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Are you struggling to get your lifestyle business going? Or on the other hand, do you feel you are your own worst boss, micro-managing yourself with endless to-do lists? Or maybe it’s somewhere in the middle, you’re doing great but you’re not sure how to transition your business to serve more clients and have more free time?

Whatever it is… how can you bridge the gap between where you are now and the lifestyle business of your dreams?

Would the answer to this question have a great impact on your life and business?

But as the following quote illustrates beautifully…

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them’.

– Albert Einstein

And he’s so right. It requires a different way of thinking, don’t you agree?

But most of us are stuck in the pattern of seeing or experiencing a problem and then quickly fixing it. However, the problem is the same way of thinking and… it’s not solving anything, it’s only a superficial fix. Before too long, the problem will pop up again.

Can you see how unproductive this is?

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The U-path that leads to amazing results

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Let me share a different path and process in this article with you. Are you curious to learn how this can change your way of thinking and doing?

What I am about to share with you is what I learned and practice myself, and what I teach my students in The Serendipity Trail course and my business coaching clients.

And yes, the results are amazing! From being trapped in a 9-to-5 job in the Netherlands, to a marvelous motorhome lifestyle in New Zealand. Until then, a country I had never visited before.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

So, the best way to go, is to follow the U-path. Officially it’s called Theory U, created by Otto Scharmer, a lecturer at the Presencing Institute in the USA. But I don’t agree with the name he gave to his model. Because it’s a practice rather than a theory…

There are 5 stages on this path that has the shape of a U, hence the name. It’s not a linear path. All stages are interconnected and coexist at the same time.

These 5 interrelated stages are, beginning at the top left of the U-shape:

1 – Seeing – de-label everything to open up your mind

2 – Sensing – embodied wisdom, deep listening, and opening up your heart

3 – Presencing – an open will, mindfulness, and partnering with your Future Self and all Potential.

Now we’re at the bottom of the U-shape. In the next stages we go up on the right side of the U-shape.

4- Crystallising – a new vision & intention, new ‘golden nuggets’ ideas

5- Prototyping – (another word I don’t like…) – co-create a good enough project, plan, programme, or product and get feedback in an early stage.

While co-creating, keep revisiting all 5 stages to stay connected with what wants to happen as a force for good and to make an impact in the world.

Is this making sense to you? Can you imagine how you can create something that is truly valuable? And how this is much more productive?

The U-path is a conscious, thoughtful path and can go quickly. The key thing is to truly align your open mind, heart, and will in the first three stages.

We humans think that we can only succeed if we act fast and fix problems quickly. But, our business success will come much faster when we slow down first.

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.

– John De Paola

Can you see the power of this?

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The Power Of The Trinity: Explore, Transform, and Co-Create

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Now, when you know the path, you also need to know the process. And that’s what ‘The Power of 3’ is about. It’s the trinity of Explore, Transform, and Co-create, a model that I created.

A trinity of Explore, Transform an Co-create. Three interconnected stages in life, at work, and in business. Created by Monika de Neef, branding and marketing strategist at The Wayfinding Entrepreneur

The phases in this trinity are all interconnected but each has a different energy, a different feel to it.

Sometimes one phase has the lead. For example, in wintertime when people tend to be more introverted and feel the need to reflect on things. That’s a good season to focus on the phase of Transform.

It could be that certain days are mostly about one of the energies. For example, when you feel the need to experiment and try out new things. That is the phase of Explore.

Many people are not aware of this natural flow and tend to skip the Transform phase. They keep on Doing without spending time to let these ideas sink in and really feel it through. Or, they stop exploring…

Following this natural flow gives more space for the ‘golden nuggets’ to come in and be noticed during the Crystallising stage.

Because if you’re running from deadline to deadline, from one task on your to-do list to another, then there’s no space ‘in between’. And the magic is within that space, in the connection between things.

We all need that alchemical phase of Transform. It’s a phase beyond recovery, it’s regeneration, and the source for Innovation.

Let me ask you, ‘when do you have your best ideas?’. In the shower, when you go for a walk, when you’re relaxing? Exactly. You were tuned in into that space ‘in between’.

Everyone has access to this. You don’t need to be a magician for this kind of magical moments, right?

Back to Exploring. This can be done by wandering, having an assignment, or by curiosity.

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Curiosity expresses playfulness, the key to new ideas

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Following your curiosity is a great way to express playfulness. You can do things without the pressure of succeeding in something. It feels like true joy, doesn’t it?

And feeling that joy makes you feel relaxed, so you can tune in into that ‘space in between’ more easily. By being curious, you’re open to receiving ‘golden nuggets’ ideas within yourself and in your environment.

I accidentally (Serendipity!) discovered this when I was feeling depressed and needed more joy in my life. So, I created the Four Curiosity Pillars model for myself.

The Four Curiosity Pillars model. Add  4 topics of joy, passion, and interest as a tool to be curious and ignite Serendipity Moments. This model is created by Monika de Neef, The Wayfinding Entrepreneur

Why four, you might wonder? Well, I guess it felt as laying a foundation of joy with the help of four cornerstones. I wasn’t consciously creating this with my thinking hat on, but I followed my intuitive impulses.

How does the Four Curiosity Pillars model work?

It’s really simple. Just pick 4 topics of your choice that you like doing, like to learn more about, or that simply interests you. It could be dancing, learning to play an instrument, learning more about a certain country, weekly walks in the countryside, etc. It could be anything that brings you joy and sparks your playfulness.

The golden rule is ‘no pressure’. So not learning something to get a certificate or earning a medal, etc.

Sometimes you’ll feel you want to change a topic playing with it a while. That’s perfectly fine. Just follow where your curiosity path is leading to you.

If you only can come up with 3 topics, then see if you can divide one topic into two subtopics. The key is to create the four cornerstones. So, either divide one topic into two or add another topic.

Later on, while you’re exploring these topics, you’ll discover that there’s a connection between the four topics. Don’t stress about it if you can’t see it yet. The more you relax, the better it will show you what the connection is. And this connection might be another ‘golden nugget’ idea for you.

Can you see how creating space for curiosity and playful creativity would change your thinking, so you can come up with plenty of ‘golden nuggets’ ideas for your business and your journey forward?

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What would spark your curiosity and playfulness? What are the topics that you would like to explore as your Four Curiosity Pillars? Please share them in the comments below and inspire us all.

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Photo Credits: Martin Damboldt, Pexels

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