I came across a juicy little nugget of brilliance the other day.
It showed up whilst I was barely able to breath,
drowning in my own sweet sweat,
forced to run ANOTHER minute at level 11 on my personal trainer’s tread mill.
Meanwhile, Roy chatted merrily about this and that.
Chatting seems to be his psychological ninja method of keeping people alive whilst also half killing them in the name of fitness. I love it. I love him. I’m a Blood Type O and need a regular beasting whilst listening to camp-fire stories, making Roy the best Bethan-style PT ever.
So, Roy was chatting and I was answering/rasping for breath/trying to keep up my end of the chat when he shared a diamond chunk of wisdom that I have since used on
b) coaching clients
c) my children
d) Gorgeousness Programme participants and
e) myself some more.
What Roy shared was a question. Possibly, the most powerful question I’ve ever heard.
“Okay,” he said, pressing the button on the machine so I was now running at another level up. “You know when you just DON’T KNOW something. You need to choose, but you just don’t know?”
“Yeah,” I gasped. “I. Know. Those. Mo. Ments.”
“Or,” continued Roy, leaning back on the wall and folding his arms over his chest, “you’re asking your child something and they say “I don’t know”. It could be anything … “do you want fishfingers for tea or beans on toast?”
“Yeah,” I blurted.
“So, when the person says, “I don’t know”, YOU ask … “But if you DID know, what would you choose?” And the person always has the answer.”
That’s all I could say at that point. Everything. Was. Coming. Out. A. Bit. Stacatto/Darlek.
Then Roy stopped chatting and we began to descend through the levels of the running challenge. We did some core work, some lifting and I left Roy’s feeling like a bad-ass warrior with a pomegranate coloured face.
It wasn’t until later that I fully thought about and began testing out Roy’s question. That night, Adam and I went for dinner.
“Do you have any things you’d like to pen in over the next few months?” I asked.
He thought for a moment. Pushed out his lips, steepled his fingers, then finally said, “I don’t know.”
“But if you DID know, what do you reckon those goals would be?”
Adam then instantly reeled off about twenty things.
They came at me, thick and fast, like rounds from a nerf-gun in the hands of a kid with a nerf-gun armoury.
By being asking Roy’s question, the confrontational element of being committing to an answer was removed and suddenly what Adam DID know then flooded out from behind.
Fitness goals. Family goals. Business goals. Out they tumbled, one by one.
The next morning I ran the Gorgeousness Programme.
One of the younger participants was asked a question in front of the rest of the group. She didn’t know what to answer and I watched her body language clam up and fold inwards. Her blue eyes flickered around to the other group members as they awaited her answer. Their expectation exacerbated her angst.
“I don’t know!” she blurted. “I’m not sure!”
“But if you DID know,” I prompted gently, “what would you say?”
The girl answered instantly. Like a snap of a thumb and finger, the answer jumped straight out from her belly. She was 100% confident in what she had chosen to reply and then more explanations began to come forth. Wham!
Today as I was driving I thought, “oh, I’d really like to do some writing for the blog.”
This sunny, cheerful thought suddenly triggered a massive blur of indecision. My clarity of thought fuzzed. Other thoughts like, “you’ve got a million things to write about. And that BOOK you keep banging on about completing. Maybe you should start working on that? And there’s the novel that’s 20,000 words in and you still haven’t finished. And anyway, do you have the time to write today?”
My flood of defence was then followed by a marching entourage of blog-post ideas, chanting in unison and filling my head with all sorts of possibilities of other things I could write about, make art about and do. It was overwhelming and for a moment I thought, “Do you know what? Maybe I’ll leave writing anything today. I just don’t know what to write about right now it would seem.”
But then I remembered Roy’s Question.
“If you DID know what write about, what blog post would you choose to write?”
The answer of what to write came in the click of a finger.