oddly-shaped fruit and looked up to see a lemon tree that must have grown overnight. The fruit was waiting to be discovered by someone on this busy street. How could no one else have noticed?

I have it in my hands now and the the fruit smells tart and feels ripe. But what is most amazing is that nature created this unusual and expressive growth. It speaks to me as a sign saying "uniqueness is beautiful and does not fit into a standard template." The one-of-a-kind lemon has a little curly green tail where it was starting to grow a new segment before launching itself from the tree. This is the tail of possibilities.

The remarkable lemon is my inspiration for 2016: The Year of Integrating Parts. It reminds me that I do not have to strive for the perfect answer that everyone might expect. Instead, my objective is to be present to celebrate the various interests and curiosities within me and my students. Strategically, I will explore all of these parts with the wonder of how to tactically integrate them into a Tale of Possibilities.