By: Divya Darling
May 10, 2017
Have you ever had to go up a hill in the wrong gear? Felt the struggle of the car as it attempts to do something it’s simply not possible to do in that mode of operating?
Going up a hill in first gear will never be an easy journey. And just as surely as we can switch into third and cruise up the hill instead of struggling, so we can switch gears in our day-to-day life and have an easier journey.
What’s important is to find way to recognize when we are not in the right gear. It’s easy in the car, when it’s starts wheezing or losing momentum, you switch. Equally in life you know you have to switch when you start wheezing or lose momentum. But as in a car it’s better to change gears before it’s absolutely necessary. It’s also important to know how to switch gears and make that a smooth process.
Let’s start with a simple example. I need to eat. I could eat. I want to eat. I will eat. I get to eat. Needing to eat and getting to eat are the two ends of the spectrum and will create a different state in which you approach the activity. Each of these statements does not change the action you are about to take but your experience of it. And these represent the 5 modes of operating: necessity, possibility, desire, determination and appreciation. And the same as each gear in the car has a purpose, so does each mode of operating have a purpose.
Necessity is the first mode. This is when we have to, need to, have got to and must do something. This is incredibly valuable for tasks that can be done immediately however becomes exhausting when applied to long-term tasks.
The second mode is possibility. I could, I can and I might choose to do something. It is the first step in recognising that we all have choices about how we live our lives and what we do within them. This is a great mode for ‘lightening the load’. When we feel a task is a burden and shift into this gear we can see it as the choice it is and progress ourselves towards a mode of desire.
I wish and I want to. This is the mode of desire. When we want to do something we re-invest or invest for the first time in the outcome and result of that activity. Notice what happens when we say ‘I want to eat because…?’ How do you finish that sentence? Why is it you want to do this thing you do every day.
Next we have determination. Now that we’re once again invested in our outcome we use words like I will, I shall. There is a sense of commitment and conviction. You have an intention that revs up that internal intention so you can get things done.
Appreciation is the last gear, our top speed. I get to… This is the mode where we experience the joy of having the ability, know how and resources to do an activity. You still had all of these things when you were in the ‘necessity state’ you just didn’t have the frame of mind to feel the positivity and joy.
As you can see our language reveals what gear we’re in. And can be used as a tool to figure out where we are operating. So rather then waiting for the car to stop wheezing you can single out these terms as an indication of where you are so that you can choose where you want to be.
This language can also be used to help you shift gears. Imagine you didn’t ‘have to go to the gym’ but instead ‘got to go to the gym’. In this new state you can see how the resource, time and ability are a gift. As well as the fact that exercise is not dictated by your day-to-day life but a choice you get to make. Does that not feel empowering?
When we first learn to drive and shift gears it can be a challenge. But as we practice we begin to develop the innate skill until it becomes as easy as walking or talking. So too will switching modes of operating become an easily accessed skill over time.
And if you want help in your journey consider Your Success Code to help you transition from learner to skilled practitioner.