What’s In You Today

What do you have in you today? What can you do, think, or feel today? What is possible for your experience of life today?

Please rest assured, you have enough in you to be great today. I say this not knowing what you intend to accomplish. But no matter how limited your initial thoughts on this topic, please understand my point.

Your capacity to imagine greatness in this moment doesn’t change your capability to manifest it. In other words, the old adage, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right,” is wrong. Dead wrong. It’s not an absolute. Optimists fail and doubters prove themselves wrong on a daily basis. The only thing that hides us from these facts is denial. Why live in the illusion of denial when something more powerful exists? These clear facts exist: We can experience great thoughts, feelings, and actions out of the blue, and others experience the greatness of our thoughts, feelings, and actions without our awareness.

You don’t have the capacity to understand how powerful a little gesture might be to someone else. You simply can’t judge it. You aren’t in their shoes, and you may not be in the right frame of mind to see how powerful any kindness can seem to someone else. Have you ever expressed deep gratitude to someone only to have them shrug off their efforts as no big deal? It didn’t seem like no big deal to you, did it?

Not only that, but the person on the receiving end of your kindness may change her mind about its power down the road of time. How often do we come to understand the impact of someone’s influence on us only after they’ve moved on? Shouldn’t we take time to appreciate those people today? Shouldn’t each of us strive to be one of those people?

Furthermore, you do not have the capacity to judge the impact of your own efforts on yourself without the benefit of passing time. How often do we look back and discover that small seeds sprouted into something enormous? Shouldn’t we recognize the enormous potential of the little things that exist in this moment as it occurs?

Nobody is guaranteed anything. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you may still be capable of greatness. You may not always manifest it. That’s life. You win some, you lose some. But before rejecting your potential for greatness, allow me to ask: Who are you to judge your capacity for greatness before giving it a shot?

Trust what’s in you today. It’s enough.

Unseen Anchors

Hebrews 6:19. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul….

Hope is an anchor for the soul. We’ve heard this over and over the last month. It seems to be one of the most reassuring ideas we can entertain. Yet why, at times, why does it seem like hope’s anchor is bludgeoning us over the head?

Don’t we all do it? Don’t we hope for a bigger paycheck, a smaller tumor, an easier path through life, more sunshine and less rain, fewer red lights and less traffic? It seems no matter how big or small, hope let’s us down from time to time. The bigger the hope, the bigger the letdown. It’s almost as if life would be easier if we simply abandoned hope.

And yet, to abandon hope would be to misunderstand the analogy. Hope is useful anchor. It’s not always a useful expectation. Hope isn’t an outcome. It’s a force.

Consider an anchor on a boat. It can be useful to inspect an anchor from time to time and admire it’s beauty or functionality. But when we are inspecting the anchor, it is not in use. And this is where the analogy gains its true power. An anchor at use is unseen. It does its work, keeping us grounded where we want to be, from beneath the rolling surface of stormy waters.

Hope as an anchor keeps us firmly planted where we want to be while allowing us to go about our daily work dealing with the turmoil in front of us. It’s wise to occasionally inspect an anchor, but we need not keep our eye on the anchor to feel its force and effects. Indeed, in order to deal with more pressing matters raging against us, at times we need to toss the anchor overboard into the depths and trust that it will do its job even when we lose sight of it.

When dealing with life, hope may be the last thing on your mind. Yet as long as you have occasionally inspected the anchor of hope, making adjustments and repairs as needed, you can trust it to do its job. From somewhere beyond your vision, you will be able to feel the pull of a strong and steady anchor as it works its purpose, firmly rooting your vessel, keeping you from drifting too far away from your intended center.

Hope is an anchor, and the true strength of an anchor isn’t in what you see. It’s in what you feel.

Our best to you and yours. May be be anchored with hope, even when your sight line is adrift.

The Importance of Trust in Cultures

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of implied cultures (to read yesterday’s article, click here: The Importance of Implied Culture). Today, I want to touch upon the importance of implied trust within cultures.

If you are a regular reader of my columns, you understand my multiple reasons for cautioning against buying into the illusion of control (to read more about illusions of control, click here: Be Aware). Most importantly, it stifles freedom and creativity.

In a culture of two or more, trust and control are not compatible. Why is this the case? Consider human relationships. When you feel the need to control another person (please note, true control is an illusion, but some people buy into the illusion), it is likely because you do not trust them. If you trust them, there is no felt need to control them, and there are no actions taken to control them, actions that are often taken to communicate a lack of trust.

Lack of trust and attempts to control can only divert attention and effort that is required to perform at one’s best. To use a football analogy, how good can a quarterback be if he constantly caught up in mistrust of blocking and receiving? Certainly adjustments are needed, but trust in others’ abilities to perform their roles is necessary for maximum attention to one’s own job duties. Without trust, the system will perform less than optimally when everyone – except the leader – performs their duties to their maximum potential. When the leader fails, what happens to making the play? To continue with our football analogy, if a quarterback changes his footwork or throws in anticipation of mistakes that do not occur, the play will break down due to a lack of sequence, timing, or positioning.

If you hang onto the idea that you need to control another’s thoughts, feelings, or actions (or even if you hang onto the illusion that you can control another’s thoughts, feelings, or actions), you will never fully trust them, and you will constantly spin your wheels seeking a control that you will never realize. This will also probably be experienced as frustration and confusion for the other person (or more than one person), and your organization will become bogged down in frustration and confusion.

Thus, attempts to control lead to frustration and confusion and tend to communicate a lack of trust. Without trust, you will stifle the freedom of your organization. Without trust, you will never experience the insight and exponential growth that only results from freedom to explore the limits of what is possible.

You might be thinking, but trust needs to be earned, and isn’t it true that people can prove themselves to be untrustworthy? Absolutely, and this is why it is so important to be trustworthy if you are devoted to the cause of your organization. Any lack of trust threatens to undermine possibility and progress and is likely to bring more attempts to control into play. However, keep in mind that the first show of mistrust is an attempt to control in the first place.

Trust in others, and build pathways for them to show their worth. If they fail, continue to show trust in their ability to improve. This is the path to a great culture.