Thursday, December 8, 2011

Motivation: When Common Sense is Wrong

Photo by Wally Gobetz
Leadership Lyrics?

Don't look back / A new day is breakin'

Even if you've never heard Boston's classic rock lyrics, you're probably familiar with the popular advice: "Don't look back". Advocates of the "don't look back" philosophy will tell you to keep your eye on the vision, always look forward, forget about the past, etc. etc.

There are times where this is good advice, but...

On the Mountain

I live in the State of Colorado, right on the doorstep of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I love hiking our majestic peaks, but I'm a big guy and some of these mountains are a real challenge.

Near the top where the air is thin, it might take me an hour or more to cover a mile. At times, everything in me says to give up, to go home...that I made it far enough. But I've found a secret that keeps me going. It's simple and powerful and you can do it.

Turn around and look down the mountain.

The power of the view beneath me is that it shows me what I've done...what I've already proven capable of. If I can get that far...certainly I can make it a little farther!

Sometimes, looking back is exactly what you need to do.

The Power of Looking Back

When you encounter frustrations and periods where you are overwhelmed - those times when you doubt if you'll ever accomplish your vision, I suggest you turn around.

Take some time to look at where you've been - what you have done, how you have grown, positive decisions you've made, and what you have learned.

If you've come this far, I know you can go a little farther.

Moving On

You're not looking back to linger in the past. 

You're looking back to take note of your own stand a little be reminded that you've overcome obstacles.

With this fresh perspective you can look to the future and take one small step.

One step. That's all. So small you can't possibly fail to take it...

Then one more.

Take care,

David M. Dye

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Twitter: @davidmdye
David shares twenty years experience teaching, coaching, leading, and managing in youth service, education advocacy, city governance, and faith-based nonprofits. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Colorado UpLift and enjoys helping others discover and realize their own potential.

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