In “Take Charge of Your Talent,” we advocate making healthy stretches as an approach to getting the most from our talent. A healthy stretch can be exhilarating and leave us feeling as though anything is possible.
Unfortunately, few of us make healthy stretches on a daily or even weekly basis. Most of us have some kind of fixed idea of how far we can stretch before we will encounter resistance or pain (psychological or physical). Thus, we make a good effort and then stop. We opt for the comfort of what we know, rather than explore what else is possible.
The following exercise gives a physical expression of what we mean by a healthy stretch of your talent.
- From a set standing position, extend your right arm straight out parallel to the ground and point your index finger forward.
- Next, rotate your body to the right as far as is comfortable. (If you use your left arm and finger, rotate to the left) Your pointing finger will be describing an arc of a circle. When you stop turning, notice what you are pointing at.
- Return to your starting position and repeat the process. Notice if you are making a longer arc and find yourself pointing at something just a bit farther behind you.
- Try this several times until you are no longer pointing at something new.
Did you notice how you could comfortably reach further and further as you made additional tries?
Sometimes the only thing preventing us from stretching a bit farther is the limit of our own thinking.
So let’s move from the physical exercise to one that focuses on you and your hopes for your talent.
- What action can you take to day that would move you closer to realizing your hopes?
- If you were to stretch a bit further in that direction, what would it look like?
- If you were to stretch even further in that direction, what would it look like?
- If you were to go beyond even that, what would it look like?
As in the physical practice, making successive tries will lengthen your stretch and expand what you discover is possible.
Photo by: Gianluca Carnicella