Tag Archives: Curiosity
What is Your Personal and Professional Blueprint?
Have you ever driven by a construction site and wondered what was being built?
You may have seen people working diligently, each focused on their own specific task. Maybe there were steel girders, half constructed walls, and unidentifiable objects at various stages of completion.
Upon first glance, it likely appears chaotic and messy.
But amidst the sawdust and cement blocks, something pulls it all together. Though we may not know exactly what the larger plan is, over time the construction starts to take shape and we begin to recognize a room here, and another there. Soon we can start to surmise the purpose and function of each room.
As the walls are plastered and paint is applied, the appearance becomes neater.
And suddenly, it is completed in all its glory – a stunning compilation of raw materials, sweat, and focused action.
Perhaps we too build things in this way. It is nice to know in advance exactly what we are building. But at times things may feel chaotic, disconnected and random. We have some experiences that uplift us and others that disappoint. Often we are without an explanation of why certain events and experiences are taking place.
But maybe underneath it all, there is a larger plan at work.
One that will reveal itself over time. As we undertake each new experience, another wall is constructed and a new room is being built.
What if we were willing to experience our lives with the same wonder and curiosity with which we look upon that building undergoing construction? And what if we were able to engender that same enthusiasm and optimism in everyone around us?
Are you willing to entertain the thought that somewhere within you there is a perfect blueprint of everything your life and your leadership will bring about?
And can you delight in the mystery of its gradual unfolding?
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Blueprint image by Pete from Pixabay.
Construction image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
A Question Worth Considering
We stepped out into the crisp January air, her small, sweet hand wrapped in mine. She smiled with her whole body as we began our walk to the park. Each of my steps was two or three for her. We paused often to smell flowers and watch bugs zig zag across the sidewalk. The sun’s rays danced on the leaves of the elm trees above us and filtered softly onto our shoulders. The birds showered us with song.
It was a brand new day. A brand new year, for that matter. And we were seizing it.
My morning with my three year old niece was a liberating one. It took us twenty glorious minutes to make our way a few hundred yards from the house my husband grew up in to the old elementary school grounds down the street. When we got there, Lucy stretched her arms out like wings and ran joyfully across the playground as the wind playfully tossed her wavy blond locks and almost seemed to lift her off the ground. She was freedom personified. Sheer joy. Exuberance.
And I thought, this is what I want more of in my life.
Maybe it was the week of vacation that preceded our little walk that allowed me to forget about all the thoughts that had furiously competed for my attention before we left for our trip. Perhaps it was being a few hundred miles away from home and all the things that needed to be done – tasks yet to be finished and those yet to come. Or maybe it was the sheer inspiration of my beautiful little companion that allowed me to be fully and completely present, immersing myself in each moment and allowing it to unfold without any interference on my part. I felt alive. Vibrant. Happy.
We tottered on balance beams, skipped across hopscotch squares, and visited a coop of chickens, watching them peck at the ground and contemplating what each bird’s name should be. But the highlight of our little jaunt was the tall, spiraling slide that crowned the jungle gym. Lucy had decided she wanted to ride down on my lap. We got half way up and stopped. She looked up to our destination, and then down from where we had started and said, “That’s high.”
“Yes, it is sweetie,” I replied. “We don’t have to go up there if you don’t want to.”
She looked at me for a moment and then wrinkled her brow with determination and resolve. “I want to slide!”
“OK then. Here we go…” We climbed the last couple of steps and squatted onto the platform. Lucy sat tall on my lap, brimming with courage and delight. “One, two, three!” As we let go and spiraled down the slide, the squeal of her laughter brought a wild and uninhibited smile to my face.
And I thought again, this is what I need more of in my life. Maybe this is what we all need more of in our lives.
I know. It’s easy for a three year old to experience sheer joy and bliss at the very prospect of being alive. They have no responsibilities, no bills to pay, no people depending on them. They have yet to experience heartbreak, disappointment, and disillusionment. And let’s face it – our adult lives are a lot more complicated than a day at the park playing hopscotch and watching bugs and chickens. I still can’t help but think about it.
Now, back at my desk, staring at my Outlook calendar, I can still feel the childlike wonder and euphoria of that day. It begs the question, how can I bring more of that to my life? To my work? To the world?
This question has begun to deepen and grow roots. It has taken on a life of its own. It peeks out from my computer screen and beckons to me. It lands softly in my mind as I drive to and from appointments. It jumps out of file folders and onto my desk. It takes a seat at the table when I meet with my clients. And it brings with it more questions…
What if we could somehow strip our daily activities of the assumptions and heaviness they have accumulated over the years and approach things with the same sense of curiosity and delight that little Lucy did on that beautiful January morning?
Could we rediscover and ignite our passion for living in all the many areas of our lives – including the countless hours we spend at work?
Could we find a way to mute the thoughts that keep us from being totally present with people in our lives so that we could really be with them?
Could we let go of our preconceived ideas of how things are supposed to be and allow them to unfold the way they need to, trusting that we will summon whatever resources are necessary to deal with things as they come?
Could we respond to situations that push us out of our comfort zones with the fortitude and tenacity that Lucy displayed on the towering spiral slide?
Imagine what life would be like if we did… How much more joy we would experience. How creative we could be. How courageous and resilient. How our relationships would deepen and grow. How meaningful our work would become.
I, for one, think it’s a question worth considering. And just maybe, the very attention we put on the question will begin to illuminate the answers we need most.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
For more on reconnecting with your childlike sense of wonder and joy, check out my book The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming a Real Leader now available in both ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.
Photo courtesy of Jens Schott Knudsen.