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Last week I had the privilege of spending time with and speaking to a group of teens and young adults on the subject of development, leadership/influence, and overall performance. In the spirit of the spring turkey hunt here in Texas right around the corner I felt the story between the young turkey and the bull to be fitting.
The story goes…. a bull and a young turkey were both sitting in a field when the turkey turned to the bull and said “I’d give anything to be able to fly to the top of that tree.”
To the turkey’s desire the bull replied “You know, if you eat my droppings that are full of nutrients they’ll give you the strength to fly up there.” The turkey intrigued decided he’d give it a try. After just eating a little of the bulls droppings he was able to fly to the first branch, a few more servings and he was able to reach the top of the tree.
Upon reaching the top of the tree, the turkey found both the view and the since of superiority were exactly what he assumed they would be. The view was beautiful and his new position allowed him to see for miles. From the top position he was able to watch the other turkeys still attempting to fly and struggle to get off of the ground.
As the turkey set reflecting on how quickly he was able to rise to the top, on his newfound superiority, and his sense of fulfillment he was shot down by hunter not far away.
The moral of the story is….B.S might get you to the top but, it will not keep you there.
We are all guilty from time to time of cutting corners trying to get to the next branch. 310 calorie diets, lottery tickets, and bullying our way through personal and professional relationships might give you an immediate since of accomplishment but the results are often temporary at best.
A constant and never ending approach toward the development of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually are the cornerstones of not only what gets us to the top but what keeps us from a rapid and ugly descent.
While the front end results of a 300 calorie diet might be tempting, the aftermath is not a pretty sight. Running up the corporate ladder while simultaneously running over everyone on the way might provide a sudden sense of accomplishment, in the end your actions, like the turkey will only ultimately make you a target over time.
Patience is too often falsely viewed as the ability to wait, when in reality patience is better defined as how we behave while we wait.
Till Next Time,
Sean Z. Callahan
This past Monday morning I walked into the gym at 4:30am, I wasn’t happy about having to be there that early but, that’s what was necessary that day. After finishing up at 5:45am I found myself in a conversation with a fellow gymgoer on the topic of how few people were present. He said “well you know….it’s really 4:45am” referring to the fact that we just recently “lost an hour” due to daylight savings.
I asked the question internally before even thinking about it “did we really lose an hour?” Is it fair to assume that central STANDARD time (cSt) had changed and as result we were all now left 1 hour in the hole? I couldn’t help but then think “did we lose an hour or simply just make a correction from the last time change?” A full-fledged game of chicken and egg was now playing out in my head.
As the thought brewed a little longer I couldn’t help but think about the fact that the “standard” time had suddenly changed, literally overnight and we were all forced to just accept it. What if we enjoyed the sunrise and sunset as they were? In short, it’s too bad! The standard for what was time had changed and both you and I were forced to accept it and adjust our life to it.
The apparent lack of attendance Monday morning in the gym led me to believe that not only had the standard for time changed but, on this day, so did many people’s standards for what was acceptable of them change as well.
I have had the unique privilege in the last 8-10 years to work with approximately 50,000+ people from all walks of life in some form of development or another. Likewise, being very intentional about the path of growth and development for myself I am currently on, at times simultaneously bordering rewarding and frustrating, I have witnessed in others and experienced personally that the key to a higher quality of life is simply changing your standard(s) for what is acceptable. As mundane and as obvious as it may seem this simple act really does serve as the bedrock foundation of doing, being, having, and giving more than you currently are.
You don’t have to eavesdrop very far from where you are sitting right now to hear someone listing off the things they should do.
- “I should go on a diet”
- “I should enroll in a class”
- “I should go workout”
- “I should quit smoking”
- “I should look for a better job”
- “I should try to make my relationship better”
- “I should be more proactive in developing my team”
In essence, people just “should all over themselves.” Just as with a universal change in the standard of time where you must make it work, so must we with our desires for what we want in life. We don’t always get the “shoulds” of life but, we will always get our “musts.” Turning shoulds into musts puts you in the driver seat of life, it grants the leverage that you need to follow through with what you seek most. If you are not producing the result you are after it is a very safe bet that you have not raised your standards for what is required to obtain it. The money you are making is exactly what you must have, not one dime more. Your physical body is exactly what it must be! The quality of your relationship(s) is directly proportionate to the musts that you have for your relationships.
So in closing, before I ask you to think about – What result am I pursing and not producing? I’d like you to first consider that the standards of yesteryear’s accomplishments can never serve as firm footing to the desired accomplishments of tomorrow.
Ask yourself – What defined standards have I set for myself or worse have others set for me? Are these standards still serving me and others? When is the last time I have stopped to deeply examine the standards that govern my life?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of standards and the impact that they have or have had on you, your family, and/or your organization.
Who can you share this with to spark a conversation about proactively raising standards?
Till Next Time,
Sean Z. Callahan
“We detect rather than invent our mission” – Viktor Frankl Rarely does it fall in our lap. It’s seldom romantic the way we discover it. It’s usually… Read more “Thursday Thought Prod”