I have had an amazing, rewarding, and humbling experience since joining the More To Life Design and Align Initiative (DAI) as Project Facilitator. From the beginning of February 2016, I have participated, by my estimate, in more than 150 hours of video conference calls with close to 40 More To Life students on the D&A Teams. In March I also attended a MTL Weekend in Knoxville, which was a powerful personal experience for me, as I tell anyone who will listen. It was life-changing to experience first-hand what each of you already knows. What started as a “you and me” on this project has now become an “us”! I’m here…I’m staying…you just try to get me to leave now! I have been more than welcomed in each setting I have been in for this project work. Thank you.
Two words come easily to mind when I think of the women and men within More To Life with whom I have worked alongside over the last four months: Passion & Doubt.
What do I mean by Passion? Actually it is not just Passion, it is Profound Passion. The organization of More To Life is populated with people who, having experienced the gift of this work to their own lives, care deeply and strongly about what it offers to the world. I am not using “world” euphemistically; I mean THE WORLD! That Passion is palpable in those I continue to meet in More To Life. It is also a source for authentic engagement and practice with one another.“Our vision is quickly clouded by our concerns. Focus on the vision and watch the concerns fall away.” ~ K. Bradford Brown, Guidelines To SuccessI have also encountered Doubt in More To Life. There is Deep Doubt in whether this time will be any different from attempts over a number of years to create a strong More To Life “container.” I won’t take the time here to retype the paragraph found on the MTL international website on why the Design & Align Initiative was undertaken, but it was essentially because MTL is bleeding to death: lower attendance being just one indicator of backward motion.
Doubt is a feeling of uncertainty and/or a lack of conviction. But as I was reminded by Peter Lurie from MTL UK, “We have, in our MTL toolset, a discernment process. It includes true, false, and don’t know. The future is a ‘don’t know.’”
I am struck by the fact that the two words I have cited here rest at such counterpoints to each other. Doubt says, “I can cite you chapter and verse why this will never work. We’ve tried – repeatedly – we’ve tried. Better minds than you have tried…”
Passion says, “I have found a treasure of great worth, and its immense value for me is not diminished one bit by sharing it abundantly with the world! I make a choice. I choose to never stop in my effort to find a way onto the highways and byways of this world where I know there are those who want what I wanted when I came to More To Life.”
I encourage you to read the Alignment Conference Purpose and Outcomes created by the Alignment Conference Planning Team. I hope that in the midst of Doubt, you will still choose Passion. Dream Big!
Bill Thatcher, a consultant from Ed Groody & Associates (read his biography), is the Design and Align Project Facilitator. He is working with all the teams around the world preparing for the Alignment Conference in July. He recently took the More To Life Weekend and wrote this personal reflection.