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Make a Move!

The Why, What and How of taking intentional action

· Make a move,Learn from mistakes,Practice courage

Make a move towards success

The idea of making a move has been on my mind since I chatted with my friend, Dr Lesley Taylor, who is a brilliant success coach and author of Let's Unleash Life: 27 Keys To Making Smart Choices. She’s currently using some of her own success principles to write another book. Her idea that makes a difference is that the time has come for all of us to exercise our leadership skills more fully and her new book on Leadership, coming out shortly, shows us how.

One of the ideas we were playing with in exploring the idea of leadership, was that we can all get a bit too wrapped up in our expectations of what will happen when we do something. Of course, we’ve all experienced moments when we’ve done something - with the best of intentions - and the outcomes, through no fault of our own, have gone spectacularly wrong! Life happens.

But when we become fixated on making the ‘right’ move, whatever that means, we can easily become afraid to make any move for fear it may turn out to be ‘wrong’, and end up in the all too familiar situation of paralysis by analysis.

A broader view of success

To counteract this, Dr Lesley puts forward a broader view of success as being as an outcome, which in fact is more related to the original meaning of the word success; and the corollary is that by creating more outcomes, we create more success.

But how do we create outcomes?

By making more moves!

The Why, What and How

So this post will take a look at the why, the what and the how: at what making a move entails, why we might benefit from making more moves and how to go about it.

Why move?

We are designed to move. In fact, we only stop moving when we are dead! Two of the best recognised anti-aging strategies are regular physical exercise to energise our bodies and learning new skills to energise our minds: movement in the body; movement in the mind.

What kind of movement?

Regular exercise is proven to make most people feel better.

Emotion - e-motion- is energy in movement. We are all familiar with the flow of our emotions. They come and they go, sometimes too fast and sometimes not fast enough.

It’s important to our physical and mental health for us to be aware of the flow and to let it happen. Just as blockages in the gut manifest as constipation and feeling sluggish, so blockages in our emotions can manifest as feeling stuck and apathetic.

Being really listened to and ‘heard’ is another thing that is proven to make most people feel better. Is this because when we are listened to we are 'in flow'?

The frontal cortex is the most recently developed part of the brain. The work of Stephen Porges and others has lead to our understanding of our need to interact and engage with others. We are designed to be involved with other people and to give and receive support, all of which involve movement.

So, why don’t we all make more moves?

Here are three reasons.

  1. We are quite happy where we are, thank you. Sometimes we are in an OK place and the old adage, If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, may be the most appropriate response. You may have found your groove and it is serving you well. In which case, it’s probably Ok to stay ‘stuck’.
  2. We are lazy and can’t be bothered making any changes. Another adage says that , The difference between a groove and a grave is a matter of depth! Sometimes we need to be shocked out of our complacency. In a recent TV program on ageing, volunteers were confronted, after a series of tests designed to measure their physical fitness, with their body’s ‘actual’ age, sometimes many, many years more than their birth age. The shock of this motivated these volunteers to embark on individually designed twelve week programs that enabled them to bring their body’s ‘actual’ age back and closer to their birth age.
  3. We are afraid to make the ‘wrong’ move. We fear that if we do something, it will be the ‘wrong’ thing and we will suffer the consequences. We may make a mistake.

With the right people, we can learn from a move that turns into a mistake

However, we learn through our mistakes. When we are surrounded by people with whom we feel sate, we can practice being more open about our mistakes.

Admitting a mistake gives us an opportunity to put it right and this may build a stronger relationship of trust with the people involved.

Also by admitting our mistake, we bring it more fully into our awareness and can start to explore ways of avoiding it in the future.

It’s often crucial to analyse our mistakes/what went wrong so that we can take appropriate action to create a future environment where what went wrong is less likely to happen. e.g. The bollards put in streets to prevent terrorists running their cars into pedestrians on the pavement.

There are ‘mistakes’ where it is clear that something ‘ought’ to have happened. And there is ‘what went wrong’ when something unexpected happens. We can view what went wrong as a ‘mistake’ and this may help us take personal responsibility not to repeat it; or we can also look at ‘what went wrong’ in terms of a larger picture that includes what else was going on at the same time that contributed to things going wrong. Perhaps no-one made a mistake but there are things that can be changed which will help prevent whatever went wrong from happening again.

The fact is, that none of us know what the future will bring. We can make a move and the outcomes of that move are affected by many things. We often talk about being with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. And that is so true. We may make a move and it turns out that we were with the ‘wrong’ people’ in the ‘wrong’ place at the ‘wrong’ time.

We can only make an educated guess at the likely outcomes of any move that we make. The more complex the situation we are dealing with - and leadership is always a complex situation because it involves people - the more factors are likely to play into our choice of move and the greater likelihood of unintended consequences. It’s a risk we have to take.


The courage to make a move

Making a move takes courage even when we are reasonably sure of the outcomes that will ensue.


Courage is an attribute of love. When we love someone or something, we find the courage to make a move to support that person or thing.


Courage is strong. Connecting with courage gives us strength.


The takeaway

We can all benefit from making more moves.


But rather than putting a focus on how we are going to make more moves, why not put the focus on taking courageous action? The question then changes. Instead of asking ourself, ‘What is my next move in this situation?’ we ask the questions, ‘Who or what do I love most in this situation?' and, 'Where do I find the courage to make a move to support what I care about’?


I challenge you to find a place in your life where you are stuck; where you want to move forwards but can’t find a way. It might be a relationship that has stalled or a job that has turned into a dead end or you may be unhappy with yourself, discontented with where you are at. Think of what you truly love in this situation. What move or moves might you make to support what you truly love? Take your courage in both hands. Let your courage give you strength. Make a move, any move, even a very small one, towards what you truly love.


Think of water breaking through a dam and remember that water is often used to represent emotion. The water (your courage) starts to build behind the dam. Eventually, it trickles over, the trickle becomes a current, and the current becomes a flood.

Make a move!