Rabbits and Tennis Rackets
“Nostalgia is an illness for those who haven’t realized that today is tomorrow’s nostalgia.”
I was reading something the other day about impermanence. Specifically, I was reading about clouds and how they are constantly changing. I realized that many of us love watching them do so – as a matter of fact, we delight in it.
If they weren’t changing, I think we would quickly become bored with or intolerant of watching clouds at all!
How contrary this is to some of our relationships.
Whether they be with family, friends, colleagues or otherwise, many of us want the people we are with to remain the same and we are upset when these individuals evolve into something different. Shoot, many of us actually request they “go back to the way they were.”
This is no more possible in a human than it is with the cloud!
Individuals change – we should expect and accept it!
Furthermore, if we care about that person or the relationship, we should delight in the changes or “evolution” of that person as it means he/she is growing, adapting, evolving into who he/she was meant to be.
In a healthy relationship, one doesn’t try to control this change.
You can’t control if the cloud turns into a rabbit or a tennis racket, what makes you think you can control what a person turns into?
In a healthy relationship, you should not try to do so!
I think leaders understand and appreciate the concept of impermanence.
- Leaders inspire or motivate someone to develop his/her skills and talents but they don’t attempt to control what the person desires or what he/she aspires to be.
- Leaders attempt to curb or otherwise motivate an individual to not behave in a certain way at work but they won’t condemn the person for being who he/she is or for becoming what he/she is meant to become.
- Leaders don’t ask their staff to “remain stagnant” – instead, they anticipate and enjoy seeing others develop and grow and, when possible, seek to find spots where these skills and competencies can be value-added.
- Leaders don’t expect their employees to “return” to the people they once were – instead, they inspire their staff to evolve, to improve, and to build upon what they once were.
As a supervisor, friend, mother and sibling, I have failed at leadership many times and I’m certainly not immune to doing it again.
However, I can commit to this:
I will not attempt to hinder an individual’s inevitable evolution.
I will encourage and support others while staying true to my own values and principles.
I will seek to find the good in the changes I see in others.
(Shoot, I may even delight in it.)
What about you?
Can you allow yourself to accept, if not enjoy, the inevitable?