Do you allow people into your head who would not invite into your home?
Angelina Ahrendts’ (Senior VP @ Apple) letter to her daughters this week offers the following advice:
…Stay in your lane…the path will illuminate itself
so long as you stay present,
open to the signs, and follow your passions.
It’s all related.
Be true to yourself. Be mindful. Be open.
Not only do we need to be present when it comes to our passions and curiosity, we have to be mindful of who we allow on the journey. Three “types” can have widely disparate influences (if you allow it) on your path. You may have read about them and encountered them yourself.
The No-Goes. These folks will get in your way, attempt to block you, and tell you things can’t be done like you envision them. They may want to control you. Maybe they fear your progress bodes ill for them. Or they may be fearful and reticent types, always remaining in their self-defined narrow limits. They seem to hold their breath a lot.
The Slow-Goes. The slow-goes won’t out-and-out block you, but they remain so tentative they get in your way. They may not throw obstacles at you like their stifling cousins the No-Goes, but that wet blanket they toss around your shoulders slows your momentum nonetheless. Happy to plod along, our slow-go friends don’t make much progress; kind of stuck in 2nd gear. While they don’t hold their breath, you may see them hyperventilating often.
The Go-Goes. Consider these the early adopters of life, its wonders, and ever-present opportunities. They innovate for themselves and for others. They thrive on movement, experimentation, and evaluated feedback. They risk vulnerability and failure. They breathe deeply and live life.
Caution: Not every No-Go or Slow-Go should be considered an antagonist to shun or anchor to cast off. At times, each can provide valuable and prudent counsel. A trusted mentor, a wise friend, and thoughtful family members may well have needed perspective you lack. Listen, however, with all of your senses. Consider carefully.
And we have to understand our role with others. That is, do we serve as No-Goes, Slow-Goes, or Go-Goes for other people’s aspirations? Do we help or hinder? Do we encourage or suffocate?
One woman at our gym, for example, constantly provides negative commentary—whether you want it or not—about how dangerous this or that group of people will be for our nation. Her jaw appears clenched and her eyes remain vigilant and wide-open as if scouring the floor for the soon-to-arrive saber toothed tiger that will enter the front door and devour her. She shares a constant stream of negativity. A definite No-Go from the perspective of holding an educational or enlightening conversation. Perhaps you know similar people. Maybe you have that tendency.
Do you want these people on your journey?
In his latest book, Before Happiness, Shawn Achor points out that our brains process millions upon millions of bits of information each day. We only attend to a miniscule fraction of these stimuli. His research shows, however, that we usually attend to the same kind of information and ignore the alternatives or contradictory data. You know, like the people who no matter how sunny it is will always be focused on that one cloud on the horizon. Where we see brightness they see potential—nay, impending—doom. We have a choice.
This week, pay attention to your goals. Be mindful of who you let influence your travels. Or as I have heard, why would we let someone into our mind who we would not even allow into our home?
Video recommendation for the week:
Sometimes we “no-go” ourselves because of fear. As this TEDx talk reminds us, it might not be as scary as it looks. Where is the edge of your comfort zone?
Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
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(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.