What are the 8 Dances of Life?

I developed the 8 Dances of Life model to help people take stock of their challenges, strengths and resources, set agile goals that fulfill multiple needs and values, and inspire them to lead themselves to follow through and get results. The model makes it easier to clearly see the complex interconnections and decide where to start making small, specific changes that will have the greatest impact in the short term while also moving you closer to reaching long-term goals like better health, less stress and greater productivity.

Life is a constant dance of deciding how to use our limited resources to take care of what we already have while also pursuing our goals.

Our home, things, work, relationships, time, money and information (information includes paper, digital information, email, memorabilia, etc.) are all resources we can use, but they are also resource drains — i.e., they require time and energy to take care of them.

No wonder it’s so easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by the 8 Dances of Life – we acquire resources to making our live more satisfying  but then it often feels like they are taking over our lives and making daily life harder rather than making it better.

Sometimes it feels like the more success and abundance we have, the less time and energy we have to actually enjoy them.  The additional maintenance and work that comes along with a better job, having a child, or moving into a bigger house, for example, may leave us feeling so stressed and over-committed that life can begin to feel more like a gilded cage than an adventure.

The more we have, the more easily we feel overwhelmed, exhausted and out of control. You may find yourself yearning for a simpler life but not ready to let go of what you have.

Deep down you may believe that with a little more self-control, you could make yourself do what it takes to maintain all your resources and we dream that would be they key to achieving our potential.

We tell ourselves that if only we had more self-control, we wouldn’t procrastinate, or get so distracted and unfocused.  If we could just get ourselves to do what it takes to organize, plan and finish all the chores and projects on our To Do lists, we would feel better about everything in our lives.  If only we could  control ourselves better we wouldn’t “waste” time being unproductive, all our email would be answered and we would actually read all those books we buy.

When self-control fails to work for you, chances are excellent that  self-leadership and the ability to agilize are what the situation requires.

Self-control has been so over-valued and over-emphasized in our society, we seem to have forgotten that control is not always needed.  In many cases, control is not even an option. For example, self-control is NOT always the best way to get yourself to do things like change habits and make the changes you want in your life.   In fact, for some people, trying to use self-control to change habits like disorganization, being late, or overeating actually does more harm than good.

AgiliZen is about cultivating your inner leader When you rebel against yourself, as evidenced by chronic overwhelm, frustration, procrastination and exhaustion, it’s time for your inner dictator to surrender and let your inner leader take over.

Your inner leader’s job is inspire and encourage rather than control you.  When you treat yourself the way you would want a respected leader to treat you — by asking questions, listening, establishing meaningful and realistic goals, facilitating, supporting and encouraging — a whole new world of possibilities for turning your life around opens up.

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  1. Pingback: What is the AgiliZen approach to Cultivating Agile Self-Leadership? | Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed

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