Competitive Collaboration Redux

There are certain parts of this process that trip me up every time. This challenge is one we’ve talked about before and my answer is pretty much the same.

#DareToExcel Challenge – 11:

Reach out to a collaborator. Define at least one such person.

Draft notes about the following and share: What will you ask of that person? How can you frame your ask in a way that the person recognizes what is of value to her or him? How can you frame the ask in a way that will resonate with a meaningful ideal that transcends both of your self-interest? Hint: Go back to your burning question, and go back to who it’s for.

Bonus points if you actually ask the person within the next two days! Dare you!

Back in February, my answer was this:

This is a great question and one I think about often. In fact, I do have a list of people and ideas. But for now, that’s where this whole discussion needs to stay, for two reasons:

  1. I have given up dealing with the Big Picture for Lent. Obsessing over what I might do some day has been preventing me from taking the small daily steps that I need to take to get me there. So far, it has made a huge difference in my mindset, if not yet my actual productivity. And I need the productivity to catch up. Come the end of Lent, it may be time to reclaim my relationship with the Big Picture, but from where I sit today, I’m pretty sure it won’t.
  2. I’m not ready. Not in a “I need everything to be perfect kind of way,” in a “I need to solidify my own foundation before even considering collaborating with others,” kind of way.

I need to find my stride, build my own voice and vision, become who I need to be in my own right BEFORE inviting anyone else in. Until I do, this week’s more detailed questions have no place in my process. Until I do, I will continue to focus on doing my own physical work, and occasionally, as lightning strikes, adding a name to my list.

My Big Picture challenge for Lent is over, so that is no longer a stumbling block, but the rest continues to hold true. My life has changed dramatically since this post. Very important relationships have ended, leaving a hole that has resisted healing. My financial and work situations have changed–not all for the better. The stress resulting from these changes has triggered health issues that need attention and, in some cases, intervention.

BUT… out of the resulting maelstrom has come a new focus–one that better encompasses the most important values and ideas from the last 8 months of introspection beginning with the #Quest challenge in December. So while I still have a list of people and ideas, I find myself needing once again to solidify, if not completely rebuild, my own foundation.

As I noted on the last day of last year, I chose the word CULTIVATE to guide my work in 2015. Seven months later, with everything going on, that word no longer quite fits what I need. Cultivate is about tilling, planting, growing, encouraging. I need a word that represents gathering of all of my lost, damaged, and disparate loves, ideas, and pieces of myself, bringing them all together to mix and steep, and meld into something that can feed not only me, but the world. This time has become a time of reclaiming, healing, reflecting. Yes, the time for connecting, collaborating, building will come. But that time is not now. Now is the time of COMPOST–of allowing the alchemy of time and space and chemistry to transform what no longer seems edible, viable, useful into the elixir from which everything grows.