I howled with laughter as we careened around the corner of the Matterhorn Bobsled.
We swished through tunnels and then out into the clear starry night. As we crested the top of the curve and Disneyland lay out under the crescent moon, I gasped with gratitude because I realized: I almost missed this.
For years, I’ve experienced pretty bad motion sickness. So roller coasters and rides haven’t been all that fun for a long time.
But one of my oldest and dearest friends invited me to a professional development experience with Bob Goff at Disneyland, and I had some choices to make.
I gasped with gratitude because I realized:
I almost missed this.
I felt anxiety and pre-embarrassment. What if I got sick? What if it ruined the rest of the trip? For me and for her and the rest of the group? I didn’t know these people.
“Oh yeah, Jenn Whitmer? She’s an Enneagram and Leadership speaker, and I saw her puke her guts out outside Space Mountain.”
Clearly, not what I want. I want connection, engagement, and joy.
I seemed to be facing a choice between humiliation and missing out.
What if it wasn’t one choice between two options, but something entirely different? An invitation to create options.
Rather than focus on the choices, I focused on the invitation. My friend was inviting me into an experience of growth, connection, and a whole lot of fun. How could I make that work?
Armed with Dramamine and some boundaries (Yes, Pirates of the Caribbean. No, Tea Cups.) I flew across the country to the happiest place on earth.
And as I crested that hill at the top of the Matterhorn, I felt the sheer joy of being the most active participant in designing my life. The experience was more than an amazing three days with one of my closest friends and Bob Goff. I know stepping into this invitation confirmed my calling, clarified my vision, and created new opportunities.
I felt the sheer joy of being the most active participant in designing my life.
And I believe your life has the same opportunities when you shift into invitation. There are three places you can look for invitations.
- What are you inviting people into? As a leader, are you calling your team to something higher than just their task lists and job description? Invite them to get creative and step into sometime more.
- What are others inviting you into? What are your leaders, coaches, and mentors putting before you? What connections keep coming your way? Find the pattern that sparks something in you (or maybe scares you just a little bit)
- What are you inviting yourself into? What do you want next? You don’t actually have to wait for the invitation of others. You can invite yourself into something that sounds exciting and engaging.
If I had stayed stuck in “There are two choices,” I would have missed far more than the moment at the peak of the Matterhorn. I might not have seen the deeper wisdom: I am the most active participant in designing my life.
Can I be your coach for a moment? Pick an invitation and design your life. You have all the power and agency you need to start.
Pick an invitation and design your life.
If you’d like a little support, come to the Catalyst Impact workshop on Nov. 10. Get all the details here.