The Ewan McGregor approach

Keivor and I have been watching ‘The Long Way Down.’ It’s the documentary where Ewan McGregor (swit swoo – life long crush) and Charlie Borman motorbike from John O’Groats to Cape Town. What I was noticing last night whilst watching was Ewan McGregor’s approach to new situations. It is a theme throughout the programmes that Ewan (first name terms now) laughs, makes jokes and expresses his awe at new landscapes, interactions or difficulties.

At one point when the two were in a really chaotic, crazy, hot ferry port in Egypt instead of being stressed out and frustrated Ewan exclaims ‘this is fantastic, fantastic, this is the stuff of real adventure isn’t it!’ Not a touch of concern or stress, more like a child having his first experience in an adventure playground.

When I coach clients I sometimes invite them to chose a ‘lens’ through which to view a situation they are having difficulty with. The ‘lens’ could be an optimistic lens, a peaceful lens, a collaborative lens. And last night whilst watching I started to wonder what life would be like looking through a Ewan McGregor lens.

I tried the lens out myself, and started to see that this laughy, jokey, awe inspired view of the world felt really fun, really playful, like life was relaxed and an adventure and certainly not serious.

And it made me wonder about success. On first impressions you’d think Ewan McGregor had this perspective because he has experienced a huge range of success in his career and life. But I have a suspicion he achieved his level of success because of his outlook, rather than his success shaping his outlook. Obviously, I’d be coyly made-up if the beautiful man himself were to get in touch to clarify whether this is in fact the case, but for the time being I’m going to say, I believe joy leads to success, rather than success leads to joy.

Too many times have I come across individuals who tell themselves stories like ‘when I have this much money then I’ll have a positive perspective on the world’… ‘When I achieve this much success in my business then I’ll be able to laugh and joke at things and see life as an adventure…’ But the opposite is true, stepping into the way you want to feel after you reach your goals before you reach your goals, means the goals come quicker and easier. As Danielle LaPorte says, the journey is the destination.

So with that, I choose the Ewan McGregor lens. Life is an adventure, it’s fun, it’s awe-inspiring. Today I am going into the South Downs, to look at a potential space for a retreat I am running later this year with a colleague (look out for more info) and I know that if I approach the journey of finding that space using the Ewan McGregor lens, it will lead to a successful outcome.

So I invite you to think about a goal you want to reach in the future. Think about how you want to feel when you achieve that goal. Now imagine that feeling as a lens through which you can look at all of life. Name the lens. Bring that perspective, that lens into your life today. If you approach life from this new perspective, what becomes possible?

If you’d like to private message me what comes up for you – don’t hesitate.

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