Learning to Lead the Change won’t happen overnight, but it won’t take you years to master either. I also love to cook, so I like to to think of Leading the Change as a gourmet meal, and in order to make this meal we will need a few key ingredients. The first ingredient we will discuss is Presence.
Presence is defined as, “the state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing,” and you can not Lead the Change without being present. By definition, presence should be easy; you simply have to exist, and bam, you are present. Super easy, right? Sadly, that is not the case. To be truly present, you must do so in body AND in mind. Unfortunately for most of us, our world is filled with so many distractions that even when our bodies are present, our minds are elsewhere.
Let’s take a step back for a moment; why do you want to be involved with horses? Go on, take a minute to really think about this before you read on. I’ll still be here, I promise…
Welcome back! I don’t know why you want to be involved in horses, but I have horses because I love everything about them. Horses are beautiful, powerful, gentle creatures who are so incredibly trusting and willing to give all of themselves to those they trust, it’s inspiring. That willingness and trust allows us to build a relationship with them that is beyond words, a connection that can not be duplicated in any other relationships we form. I train horses because I want to others to experience this type of relationship; see our 5/17/17 blog post about Jason Leading the Change for just one example. There are some days though, that I just want to ride my old mare on the trail and escape the rest of my world. The time I get to actually just ride Angel is beyond rare though, and therefore, extremely precious.
If you are anything like me, the time you have with your horse is also pretty precious, you spend a lot of money to have this horse, sacrifice a lot to make the time to spend with them, and you want to form the type of relationship I’m talking about. Far too often however, this becomes what that precious time look like.
Now, before you get defensive and tell me you were just checking the time, or changing your pandora station, stop. You will get no shaming from me; I’m guilty of this too, but oddly enough, only when I’m on my favorite horse Angel…the one that I rarely get to ride. Isn’t that funny?
Why do we so readily sacrifice what is most precious to us to distraction? It’s not just our mobiles that distract us either, they are just the only distraction I have a picture of to use as an example. Distractions are anything that take our mind away from our body, and they are plentiful.
This phenomenon is not limited to us equestrians either, it is an epidemic in our modern world. How many times have you sat down to dinner with a loved one and spent most of your meal distracted by watching TV or texting a friend?
Distractions are not inherently evil and some are beyond beautiful; regardless, they are Change’s most favorite way to sneak in and take over, so in order to Lead the Change, we must be present and avoid distraction. We can still Lead the Change once Change has used distraction to take away our presence and sneak into our saddle, it will just take more time and some ingredient substitution, but if we can avoid distraction and stay present, our gourmet meal known as Leading the Change, will come out much tastier with much less effort.
Someone great once said that, “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time because when you are giving someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you will never get back.” I disagree. We’ve already seen how distraction can sabotage your precious time. Presence; it is not only the first ingredient in Leading the Change, it is the most precious gift you can give. So why not give your presence to your horse, to your loved ones, and most importantly, to yourself?
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