May 11, 2017
“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
Recently I had lunch with the department head of one of our cities most important organizations. Much of our time was spent discussing the challenges that come with moving an organizations people out of their comfort zones to a place where they can help create a positive future.
I shared with my friend how in the past I worked for an organization that went out of its way to back the innovators. The effort empowered employees to break through the boundaries established by excessive rules and traditions. As is so often the case the person doing a task knows how it can be done better but is not given the opportunity to implement their ideas. It is the winning organizations who embrace the concept that future growth comes from rewarding the creative risk takers, those willing to see beyond “We’ve have always done it this way” syndrome.
Here is a story that reminds me of the reason why so many of us stay in our ruts not realizing that all we need to do is move out of them.
The Elephant Rope
As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
John D. Rockefeller
At one point during a game, the coach called one of his 9-year-old baseball players aside and asked, “Do you understand what cooperation is? And….What the word team means?”
The little boy nodded in the affirmative.
“Do you understand that what matters is whether we win or lose together as a team?”
The little boy nodded yes.
“So,” the coach continued, “I’m sure you know, when an out is called, you shouldn’t argue, curse, attack the umpire, or call him a pecker-head. Do you understand all that?”
Once again the little boy nodded.
He continued, “And when I take you out of the game so another boy gets a chance to play, it’s not good sportsmanship to call your coach a “dumb ass” is it?”
Again the little boy nodded.
“Good,” said the coach. “Now go over there and explain all that to your grandmother.”
Before resolving to jog five miles a day, visit a cardiologist to have your heart examined, a podiatrist to have your feet examined and a psychiatrist to have your head examined.
The Michaels family owned a small farm in Canada, just yards away from the North Dakota border. Their land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for generations. Mrs. Michaels, who had just celebrated her ninetieth birthday, lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren.
One day, her son came into her room holding a letter. “I just got some news, Mom,” he said. “The government has come to an agreement with the people in Washington. They’ve decided that our land is really part of the United States. We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?”
“What do I think?” his mother said. “Jump at it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don’t think I could stand another one of these Canadian winters!”
To be able to look back upon one’s past life with satisfaction is to live twice.
Marcus Valerius Martial
She said: Needing to shed a few pounds, my husband and I went on a diet that had specific recipes for each meal of the day.
I followed the instructions closely, dividing the finished recipe in half for our individual plates.
We felt terrific and thought the diet was wonderful. We never even felt hungry!
But when we realized we were gaining weight and not losing it, I checked the recipes again.
There in fine print, it said, “Serves 6.”
That’s what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end.
A man pacing back and forth glanced at his watch and yelled upstairs to his wife, “Honey, are you ready yet?”
Shouting back, the woman replies, “For crying out loud, I’ve been telling you for the last half hour that I’ll be ready in a minute!
I’m addicted to placebos. I’d give them up, but it wouldn’t make any difference.
Jack hadn’t been to a class reunion in decades. When he walked into this latest one, he thought he recognized a woman over in the corner, so he approached her and extended his hand in greeting, saying,
“You look like Helen Brown.”
“Well,” the woman snapped back, “you don’t look so great in blue either!”
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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