Edward was demonstrating the Brand New Borehole for me.
Zambia is littered with broken-down boreholes.  A borehole is a machine drilled well, with a hand pump, which you’ve seen in countless clean water ads.  It’s the cleanest and most secure well system, as well as the most expensive.  However, it’s often the worst solution for a remote village.  You see, these foreign organizations in an air-conditioned board room 1,000’s of miles away looked at the data and decided that they would fund them.  Then, a local branch of that organization, still staffed with foreigners, showed up in the village and told someone that they would be bringing in a borehole.  They met with someone, probably a headman or chief, who said they represented everyone, and together with that person or few people, they chose the location for this borehole. 

Then, the foreign donors brought in a machine, drilled the hole, set the pump, and left.  They may have had a meeting with the community about it, but most likely they didn’t.  The average community member had no knowledge of its coming and no discussion about its location. They had no power or contribution in the situation.  (And we’re not even getting into the gender inequalities with women being responsible for the water but having no power to influence where it is located).  They’ll celebrate the clean new water and use it while it lasts.  (That is, unless, the headman had it put at his house and tells everyone else they can’t use it.  That’s another issue, but we won’t go into that here.)  So, for a few years the village uses this new borehole and they have good water. 

Then a $30 part breaks and the $10,000 borehole is kaput.  No one in the community was involved in the process of acquiring it, so they have no ownership of it.  No one knows how to fix it and there are no systems in place to raise funds for the part or the repairs.  That foreign donor is far away & tooting the horn about what they did for these people, while the people have gone back to getting their water from the river they always depended on.  If the community had been consulted and involved, they would either know how to fix the borehole or the donor would have provided supplies for the village to dig their own hand dug wells that can easily and cheaply be fixed by the same community.  That solution costs less than a 10% of what a borehole costs and it is sustainable.  It just doesn’t sound as good on the donor’s newsletter. 

So, besides a nice little lesson on my opinions of boreholes, why am I telling you this?  What on earth does it have to do with you?  As your coach, I could come in like that foreign donor and tell you what I see as the best solutions for your problems.  That might even give you a nice shiny solution for awhile.  But, because the solution didn’t come from you and you didn’t really buy into it with your whole heart and your own action; when it stops being easy you’ll just give up.  It wasn’t really your solution, it was mine.  Instead I’ll come to you open to all the possibilities.  I’ll suggest alternatives to the ones you’re looking at and help you dream big, using YOUR knowledge and special skills to make the best possible solution for you.  And because of that ownership, you will fly higher and farther than either of us can even imagine, because the world is all yours for the taking and we’re not limiting you to the ideas I come in with.     

In any area of your life, when you participate in the decisions and take ownership of the process, you'll find more success and progress.  (You can also probably see that I’m not likely to encourage you to donate to foreign aid projects unless you know for sure that they’re assisting the local people to implement their own ideas.) 

If you are ready to find the most magical solutions for your life, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together.  Or go here to set up a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magic we can find. 
contract commitment
via Flickr by LOSINPUN
_ We just bought a house, which is a huge commitment.  We agreed to pay the bank for the next thirty years and I'll admit my jaw dropped when, during our closing, the lawyer said "and your final payment will be January 1, 2042."  When you talk about 2042, that sounds like such a far off date!  Anyway, now we have our own house and I've found that ownership has really changed some of my housekeeping behaviors.  I realized it today as I was changing our air filters.  Before, I sometimes let our filters go for 3-4 months before I changed them.  I was still breathing that air in my other homes, but the fact that I own this house has made me feel differently.  An eagerness to take care of my nest.  I've never been a total slob, but I've found a new yearning to make a master chore chart and even divide the activities by time periods (monthly, weekly, etc.), something I've never done before either. 

This new-found motivation got me thinking about ownership of our dreams.  Many times, we're scared to say them out loud or commit to them just in case we might fail or they might not come true.  We let fear get in the way of our full potential.  Really, though, owning them and committing to them is the best way to make them come true.  A helpful exercise that we can all employ is to write out a contract for fulfillment of that dream, just like I did for my house.  I wouldn't suggest 30 years terms for this- who wants to wait that long?!- but one to three years should be perfect for most dreams. 

Our house deed includes our names, dates, a description of the house, the terms of payment, witnesses, and our signatures.  A dream contract needs the same.  Write it in a fancy legal way or art it out if you like or, both, so you access both sides of the brain.  Put the date of the contract and the date of completion both.  Describe the dream out in full detail- what you want to achieve, why it matters to you & to the world, how you will feel differently, etc.  Flesh it out so that it feels as real as my house does. 

Then, make your payment terms, which in this case would be the steps you'll take each month or even each week to make it come true.  If your dream is to be an Olympic figure skater, your payments would be your daily training time, the coach you'll work with, the choreographer you'll work with, etc.  If your dream is to open a vintage thrift shop, your payments would include learning about the business, finding your upstart capital/investors, seeking out the merchandise, etc.  Set a date for each of those payments, so that you will have a timeline to follow and you can hold yourself accountable to the contract. 

Finally, sign it and share it with at least one trusted friend who will sign as your witness.  When we name and claim something out loud and in the open, it has more power.  If your dream details are too personal to share, just ask your friend to witness your commitment without reading the contract.  Post it in a place you’ll see it often and be reminded of it.  You can use this easy template I made for you or make your own. 

And then, leap out there and make it happen!  I believe in you, the universe believes in you, and you WILL succeed! 

If you need support in setting your commitments and taking the action you need, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together.  Or email me for a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.