Sunday, March 29, 2009

One Hundred Percent

A couple of times a week, I visit David to work with him in his home-based autism treatment program. He is the most incredible little five-year-old boy. He has autism and a team of parents, volunteers and paid workers, work seven days a week with him to help him develop his brain in a different way so that he will be able to create relationships with others and from there develop his life skills.

As part of the program, a teacher observed me working with David this week. After I got out of the playroom to receive my feedback, I was presented with the following question: "Most moments you introduced a new game with hundred percent energy, enthusiasm and excitement but there were a couple of instances where you seemed to do put in eighty to ninety percent. Why was that?"

This observation was so insightful and the question so right on that it has followed me every day since. When I answered the question, I realized that, when I do not get clear signals from David that he is open to interaction and/or participation, I hold back a bit and first wait how he responds before I go for it a hundred percent. As soon as I said this, I also realized that this is something I not only have been doing in the playroom but also in my work, relationships, starting up new projects, making decisions, etc.

If the teacher had not asked me this specific question about this detail of my play with David, I could easily have discarded my wish for clear signals and not have had the learning I had that day. The learning is this: when I start something new and I do not yet know how everything will work out, I will have a greater chance of getting what I want by putting in one hundred percent energy, enthusiasm and excitement, than I would if I hold back.

So, I decided that I will develop myself into a stronger and more passionate person by asking myself at different times during my activities, "How much energy, excitement and enthusiasm am I putting into what I am doing right now? Am I holding back in any way? If so, why?"

Now, in what areas of your life are you waiting for clear signals? What was a time you decided to go one hundred percent for what you wanted without waiting for a clear signal?

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