Wanna cut through?

In the school district I grew up in, there were walkers and there were riders – those who walked to school each day and those who took the bus each day. I was a walker K – 8.

While it didn’t happen often, sometimes either myself or a schoolmate would suggest, “Wanna cut through?” This, of course, was an invitation for us walkers to cut through neighbors’ yards.

There was definitely adventure associated with cutting through.

7141424Which yards wouldn’t have a growling dog, that would chase you? Which homeowner’s yard could you dash through without being noticed? Which yard could you run through with the owner giving you a nod and not reporting your “cut through” to your parents?

There was also the realization that no gains were obtained by cutting through. Nothing was gained by disrespecting the understood, unwritten rules of the neighborhood – no cutting through yards. Nothing was gained by dashing through an elderly neighbor’s yard only to startle and frighten her. And definitely nothing was gained by tramping through dog dirt as you tore through a neighbor’s yard!

When you think about your big dream or your work, the prospect of taking the short cut is adventurously alluring. Alluring until the moment you realize nothing was gained. In fact, that adventurous short cut walked you right through a big pile of dog dirt.

Now that stinks.

Commit to taking the long way. Your perfectly, perfect self, your big dream and your work will thank you. Plus you’ll smell a whole lot better!

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Two left feet

On New Year’s Eve I did something to take care of me that I’ve never done before – I had my first colonoscopy!

Upon arriving for the procedure the nurse handed me a gown, a robe and a pair of grippy socks. I pulled the grippy socks out of the package. The first one had a big “L” on the bottom. I instinctively placed it on my left foot. I pulled the second sock out fully expecting to see a large “R” on the bottom. Instead there was another big “L.”

Two "left" feet

Two “left” feet

So conditioned am I to think about feet as being left and right – not one shape fits both – that for a brief moment I thought there had been a packaging mistake at the grippy sock factory. Of course, the “L” indicated the size, not a prescription for which sock belonged on what foot.

Patterns, pairs and procedures are necessary and helpful. They create an ease and comfort to move about in life. They help us save time. Indeed their wonderfully prescriptive nature can make life a whole lot easier – like wearing a right shoe and a left shoe.

As you start your week, what would happen if you approached your work and your relationships with two left feet? What would feel different? How would things look different with two left feet? How would you approach tasks differently? Where might you stumble? Where might you excel? Best yet, what might you discover and learn?

I’m starting the week out on the left foot.  I hope you’ll join me.  Let the adventure begin!