You’re more prepared than you think
Changing the outside world begins with changes inside you.
We change before we change others.
Sometimes we change from the outside-in. Once, when I was a young man, I was fired. That event radically changed me and the course of my life.
Other times, change emerges from the inside-out. Dissatisfaction drives inside-out change. Dissatisfaction lies behind dreams.
Dissatisfaction and dreams don’t create change agents.
Change agents are dissatisfied – Big hairy deal! Everyone I know is dissatisfied with stuff in their lives. Dissatisfaction doesn’t make them change agents.
Change agents dream – Big hairy deal! Everyone I know dreams. Dreams don’t produce agents of change.
Change agents build on changes in their own lives.
Think back to graduation, marriage, births, new jobs, divorce, near death experiences, books, people, failures, education, and other events that changed you. You’re standing on a platform of personal change that empowers your leadership.
- Failures teach you thing to avoid, modify or improve.
- Successes teach you things to repeat and improve.
One more “SMALL” thing.
Lean toward not away from doing. Dissatisfaction and dreams won’t take you anywhere. The final and essential component of authentic leadership is action.
Natural desires to avoid discomfort hinder success. Run toward not away from dissatisfaction. Play in the mud but remain positive. Embrace a can-do orientation even while seeing the worst.
You’re dissatisfied right now. So what?
You’re wishing for something better. Big deal!
How have your experiences prepared you to do something about your dissatisfactions and dreams? You are more capable and more prepared than you think. Do something now and adjust as you go.
How has your past prepared you to do something today?
Adapted from: Becoming an Authentic Leader
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I couldn’t agree more! Very motivating..thanks for that!
Dan, I help others avoid burnout/depression because I have burnout/depression in my past. God has led me to be an agent of His tomake a mockery of burnout in ministry leadership.
…so I play in the mud with purpose! 🙂
Dan, I love the advice to “lean towards” action. It reminds me of my running coach teaching us to “lean into” the hills we had to climb, and to “lean forward” when we wanted more speed. Body weight shifts, legs push to catch up, a little more effort equates to a lot more progress. You’re advising much the same thing with our attitudes.
The biggest thing in my past that has prepared me to “lean towards” has been my marriage. Living for 30 years with a person who’s esteem I value has taught me to make personal change in the context of the people around me who matter to me. It’s a lot easier when they are informed, understand what it means for me and them, and buy in. And my wife, especially, has a concern for my happiness that doesn’t allow me to stagnate in my own dis-satisfaction.
Greg, that’s a great comment on the concept of leaning. Thanks for sharing.
Thought provoking post Dan. I will start by saying that there is more in my past that prepares me for what not to do today. If you are a risk taker, if you have pushed the envelope, if you have dreamed and reached beyond expected then most certainly your past will have been littered with failures; Failures that you don’t want to visit again.The past reminds me more of lessons learned and allows me to forge ahead with new trials, new unexplored endeavors knowing that my “garbage” will just keep piling up and hopefully steering me to higher levels of growth and self-actualization. That is how my past helps me. 🙂
I hear you Al. Would that my mental hard drive could categorize all of the lessons learned so that I would quit repeating them! 😉
You are of course correct, Dan. The key is in the doing. If we never actually DO something, then we are only dreamers and complainers like everyone else.
I agree that dissatisfaction and dreams do not take you anywhere. However, they expands our boundary and that is encouraging. Now, the next move is action that can take you to your destination. So, dreams without actions is worthless. The next question comes, is action alone enough? I think only action is not enough. You need determination and dedication to achieve your dream. The most important thing is passion without which effort can go awry.
My learning in the past has prepared me to do more than what I used to think. It has given me clear picture of tomorrow.If I want to become something tomorrow, what should I do today to become that. I also think, ups and downs are actual and real teacher that teach us the realities of life. Success on the other hand, forces you to repeat and
expect similar success in future, that is more painful in case of non achievement.
Dan – You share a great theme that is worth repeating everyday as we think about past, current, and future. I wonder if we should all have a post it on our desks, dashboards and mirrors that says “OK – What’s Next?”
This feels like a message that has been talked about more/become more relevant in recent years. Thoughts?
Great post – I will pass it along.
Failures and successes tend to be temporal judgments of actions. It may be that time and cultural norms change a failure to success or the reverse.
It is the action itself that can change a life. Leaning into uncomfortable conversations, interactions and even confrontations can help us learn. Of course, lean too far into a flame and there is an undesired outcome as well.
Hey Doc, as Dan would say and I will plagiarize some with his indulgence 🙂 “kaching.” How true to understand that environments change and what failed yesterday may actually work today. Doc you are making life very difficult for me, how much garbage and which do I keep? 🙂
There’s nuggets in all that garbage…yipes! Soo, Al, there’s this TV show called Hoarders…. oops. Don’t go there!
I frequently struggle with the idea that some people’s (including mine) choices are almost predetermined. I have seen people in the absolute best of health get lost in a maze of hypochondria, unable to break out of that prison no matter what they have tried. BUT the advantage of more life experience has led me to see that people can break out of preconceived notions.
And my past of assuming that good stuff would just materialize has made me more dogged in my determination to make that stuff happen. Hence my written goals that I am carrying around in my wallet. Without that piece of paper prodding me every moment of my life, I probably would not have circled the wagons of my friends (and, well, a lot of strangers) when I sought support for my July trip to Guatemala.
To borrow from today’s “Daily Good” “Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.” – Marshall McLuhan I suppose my past has taught me to look past my assumptions more rapidly and to try not to assume in the first place.
Thanks for incorporating several good messages in today’s post. Build on changes, lean toward, action, do something now and adjust as you go worth practising. I would add 3 other things to remain successful. Be positive, Remain focused and Contribute with innovation and knowledge updation.
At times, you are reaching a pinnacle with splendid thoughts. Keep the high spirit of changing the mind-set of those who can certainly influence the lives of others.
It is amazing the stuff we believe about ourselves and hold them true, limiting us from actually carrying through on our dreams. I used to believe that because I am an introvert, I could not sell or manage relationships. I was the numbers guy who wanted to be in the back office and not engage the client. I wanted to lead from behind. I still prefer to lead from behind as I am not a fan of public speaking. Yet I enjoy engaging people and connecting with them at an authentic level learning from them and observing. I am a people’s person, and I used to believe that I am not. I am an introvert, I just had the wrong understanding about what it meant for me in functioning in a front office as opposed to the back office. Your title alone says it all Dan, great post.
As you may notice Thabo, I enjoy reading leadership blogs and reading between the lines for the messages that we give ourselves. When we use the present tense we sometimes lock our future up with what ‘has been’ true of us. You had a great example there about being a people person. The challenge is to keep re-examining what we are telling ourselves. Keep asking yourself if you ‘are’ or maybe up until now you ‘have been’ an introvert. 😉 Course, I too have been an introvert, but now love public speaking. Still enjoy leading from behind too!
My business partner will tell you that I’m the boat-rocker! I think dissatisfaction is a HUGE necessity in any entrepreneur. You have to be unsatisfied with something before you can believe in creating something new. You can’t be satisfied forever, it cripples innovation.
Been trying to get off the introvert in me,but i guess this should mean something else
Absolutely love this post! I agree with you when it comes to changes. As I look at what I do today and in the days ahead, I look at past experiences and see how they have molded me to move forward. Also, I feel that with change comes opportunity to experience many more blessings that God has for me.
Have a Happy Fourth of July!
Great post Dan. The idea of persevering and leaning towards action is spot on. Reminds me of the “Man in the Arena” speech that Teddy Roosevelt made in 1910, part of which I have quoted here ……”who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Thanks for your comment Mike. Those who are learning to dare to lead are stirred by the quote you left us.