THE FIVE YEAR OLD IN YOUR MIND

When he saw the other kid getting

more toys,

better stuff,

more attention

the 5 - year old stood,

arms at the side,

fists clenched,

and screamed,

“When is it my turn?!”


 

Life would be better,

he thought,

if I had what she has.

 

She’s got it all.

 

His parents told him it wasn’t polite to yell.

 

He began to understand politeness,

but still wanted

what he thought others had.

 

So the voice went inside.

 

He

longed for,

lusted over,

coveted

what he thought others enjoyed,

but he didn’t.

 

“When will it be my turn?”

his mind was asking more insistently.  

 

The more the question

came to mind,

the more evidence

he gathered against himself.

 

“I just haven’t earned it yet.”

he thought and worked longer hours.

 

“I haven’t found the right formula.”

he said to himself, purchasing one more

online course.

 

Even as he grew,

accumulated friends and lovers,

jobs and income,

the 5 - year old in his mind kept screaming,

“When is it my turn?!”

And he was always unsettled.

 

Then,

one day while scrolling through Facebook,

seeing the smiling, successful faces,

he heard his inner 5 - year old scream,

but this time

he realized,

 

“I’m not 5 anymore.

 

I don’t have to wait for my ‘turn’

to have fun,

to enjoy who I’m with,

to care,

to know my work is meaningful, valuable,

to work hard and do good work.

 

My turn is,

and has always been,

now.”

 

This was the day he began to grow up.

IT DOESN’T ADD UP

We like our sums to be nice and tidy.

1 + 1 = 2

 

Our educational system,

our economic system,

teaches us to appeal to logic

to see the outcomes.

 

If we have a problem,

we just need more data.

Right?

 

The problem is

human behavior doesn’t add up.

 

We don’t respond

rationally

or

logically

(sorry Spock).

 

Study after study proves

we respond

emotionally,

tribal-ly,

fearfully.

 

So if we are going to affect

behavior,

productivity,

well-being

for ourselves,

our community,

our team,

our business,

we’re going to have

to care more about

the messy lives of people

and

less about tidy sums.

 

Because ultimately,

people aren’t an abacus.

SOLVING THE REAL PROBLEM

The underperforming saleswoman-

did you know her husband has been out of work

for 3 years?

 

The designer who just missed a deadline -

did you know his daughter was diagnosed

with cancer?

 

The team that cannot seem to get it together -

did you know one of them is toxic

to your culture?

 

Most often,

people’s performance problems

are unrelated to their

gifts,

skills,

or

training.

 

Yet, most businesses continue

to spend lots of cash

on short-term

seminars,

talks,

binders,

and

little to nothing

on

long-term

support,

development,

coaching.

 

When you care

about an employee’s entire world

(not just their numbers)

and provide

long-term

tools,

strategy,

and

accountability

to address what is

really holding them back,

you’ve not only

solved your business problems,

you’ve begun

a revolution.

EDISON’S LESSON

In that famous story

of when the lightbulb stayed on,

there were many times

Edison seemed

finished,

foiled,

a failure,

but had only just begun.

 

For that one invention,

of many he created,

he found 10,000 ways

not to get it right,

until he found the one

that lit up the night.

 

So whatever you’re working on

to better the world,

learn Edison’s lesson,

every failed attempt

is just more data

leading you in the right direction.

BREAK YOUR BOX

We trap ourselves in little boxes

of

words,

thoughts,

and emotions.

 

“I can’t do that.”

“What would they think?”

“He/She wouldn’t like it.”

“It will never work.”

 

We allow these to define the

scope of our existence.

 

We think these boxes keep us safe

from

hurt,

disappointment,

failure.

 

But if we stay in these little boxes

too long,

we soon find ourselves

in a big box,

being lowered into the ground,

never having lived.   

 

Break your little boxes.

CONTAGIOUS FACTS

Cold and flu season make it clear.

We infect those to whom we come near.

 

But why don’t we realize

that this also

applies

to fear and anger?

 

When we are diseased with these emotions,

they catch on and everyone feels in danger.

 

And while this contagious fact can make us feel bad,

there is no reason to be sad,

for just as germs and anger spread,

we can be contagious with

hope,

understanding,

compassion,

and love

instead.

 

Every. Single. Day.

UNKNOWN UNCLE

I used to look out the window

waiting for the mail to arrive,

hoping that today

some forgotten Uncle

would have sent me

my unknown inheritance.

 

I kept looking outside

waiting for something

more exciting,

more intriguing,

more glamorous

to find me.

 

And then I realized,

exciting, intriguing, and glamorous

weren’t looking.

 

They were

waiting

for me

to uncover them

right

where

I

was.

 

Quit looking outside of yourself,

stop expecting someone else

to deliver your hopes and dreams,

everything you need

is already available.

 

No unknown Uncle needed.