In the book, Die Empty, Todd Henry conceptualizes our behaviors in an interesting way.
Key behaviors include: Mapping, Making and Meshing.
When we’re mapping, we’re in planning mode. Figuring out what needs to be done, and the how/when/where/who of getting it done. Pen and paper. Keyboard. Calendar. Resources at hand.
When we’re making, we’re in action mode. Creating, writing, leading, speaking, selling, producing. Making it happen. Getting it done.
And when we’re meshing, we’re in that rare but very valuable space where we’re taking time to reflect, learn and grow.
I think most of us are quite comfortable in the mapping and making arenas. There are plenty of structures and pressures – both internal and external – that point us in the direction of being productive (making) and smart/strategic (mapping) with our time.
But what about meshing? How often do we schedule days, hours, or even minutes to sit down and reflect, capture insights, wrestle with decisions in a productive way and learn/grow as a result?
When/where/how are we fitting in that critical third piece of success?
As I talk with people about this, I hear a variety of responses. From “I read a lot” to “I go to conferences for continuing education” to “Hmm.. I’m not really sure.”
And then something interesting happens. I can sense a wish bubble up.
A wish that there was more time for meshing. A wish that there was a consistent pattern. A wish that someone would help guide the process. A wish to not have to figure it out and do it alone.
There’s certainly no one right way of meshing. Different strokes for different folks. But when I sense or hear the wishes above, I often suggest looking into the possibility of joining a peer group.
There are many different flavors. Industry groups. Leadership groups. Networking groups. Seminar groups. Mastermind groups. Entrepreneur groups. CEO groups. And many others. All serve unique needs for different kinds of professionals and people.
But what they all have in common is this: they provide a venue. A time, space, structure and consistency for self development.
When I talk with long-term members of peer groups, I hear things like this:
“It’s been my secret weapon to business growth and personal growth.”
“I wish I had joined a group sooner.”
“While I probably could pull together some peers and some kind of process, I know I won’t. I’m too busy running my company, living my life, etc. The ROI of being in a group has been tremendous, and I wouldn’t have done this on my own.”
“Knowing that I have my group meeting once a month, keeps me pushing forward and keeps me accountable.”
Are there other good ways to mesh? Of course. Any time spent learning, growing, reflecting and figuring out how to use the lessons you’ve learned is time well spent. Whether you do it alone, with a friend, with a coach or with a group is up to you. But do it. Decide what will work best for you, and start meshing.
Your life and work will thank you.