The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for The Positive Adventure Approach

Some people choose to see events as positive adventures. They take this approach when looking ahead to the day, doing a piece of work or tackling a challenge. They then go through the stages of absorption, adventure and achievement.

You may take this approach when writing, gardening, painting, running or doing another activity. You do so when encouraging a person, doing a project, running a workshop, leading a team or reframing a challenge.

People often feel alive when taking these steps. They enjoy the adventure of exploring, learning and creating. They may then reach their aim and enjoy a sense of achievement.

One key point is worth bearing in mind. Different people have different definitions of achievement. This can be useful to remember when encouraging people to develop.

For some people achievement means enjoying an experience, helping others to grow or creating positive memories. For some it means gaining a badge, winning a prize or reaching a specific target.

Looking back, can you think of a situation when: a) You chose to see something as a positive adventure; b) You went through some of these steps?

You may have been doing a specific activity, tackling a challenge or aiming to reach a particular goal. This could have been in your personal or professional life.

How did you translate your ideas into action? How did you encourage yourself on the journey? What happened as a result of taking these steps?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

Imagine that you want to go through some of these stages again in the future. Let’s explore how you may can do this in your own way.

Positive Adventures
In The Future

One approach is to choose to frame something as a positive adventure. Another approach is to do an activity where you are most likely to go through the stages of absorptions, adventure and achievement. You can then treat this as a positive adventure.

Imagine that you have chosen to take the second approach. You can start by clarifying the activities where you feel absorbed. Different people experience this feeling when doing different activities. Here are some of the things they mention.

I feel absorbed when I am:

Cooking nourishing food … Being with my horse … Singing in the choir … Dancing … Creating beautiful things … Teaching people to sail … Finding ways to make things work … Making films for my YouTube Channel … Practising osteopathy … Solving technical problems … Managing certain kinds of crises.

People who are absorbed in an activity sometimes experience a sense of flow. They feel fully present and time goes away. They often emerge with a sense of satisfaction.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to describe the activities where you feel absorbed.

Absorption

I feel absorbed when I am:

*

*

*

Imagine that you want to focus on doing one of these activities in the future. Looking at the activity, you may want to pursue it for pleasure or to do a piece of creative work.

You may simply want to do something that gives you joy or satisfaction. This can be good for the soul. It can you give you positive energy and be fulfilling.

You may want to translate the activity into doing a particular project. This could be writing an article, renovating a house, developing a skill, solving a problem, tackling a challenge or aiming to achieve a specific goal.

How can you pursue this activity or project? What could be the benefits for yourself or for other people? When would you like to begin?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

Adventure

Maria Montessori, the educator, said that children often become absorbed in an activity. They apply themselves, learn and enjoy the adventure of being creative. Finally they reach their goal and experience a sense of achievement.

Imagine that you want to pursue a particular activity or project. How can you apply yourself? How can you set aside time to flow? How can you give the task your full attention?

You may set aside time to write, cook, sing or do mountain biking. You may aim to do a creative project, tackle a challenge or do another stimulating activity.

How can you apply your abilities? How can you build on your strengths? How can you improve your skills and add to your repertoire? How can continue to develop?

Many people love to explore, learn and adventure. Sometimes this can involve pursuing the following aspects of the creative approach.

Imagine that you are pursuing this approach. You may start by choosing to focus on a particular theme you want to explore. This will involve opening up and gathering lots of information about the theme.

After a while you will want to summarise what you have learned. This will lead to closing down and beginning to clarify what you have learned.

The information you have gathered may reveal some topics you want to explore in more depth. You may again go through the process of opening up and closing down until you feel ready to move into action.

Clicking into action, you will build on your strengths and add what you have learned. Applying your skills, you will continue until you feel satisfied with the piece of creative work.

There are several points to bear in mind when following this approach. The first is knowing when to open up and when to close down. This calls for assimilating the learning and then focusing on the next topic you want to explore more deeply.

The second is knowing when to move into action. You will have gathered lots of knowledge, but it will be important to apply this in practice. This can only be done by moving into action.

Sometimes you may feel ready. Sometimes you may not feel ready but decide to start the work anyway. Believing that some of the answers may emerge on the journey, you say:

“Let’s crack on and do version 1.0”

You craft the work as you go along. Sometimes this involve producing several versions until you feel satisfied with the final piece of creative work.

You will, of course, follow this journey in your own way. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

Achievement

Imagine that you are pursuing an activity or doing a project. You will absorb yourself in the task and continue to develop. You may also work towards achieving a specific aim.

Sometimes the aim may be emotional. It may be to enjoy an experience or help others to take away positive memories. Sometimes the aim may be more tangible. It may be to see a finished product, achieve a target or lift a prize.

As mentioned earlier, people have different definitions of achievement. This is governed by what they set out to do. Bearing in mind what they can control, here are some things that people have said regarding what they want to achieve.

Achievement 

The specific things I want to achieve
by doing the activity or project are:

To regain my zest for life … To help people enjoy the journey of learning … To create beautiful meals that give people enjoyment … To provide a framework in which people can find fulfilment … To share knowledge that enables people to shape their futures … To make music that some people find inspiring … To give people positive memories. 

To achieve a personal best in a triathlon … To lead a yachting team around the world and back home safely … To produce 3 players every year who move from the Academy to the First Team … To make television films that encourage people to care for animals … To create a successful social enterprise … To build and sell a pioneering company.

You will have your own way of finishing, but here are some suggestions. It may be useful:

To set aside a block of time to do the activity and make the best use of your prime times – the times of the day when you have most energy;

To follow your ritual for starting, follow your chosen rhythm and, if appropriate, achieve small goals on the road to achieving the bigger goal;

To follow your successful pattern for finishing – one you have followed before to finish properly – then to flow, focus, finish and find fulfilment.

There are many ways live life. One approach is to see or frame events as a positive adventure.  It is then to go through the stages of absorption, adventure and achievement.

Let’s return to the specific thing you want to do. What do you want to achieve by doing your chosen activity or project? How can you do your best to achieve these aims?

What will show that you have achieved your aims? What will you be feeling, saying and thinking? What may other people be feeling, saying and thinking? What else may be happening?

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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