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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Pinball Machine Coaching

Remember the pling and chunk of the balls being released into the launch lane for your quarter’s chance to play? The plunger launched the steel ball up to 90 miles per hour straight up the metal track guiding the ball into the arena. Much like the start of our day or a project, we hold good form and keep perspectives that serve forward momentum. And then the ball enters the field of habit bumpers, that can change the trajectory away from the goal.

Habit Bumpers: Choice or Preference?

Our sweet spot is between the edges of our habits. Just like the ball bouncing off of the bumpers, mindfulness around our preferences can be helpful to change our trajectory. For instance, if you prefer to do and to accomplish, you might spring off of the doing bumper and stack up the accomplishments. Keeping the goal with mindfulness, we can paddle back in play with the direction we desire. Take stock, notice, decide the next right step. Without assessment, your ball could careen into the exhausted bumper that sends you flying toward the kick out hole of depletion. Our preference to doing without assessment can yield being drained and wondering the purpose of my actions

Coach’s Nudge of the Do-er’s Ball:

  • What do you value?

  • Are you taking time to rest and appreciate the journey? Or do you feel harried by the constant pace?

  • What could you do differently this week to honor what is important to you?

What if the habit is to prefer quiet reflection and being vs. doing? This comfort habit might get your ball stuck. Isolation might drop your ball into the gobble hole and ends your turn. Your turn is your chance. A new ball is required to relaunch. Perhaps with accountability and planning, the habit of being gets nudged back into the game. A triple combo could even set you up with an add-a-ball!

Coach’s Nudge of the Be-er’s Ball:

  • What brings you wakefulness around your purpose?

  • Is what you are doing honoring your trajectory and moving you forward?

  • How mindful are you in your day?

  • What can ignite your desire to action? How could you hold accountability to keep going?

Keep the Ball Going

The success of the pinball game depends on the ability of the ball being paddled back into play without winding up in the outer rail to the drain or missing the shot to re-engage. Mindfulness around our habits and thoughts keep us in play by creating a new choice where we might have gone on auto-pilot. Reorient with a question. Post a question alarm on your phone to keep you present and alert to how your effort and momentum are going.

  • What keeps you going?

  • What reward could keep momentum?

  • How do you measure your progress?

  • What works for you to keep track?

  • Does imagining your success inspire you?

  • How do you hold time and space around your dedication?

May the image of playing pinball bring your heart and mind lightness. Throw in your quarters, enjoy the flashing lights and beeping sounds, and rack up your personal best score.



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