Is it not just inspirational to be outside today? WOW! Weather does not get any better than this!
For those of you who have worked out or played sports during the course of your life, you have likely put yourself through a physically stressful workout. During the workout you likely felt like you wanted to quit but knew that it was necessary to attain the physical goals you were striving to achieve. Because of this, you embraced the pain knowing that it meant you were surpassing yesterday’s limits, and this resulted in your working all the way to complete failure. Why failure? Right before failure, our muscle fibers tear, which is the pain we feel during a workout and the following day. As these fibers heal, our muscles become stronger than they were before the workout. The pain that comes with this process is clearly defined to everyone as the course we should take in order to improve ourselves physically. A course that means embracing physical pain, working until failure, then recovering stronger than ever.
As we look at our mental growth, society has taught us otherwise. It has taught us that we grow by learning theory and answering questions correctly. It has taught us that mental pain means something is wrong, that failure is a negative and experience means we are smart. Because of this when we find something that works well, we try to hang on to it as, “the answer” for as long as we can and resist change. We then defend this answer until someone proves to us that we are wrong and are then forced to find a new comfort zone, or a new answer to minimize failure. The natural course of embracing pain, working toward failure and becoming stronger by this process is replaced with the thought that the strength of the brain is determined by having the right answers. This mentality takes people from always listening to learn and being open to change (outside of the comfort zone) to becoming set in our ways and closed off to improvement(within the comfort zone).
So why does this matter? Why can’t we just stay the same if things are working? Every second of every day the world evolves. The people, the technologies and the businesses. If people don’t evolve faster than the world then they are actually falling behind. Like a business that thinks their model is the answer one day and becomes bankrupt 5 years later, human beings have the same path assuming they don’t continually seek to improve. They are extremely relevant one day and totally insignificant the next. Our ability to be successful over the course of our lives is not determined by our speed, strength or intelligence at this very moment…instead, it is determined by our willingness to learn faster than others. To be open to change, not afraid of failure and to embrace the stress, that makes us stronger.
An individual can only understand what they see through their eyes. A team that carries trust can understand what all team members see, which compounds our individual abilities. However, the ONLY way to achieve this is to trust that ALL feedback we receive is to improve the team and not a personal attack at an individual person. 2 Months ago, our leadership team gave me some hard to swallow feedback. Although I didn’t agree with it at the time, I believed it was true as I trusted their reason for giving it to me. The change I made based of their advice has been the single largest impact on our growth as a team in our history and has given us more opportunity then we have ever had.
So, on this beautiful week, don’t only let this gorgeous weather inspire your heart, but allow yourself to dig deep, accept feedback, listen to learn not just to respond and ask others how you can improve. Most importantly don’t EVER be afraid to fail, like working out it isn’t just a roadblock to your goals, it is part of the road itself.
Here’s to changing the world. Starting with yours.