When we are running on battery power and drained, the tools, insights, and approaches that we most need sound wrong. Plugged in, we will see these tools, insights, and approaches as not only right but as tender gifts.
Take this one for instance: “You are 100% responsible for everything that happens in your life.”
(Yes, we’re going here. Hang on; it’ll be worth it.)
On battery power, that comment is at least misguided and at most insulting, disrespectful, inconsiderate, hurtful, and even hateful.
When we are plugged in, that comment is at least a welcome challenge and at most a precious gift, a badge of honor and belonging, and a joyful reminder of our birthright.
How can one sentence–nay, one word: responsible–be so differently interpreted? Easily: it depends on our charge, on how recently we’ve plugged in (that is, how recently we’ve spent even a few minutes focusing our attention on whatever we appreciate). The same is true for all great wisdom: we are one, there is only the present, start with only the first step, boldness is rewarded, feel good then act, everyone is doing the very best they can, thoughts of good and bad miss the point, thoughts create the world, there is only love, it all makes sense, you belong, etc.
If you saw that “100% responsible” statement as something negative, try this experiment. Spend just 15 minutes noticing and writing down anything and everything you appreciate. It can be in the world or in you, near or far, small or large, mundane or profound. You may need to wait for 20 seconds or so to notice your next thing to appreciate. If you find yourself drifting into anything that feels bad, set aside that thought and return to appreciation. Pay special attention to things you think you should appreciate but that feel bad to consider or are wrapped up in things you really don’t appreciate. Set these aside and find something, anything to appreciate. When you are done, go back a reread the “100%” comment. What do you notice?
Teach this to your team, good leader. With enough of this going around, we’ll be hard pressed not to succeed.
In your corner,