THE INC. LIFE

Do You Rock, or Do You Wait to be Rocked?

Do you rock or do you wait to be rocked?

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BY Anese Cavanaugh - 10 Jan 2018

Do You Rock, or Do You Wait to be Rocked?

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

I'm on my way back from teaching a session at one of University of Michigan's entrepreneurial programs in Ann Arbor (will share more about their magic after I've had time to digest. It's worth knowing about for all of you who care about social entrepreneurism).

I've led a ton of sessions lately. Whether speaking, facilitating or training other trainers to teach this work in their organizations, I've noticed some common themes in learning that translate right over to life and the results participants tend to get. There's a saying, "How you do one thing is how you do everything" and the longer I do this work, and with the more people and industries and ages, I see this saying applies here as well. How you dig into learning and creating your experience in one area, tends to show up in others as well.

It boils down to several factors, but right now -- on a plane back from Detroit, I'm focused on this one: Do you rock or do you wait to be rocked?

In every moment we have a choice. The choice is in the experience we want to create. When I teach in rooms, it doesn't matter which industry; corporate, education, design, etc., or what the age, background, or gender of the individual; there are always those who walk into a room "hungry", ready to rock, ready to dig in and make the information theirs -- and there are those who walk in waiting to be rocked.

I understand both. I get it. And what I notice is that the first type, "the ready to rock", tend to create a better experience, show up bigger, and get faster and more solid results.

The second type can create a great experience (eventually) but often suffer through it, delay it significantly, or miss it all together -- for now. Both groups learn a lot from how they show up -- and both types create invaluable lessons if they're open to them.

So which are you? Whether you're learning in a classroom, working with a mentor, learning in your organization, from your team, from life... Are you ready to rock or are you waiting to be rocked? You choose.

Signs you're ready to rock:

You show up on time, ask questions, share your experiences, grapple with content, and stay present -- you're in. It's an energetic intention and way of being in a room and in a conversation -- no matter if there are 200, 2000, or 20 people there. You gather evidence for this being a good thing (whether it's a lesson or event in your organization), you stay curious and open, you consider "How does this impact me and those I love and lead?" You engage. You likely walk out bigger, fuller, better for the experience. Grateful for the learning, wiser, and positively contagious. After all, you've not only learned more, you've experienced the power of owning your impact and being responsible for your learning.

Signs you're waiting to be rocked:

You show up late, saunter in, maybe do a bit of "in & outs" (in physical, mental, and emotional presence), you wait to be "done to", "proven to", taught and led in your own experience, you make others responsible for your learning and results; you sit back, check your phone, wait to see if something peaks your interest, and see if this is "worth your time". You don't ask questions but instead wait to see if you see what you want to see. You lurk. You likely walk out with so much less than you could. If you're really committed to "waiting to be rocked" you'll walk out with a ton of evidence that you just didn't get rocked.

Teaching in Boston last year, I had a student come up to me after a session, with this: "I wish I would have paid attention and participated from the beginning, I was so committed to being 'right' that this wasn't a good use of my time, that I didn't really start to let this stuff in until the end. But I think it's important. Can I take the course again?"

This is a teaching example, but I see this all the time. Where might this live for you? Where are you waiting? Where can you GET IN THERE and rock it for yourself?

2018 is waiting.

Don't wait, lean in and get it.