Surrender and the Irritating Other

Interventions come in the form of an irritating other.

It’s not that people are irritating in and of themselves. Well, to be honest, some are. They’re irritating when they call us to surrender. Even when they don’t realize it.



You either surrender or cuddle up with your lesser self.

Before surrender:

In my life, tumultuous frustration precedes surrender. It’s the kind of frustration that’s really about one thing but touches everything.

Recently I was approached by – an irritating other – a book agent. He’s worked with some top leadership authors in the U.S. Anyone who desired to write a book would be thrilled. I’m angry.

I’m not mad at the agent. I’m mad at everything. I’ve been at the point of surrender before. ‘Yes’ scares the crap out of me.

Surrender is the battle between fear and desire.

The frustration of wanting something different – while resisting change – always builds to the point of surrender.

Anatomy of surrender:

#1. Name your dangerous desire.

I’m talking about playing it dangerous. I’m talking about desires that terrify us because it feels like our personal worth is at stake.

#2. Find purpose. (Always answer for yourself.)

The answer isn’t that you want to serve others. That’s part of it. The answer is that you want to feel like you matter.

#3. Embrace awkward-feeling behaviors. What will you try?

#4. Get specific. When/where/how will you try?

Perhaps you’ll sit at your desk from 7 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. typing what comes to mind.

#5. Adapt as you go. When and how will you evaluate progress, method, and strategy?

#6. Expand the team – don’t shrink the dream. Who might help? 

It feels easier to not try, when outcomes matter deeply, than to try and fail.

How might leaders bring people to and through surrender?

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