by Kathie England

Better Than Before – Day 31

Data Point of One – Lightning Bolt

“Sometimes we’re hit by a lightning bolt that transforms our habits, instantly. We encounter a new idea, and suddenly a new habit replaces a long-standing habit – without preparation, without small steps, without wavering – and we pass from before to after in a moment.” Gretchen Rubin goes on to say that the Lightning Bolt takes its power from knowledge, beliefs, and ideas, but it’s nearly impossible to invoke a Lightning Bolt on command. She says “It’s not a strategy that we can decide to follow; it’s something that happens to us.”

Another perspective is described by the Zen saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

As I read this chapter in Better Than Before, I recalled several Lightning Bolts in my own life. One was learning about the book The Art of Possibility by the Zanders. A client had casually mentioned it to me. Since that moment and after reading the book, I know I have given more copies to family, friends, and acquaintances than any other book in my life. Each day I even recite the twelve principles it describes. Discovering The Art of Possibility was truly a profound experience for me and others who have read it on my recommendation have shared a similar response!

Two other Lightning Bolts lead me to the role I play today as an organizer coach with a specialization in ADHD. The first was a chance introduction to a woman who told me about professional organizers. This introduction occurred while I was trying to decide what was next in my life after being laid off from a software company in 2001. In July 2002 I launched my new business as a professional organizer and I called it Time for Success.

The next Lightning Bolt occurred when I met Denslow Brown at the first NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) Conference I attended in 2005 in San Diego.

When Denslow spoke, I so identified with her perspective! That meeting in 2005 lead me to take the first coaching class that Denslow offered in the fall of 2006. In 2009 I was among the first to receive the designation of Certified Organizer Coach (COC) through her Coach Approach training program and the Institute for Applied Coaching she created to certify professional organizers as coaches. Last year I became one of the first individuals to receive the credential of Professional Certified Organizer Coach (PCOC).

Just last month, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) awarded the rigorous and prestigious Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) to Coach Approach for Organizers/Institute for Applied Coaching. I was privileged to contribute to the program meeting its rigorous standards by a live recorded coaching call that had to be submitted for review by the ICF.

Rubin points out the value of recognizing the Lightning Bolts in our lives. As I read this chapter, I was delighted to reflect on the Lightning Bolts in my life that I just described.

I invite you to reflect on the Lightning Bolts in your life!