Do you remember the story of “The Wiz”? In this story we saw the characters of Dorothy, who had wanted to run away from home because she thought there was a better place somewhere. We also met the scarecrow who believed he had no brain, the lion who thought he had no courage, and the kindly tin man who assumed he had no heart.
Together the four of them set off to the Emerald City to find The Wiz in hopes that he could bestow upon them these virtues and find a way for Dorothy to go back home.
Even though Dorothy had thought she had wanted to be somewhere else, once she arrived in Munchkin Land she realized that her dreams of being in a different place were not what she thought they would be. Disappointed in the reality she desperately wanted to return to Kansas and be with her loving family.
How many of us can relate to their dilemma? For some reason we think there is greener pasture on the other side or that we do not possess the characteristics necessary to fulfill our dreams.
I know one thing.
I know this thing with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my being.
I know that I have the choice to be who I am, when I am, where I am.
I may not have a choice, today, about what I do for a living, where I live, or what kind of car I drive.
But if who I am today is a writer, I’m a writer, even if I live in a homeless shelter, write on paper bags with stubs of pencils, and take the bus to a job in a fast food joint to try to get out of the shelter.
If who I am today is a writer, I’m a writer, even if my kids are sick, my car is broken down, my computer won’t boot and I haven’t sold anything in years.
But if who I am today is a writer, and I decide that who I should be is a doctor, I’m going to be pretty miserable, because who I am is a writer.
On the other hand, if I’m a writer who wants to become a doctor, I’ve got a great handle on who I am, who I want to be, and probably an idea of whether it’s possible and how to get there.
Never lose sight of who you are. Be who you are, no matter where you are, or when you are.
One of the keys to reaching your goals is to eliminate escape routes. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more compelling then going back.
When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable.
When Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, one of his first orders to his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.
Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to keep in mind that although Cortez had his men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the food and supplies. Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and create the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing.
All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but it isn’t necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but don’t be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay.
Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don’t have resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account balance or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk.
Closing off the escape routes and making sure that you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the tools, supplies and resources you need to achieve your goals. You can’t eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don’t just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward.
As the saying goes “It takes two to tango.” Well, it also takes two to argue. It is impossible to have an argument with someone if they don’t participate. If your goal is to reach a solution and create a win/win outcome, arguing isn’t the route to take. Instead the best way to reach a collaborative conclusion is to ask questions.
We are taught to ask questions in coaching so the other person can hear in their own words the solutions. In fact it is said that coaches do not ask questions so they can hear the answer, but so the client can hear the answer. Questions allow the person to take ownership and responsibility for the solution. Although there are times, when coaching a client, that I already know the answer. It is more powerful to allow my client to come to it on their own in their own words.
The same works in an argument. If all you want to do is argue, questioning isn’t likely to be helpful. But, if you want to co-create a solution, questioning can assist in creating a solution that will be agreeable to both parties.
Time and again I have find that it is useless to argue or try to reason with person, especially when talking about a subject they are very passionate about. The person always begins the conversation believing I am wrong and they are right… which is the foundation to arguments. By asking simple questions, that person begins to see the problem from a different perspective. Most of the time the conversation ends with the agreement to disagree. Questioning allows us all to work through the problem and think about it in a different way.
I am definitely finding this process helpful anytime there is conflict. In truth, unless you just want to have a good argument and be a butt hole living the troll life, my opinion would be to avoid defending your position and focus on asking questions. Questions take the heat out of the situation and allow both parties to view the problem from a different perspective. Even if you know the answer, the other person will be more open to the solution if they are allowed to discover it on her or his own.
Everyone has particular skills and abilities. It is vital to develop them and use them to profit yourself and give something to the society. The question is: are you a talented person or is there a calling that makes you a genius?
Every person has particular abilities or skills that make them different from the others. There are no similar genetic codes, so there are no completely alike people. Some of the abilities are placed in a genetic code and are to be developed during a lifetime. About our hidden abilities and talents we get to know in kinder garden or in elementary school. This is a regular way to discover yourself and your calling, but sometimes a person may find out that he or she is gifted in arts only being a teenager or even later.
The secret to creativeness is to begin with good problems. Then you need to turn those problems into challenging challenges. After that, dandy ideas will almost fabricate themselves.
Almost every creative thought is a potential answer to a problem. Einstein’s theory of relativity was about working out a discrepancy between electromagnetism and physics. Post-its were about discovering a use for not very sticky glue. Picasso’s cubistic paintings were about working out the problem of mapping cubic space on flat canvases. And so forth and so forth.
Before you even consider generating ideas, you need to turn your trouble into a challenge. Because, if you begin yielding ideas to solve the wrong trouble, you may have dandy ideas, 55 – but they’ll probably be crappy solutions.
Just to be clear and matter of fact like, when people are saying “Black Lives Matter”, they are NOT saying “Only Black Lives Matter.” Because in truth, EVERYONE knows that “All Lives Matter.” But just like in any other thing created towards forward progress, the BLM movement was born out the need for a movement focusing on a particular problem that apparently some don’t seem to agree with.
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