I lost something. You’ve likely lost it too. We had a lot of it as kids. But something happens on our journey to adulthood that allows it to slip away seemingly undetected. We lose our innate curiosity and stop asking questions.
It happens to all of us—some more than others. We’d rather stick to what we know. But what we know won’t be enough. In fact, what we know today won’t even be enough to sustain the present let alone allow us to make meaningful contributions in the future.
We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right.
Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.
It happens over half of the time. It may be happening right now. Sometimes we don’t even realize it is going on. Then we catch ourselves and wonder how our minds got sidetracked.
It is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. We all lose focus. The question is not whether we are going to lose focus—we are! When we employ clarifying personal filters it enables us to focus on the people and outcomes that are most important to us.
It took me awhile to understand being a father is easy but becoming a great dad is difficult. You don’t need a degree or license to become a father. Fatherhood rarely begins as you expect it to or unfolds as you plan. It is indiscriminate in its ability to reveal and demonstrate how ill equipped you are to run this race.
Fatherhood is a strange paradox—testing your resolve and commitment like few things can and providing joy like nothing else can. It may be the essence of clinging to the obligation and responsibility of being a father long enough to understand how becoming a dad creates a lasting and rippling impact on our kids.
Do you want the good news or the bad news? The truth in the question is we don’t like to deliver bad news so we try to soften its impact. Especially if we anticipate the news is not going to be well received.
Not all feedback is created equal. I had a boss once who spoke frequently of the need to have “courageous conversations” with people. It takes courage to coach people towards improvement.
What is going on! Why are people who’s job it is to serve behaving so poorly? But maybe the more important question is why are the leaders of these company’s seemingly so surprised.
The answer is simple—four qualities that engender people’s loyalty, commitment and effort. And here in lies the challenge, simple is not easy. Simple can be painstakingly hard and it can also reveal something in ourselves that we would never want to admit.
If you could be granted one natural gift what would you choose? What if the choice was between intelligence and wisdom? Being smart is commonly identified as being a key to success. But is smart overrated?
As a kid were you frequently if ever praised for being wise? I am pretty sure if my parents would have said, “Oh, you are so wise,” I was being called out and being discouraged from whatever “not so smart” remark I had just made.
Kids are natural born questioners. Fearlessly pursuing their curiosity. As kids we would ask “Why?” repeatedly and without a moments hesitation.
Most of us wore our parents out asking why? Then as parents, we faced the same onslaught of curiosity. “Dad, why is the sky blue?” I still don’t know why the sky is blue but I do know that questions are powerful.
Would you like to be better or get better? There is a subtle but powerful difference between the two.
Who doesn’t want to be better—right? No one would object to waking up tomorrow and being better in every role and responsibility in their life. So asking if you want to be better is an irrelevant question because the answer is obviously yes.
The question surprised me. No one had ever asked it with such curiosity. It hadn’t dawned on me that everyone didn’t know. But if he knew what it meant he didn’t let on. “What is impact and why does it matter?,” he asked.
Great questions are powerful. Our minds once challenged with a question never retreats to its previous state. To wrestle with a question about what impact is and why it matters can change the direction and trajectory of our lives.