Are you dreaming big enough? If so, you may often feel overwhelmed by the seeming magnitude of what lies before you.
As we entertain dreams, visions and goals that seem so large that they become daunting, we must not be intimidated by the seeming length or difficulty of the journey ahead of us. I was reminded of this years ago on a skiing trip. After an hour or so, the years that had passed since my last skiing excursion no longer seemed significant and my adventurous side led me to a very difficult black run, full of moguls and steep angles. Once I embarked upon the run, I realized I was in way over my head. At that moment the temperature dropped suddenly and a fog rolled in that was so thick that I could not see more than three feet ahead of me. I began to panic. I wanted more than ever to reach the bottom of the slope and became more fixated on having the run behind me than on the thrill of the experience itself.
As soon as my attention and focus went from the snow in front of me to the bottom of the steep slope, I lost control and came crashing to the ground, losing my skis and feeling the slap of the hard cold ground beneath me. I managed to somehow get up and put my skis back on, but before long my focus would shift and the same thing would happen again. It was only when I resigned myself to pay attention to what was right in front of me that my body knew how to navigate each mogul. When I let go of having to know exactly how I would get down that mountain and trust that I could make it a few feet at a time, I had everything I needed to succeed.
I think that is how life is too. When we feel dismayed at not having everything figured out right off the bat, we can ask ourselves what we can do right now that will lead us closer to our goals and trust that we will be given exactly what we need to continue our journeys right when we need it. Sometimes conditions are not right for us to proceed full speed ahead, and circumstances take a turn that feel frustrating. Often the skills we need are those that can only be developed through a series of challenges that require us to move out of our comfort zones. We may see these events as setbacks and annoying diversions without realizing their perfect place in the larger orchestration of a course of events we are engaged in that has much greater implications than what we originally envisioned.
Perhaps the whispers of our heart and the calls to greatness that we feel within our souls are essential components of a larger, collective plan that we each play a vital part in. As we rise up to play these parts fully and wholeheartedly, we can revel in the beauty of its mysterious unfolding. In the process, we will discover ourselves to be greater than we thought we were and use each moment of our lives to create something extraordinary for ourselves and others.
Implications for Real Leaders
The Real Leader Revolution is bringing to a head the need for businesses to better tap the power and potential that exists within the people who are the lifeblood of their organizations. This energy, when properly catalyzed and harnessed, will create the kind of value that earns loyal customers, increased market share and strong, sustainable profitability.
To find out more about how you can unleash this talent, energy and potential in your own organization (starting with yourself), sign up below to receive your copy of The Real Leader Revolution Manifesto as soon as it is released.
Ever get to a place where everything feels way too heavy and burdensome? Well I’ve been there too. The above video features a story about a conversation I had with one of my children years ago that never fails to help me get things back into perspective. Scroll down for more resources on lightening up.
Here is what I said in the video:
There was a time in my life a few years ago where I was just CRAZY busy. I’ve always had a unique talent for over-complicating everything — making things WAY harder than they needed to be, and I was doing that a lot. I remember racing to get my kid at daycare and having him be the very last kid to be picked up right around 6:00pm. And he would look up at me like, “Mom, you’re finally here – I didn’t think you were actually going to make it.”
During this particular week, I had a lot of things falling through the cracks. I was behind on some major deadlines, I was not really feeding my family or myself very healthy food. I was just feeling like a lousy mother, a lousy wife, a lousy person in general — like I just couldn’t get things the way I wanted to, which back then was PERFECT. If it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t good enough.
I remember sitting on the couch with my toddler and he looked up at me and he said, “Mommy can I count on you?” And I thought “Oh my God, my two year old is questioning whether he can count on me! I must really be awful.”
And I looked at him and said, “What did you just say?” He said it again, “Can I count on you?” I replied, “OF COURSE you can count on me!”
And he looked up at me with his sweet little twinkly blue eyes as he raised his fingers to my shoulder to count with them, saying “One, two, three, four…”. I just remember looking down at him thinking “Oh my God!” and couldn’t help laughing. Suddenly everything felt lighter and better.
Now whenever I get in that place where I’m out of my mind overwhelmed – and taking myself WAY too seriously, I remember my sweet little boy at two years old — “one, two, three, four….”
For more on Lightening Up:
Illustration from Dreamstime by Nlizer.