I love this ball – but it wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, this ball and I have had a difficult relationship. Matt Gagliano is a skilled personal trainer who keeps me moving toward improved flexibility and strength – both important for my physical and mental well being. During our training I learn a lot about my strengths and limitations – physically, emotionally, mentally and behaviorally. I have embraced my strengths, and have kept a respectable distance from my limitations.

What does this bright yellow ball have to do with it? A lot because when Matt put the ball on the floor the other day the words “I hate this ball!” came out before I knew it. At this point in my training I know what exercise this ball signifies and the exercise is difficult for me. I am taxed to the edge of my strength and endurance and I wonder each time we start whether I am going to be successful.

When I heard myself I was really surprised and immediately aware of my underlying negative attitude and fear of pain and the implications for limited success. Within a few seconds I reviewed why I was there – Am I here to have 45 minutes of exercise and conversation or am I really interested in improving my well-being? Was I compliant or committed to the written goals Matt and I had previously set? Was I showing up or engaged? And then, is this the model I want to be for myself and for others? After all, I develop, research, teach and coach Behavioral Intelligence™ which is all about behaving in ways to be your personal best. And then the shift: what an opportunity to adjust my thinking and my behavior to reach the next stage in my development.

These thoughts and feelings flipped through my mind with lightning speed and almost as quickly I re-framed the exercise and declared “I Love This Ball.” As I embraced my nemesis it was no longer the roadblock to overcome or to figure out how to get through as easily as possible but as an aide to improvement. I stopped, thought things through, assessed the situation, re-examined by goals, refocused my intention and remembered how to use the ball to strengthen my mind as well as my body. My execution may or may not have looked different to someone watching but I know that the result of this re-framing made an internal difference that strengthened my resolve and behavior as well as my muscles. I noticed the smile on my face and my sense of well-being and satisfaction.

After some reflection and review I realized the STARR™Process steps for improving Behavioral Intelligence ™ were executed. It is now the end of the week, the insights have crystallized into more consistently changed behavior, I am still smiling and greet the ball with enthusiasm. I even want the ball around when not in use as my reminder of my commitment to continual improvement and learning at the most unexpected times!

Most of us have had these unexpected moments of awareness and insight and maybe even transformation. What are your stated commitments? What is your ball? How are you a STARR?