What is your time bomb?
Recently I sat in a circle of colleagues and friends. We gathered to realign a business together that has been struggling financially for some time. When it was my turn to speak I had a strong image coming to my mind that I would like to share with you.
The Time Bomb – The Center Of Undivided Attention
Imagine you’re in a room full of people. As you walk your way through the crowd you notice that everyones attention is focussed to the center of the room. You squeeze through and finally make it to the center of the room and it becomes clear what everyone is looking at: a countdown timer attached to red, blue, green and yellow cables and all of them neatly connected with a load of explosives that makes one message absolute clear – no running away from this motherfucker. No way of defusing that masterpiece of death.
And you notice how you become obsessed with that time bomb. How you can not stop looking at it and become paralyzed as all the other people in the room. You stare at it and your mind goes berserk with all the options of what you could do. But the ever depreciating numbers on the countdown timer make every action seem doomed to failure.
Suddenly a new thought appears: What if it’s a dummy and the explosives are not real? What if someone just placed this very accurate imitation there just to keep you all busy thinking about that exact one thing?
Wake up and do what you really want
You look up and for the first time really see all the people. You look into their scared and worried faces and you feel their thoughts, of how little time there is left and how certain death awaits them. And you notice something else. You are not the only one looking up. Very few are also looking around and suddenly your eyes meet the eyes of a stranger. And you realize that he realizes that there is more than just that bomb. And you start playing. You actually start talking. On the other side of the room you see two people even holding each other, almost dancing. And you realize all the other options that you have on how to spend your time in that room. You sigh in relief that you didn’t waste your time on something that might not explode at all and finally start doing what you really want.
Now what if that bomb wasn’t a dummy. What is was real and you died with all the others in that room once the countdown was over? Didn’t you at least really live the last moments of your life doing what you want?
For me, this was a revelation in our group. For a long time I’ve been running after ideas that I thought we had to do in order to reach our goals. Buy a property, raise a lot of money, … What I didn’t realize is that these were not truly my goals. And that I didn’t enjoy the path towards these goals for some time already. So I looked up and realized I wanted to work with people. Support them in their growth and transformation. And make that the focus of my work. So here I am.
What is your time bomb?
What is holding you back from what you really want? Maybe it is what you focus on most of the time, the carrot your running after without ever being able to reach it? Maybe because you don’t really want it? Maybe it’s time to slow down to go faster? What is behind that? Curious to hear your comments!