“There are moments when I wish someone would just tell me what to do, and make me do it! Is that weird?”
No, in fact, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson,
“Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.”
So go look in the mirror, because…
You and you alone can make you do what you can.
You’ll have to be the coach, the player, and the fan.
As someone has said, “Pray as if it’s all up to God; act as if it’s all up to you.”
Now that you are taking on all three roles, the world better watch out. It’s game on!
Russian author Leo Tolstoy said,
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Isn’t it interesting how much easier it is to focus on changing others rather than changing ourselves?
Wives complain about husbands who won’t do right…and husbands complain about wives who won’t do right.
Parents complain about children who won’t do right…and children complain about parents who won’t do right.
Employees complain about the boss who won’t do right…and bosses complain about employees who won’t do right.
And on it goes.
But you rarely hear a person say, “I am having a little trouble getting myself to do right.”
And yet, isn’t “changing myself” the one area over which I have the most control? Isn’t that the change that offers the greatest possibility?
We probably won’t have much success changing others (no matter how much we’re convinced they should do what we want them to do!)
But the great thing about being human is: we can change. And when we do, we change our world
This may be the most hopeful news we could hear. (And there may even be a few people around us who are hoping we’ll hear it!)
“Sometimes I have the disturbing feeling that something is missing.”
And sometimes it’s a good thing to be disturbed!
Being disturbed can shake things up, clear away the cobwebs, and bring a fresh perspective. Or it can motivate us to go a little deeper, to think about what truly matters to our lives.
On the other hand, an undisturbed mind can become like an undisturbed, stagnant pond, a collector of scum and a breeding ground for nasty insects and reptiles of the brain.
But as to that feeling that something is missing…try out these “disturbing” words from Michael Korda:
“Act impeccably! Perform every act as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered.”
Or as the Bible says,
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
In other words, there’s always the possibility that the only thing that is missing…is you, the whole you, nothing but the you!
It’s easy to get in the habit of just going with the flow at work, keeping our opinions to ourselves. After all, she who rocks the boat is sometimes the first one pushed overboard.
And yet, a boat that’s not rocking may be going nowhere. As Walter Lippman said,
“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.”
The question then is how to rock the boat without getting dunked. Consider the following story.
Robert Townsend, former CEO of Avis Rent-A-Car tells about an associate who had a unique way of expressing his disagreement. When Townsend was pressing a new idea that this associate didn’t think would work, the associate would send Townsend a memo that read:
“Dear Jefe de Oro [an Inca form of address that means Chief of Gold]: If you say so, it will be my hourly concern to make it so. But before I sally forth in service of this, your latest cause, I must tell you with deep affection and respect that you’re full of it again.”
The associate understood the power of rocking the boat gently and respectfully, with a dash of humor.