Whenever he heard someone complain about something trivial, a friend of mine used to say, “Just build a bridge and get over it”. Although this was often said a humourous way, there is a strong message in it if we choose to look at it.
What is the purpose for building a bridge? A bridge is a structure spanning and providing passage over a barrier, whether the barrier is an obstacle or a gap. When a bridge exists, the barrier is dwarfed by the bridge. However, without the bridge, the focal point becomes the barrier regardless of how big or small it is.
Some barriers look insurmountable. The sheer size of them can be so overwhelming that sometimes we fail to get beyond viewing the viewing of the problem and into the stage of bridge-building. The Bible story of David and Goliath is a good example of this. When David stood before the giant Goliath he could have agreed with the general consensus and said, “He’s so big we can’t hit him”, but he chose to respond with a winners attitude, “He’s so big I can’t miss!”
When we stand and face our barrier, we too are faced with two options when it speaks to us (and it will). We will either say, “I will” or “I won’t”, but we need to choose what our response will be. Henry David Thoreau once said, "Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."
The next time a problem rises it’s dominating head before you, make the decision that you will face it head on. Then you can build a bridge and get over it.
I was thinking about the word “Attitude” recently and I was reminded of the phrase by William Shakespeare, “What's in a name?” He goes on to say, “that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." The idea here is that it doesn’t matter what the name is, it is the fruit of something that it is known by, not just by the name it is given.
The same can be said for people. We are known not just by our name, but by who we are. An individual can know two people both with the same name. One can be a mentor and coach and the other a bully. Simple thoughts relating to the mentor and coach can inspire them to achieve greatness, yet thoughts about the bully can sometimes induce crippling fear. What is the difference? The answer is in this fact - we are more than just a name. We impact people emotionally. If you think back to your school days, you can remember some of your teachers, not by what they said, but who they were. The emotional impact on someone’s life can last a lifetime.
Who are you being when it comes to other people? Your attitude in every situation will reflect who you are as a person and therefore your outcome in every situation. A bad attitude will end up with a bad result, and a good attitude will bring a good one.
As an exercise, take every letter of the alphabet and number them so that A=1, B=2 etc. Take the word “Attitude” and assign the corresponding number to each letter. Then add the numbers up. That final number is the percentage of impact your attitude will have on your life, on your outcomes, on your behaviours on who you are being and who you will be known as.
The picture above sums it all up perfectly - “Attitude is Everything”. Choose your attitude wisely because it will determine everything else about you.
Have an attitudinally amazing week.
PS I'd love to hear your comments and feedback.
1. Weathering the Storms
2. Maintaining Momentum
No doubt you have heard of the recent events regarding damage caused by the floods and then this week’s cyclone Yasi. The extent of the damage from the floods was in the billions, but then all of a sudden, as people are beginning to rebuild their lives, cyclone Anthony passes through and then the phenomenal Yasi unleashes it’s fury on Queensland. We heard the news about the cyclones while we were away on holidays this week on Bruny Island which is South of Hobart on the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.
One morning whilst we were away, I decided to go for a walk along the beach. I was admiring the incredible view which reinforced to me God’s incredible design. The sand stone cliffs where I was standing right on the shoreline boasted some amazing patterns cut into the rocks by years of waves and storms that battered that part of the shoreline. I was thinking how amazing it would be to enjoy something like that every single day of the year, but then I realised something… without the storms, the amazing part of that coastline wouldn’t exist.
I suddenly realised that even though there are many storms in life that we will face including some that seem like they carry the fury of Yasi, the storms will pass and although there may be some cleanup required, it is the pressure endured from the storms we have faced that have helped shape the lives that we are living right now. We are who we are because of the life we have lived. How we choose to respond to the storms that we will face over the course of the rest of our lives will determine who we will become. Weather the storm well.
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Have you ever driven a car with no power steering? I have. It is no fun, especially when the car is supposed to have it.
Recently the power steering unit of my car cracked and all of the fluid drained out making it very difficult to steer without using some muscle. That gave a whole new meaning to the term “Power steering”.To turn a car with power steering at standstill can easily be done with the open palm of your hand. To do this without power steering is impossible. However, with some momentum, this is workable. It is momentum that makes the difference.
It is the same with leadership. Momentum makes the difference. It is never the size of your problem that is the problem. It's a lack of momentum. Without momentum, it doesn’t take much to slow you down, or even stop you. Consider some of the following things that maintain momentum compared to some of the things that break momentum.
This list was inspired an article written by John Maxwell.
Vision verses Di-Vision: Vision is an important part of leadership. Without vision, people perish. This is because their focus will be directed somewhere else. A leader that cannot produce vision will produce double-mindedness, or di-vision in those he is supposed to lead and that will definitely slow momentum. A Leader who can share vision will inspire those he is leading and generate momentum
Solo players verses Team players If you try doing things on your own, you will destroy momentum. Team victories allow everyone to celebrate together, and the more victories the team celebrates, the more the momentum grows, especially if numerous people can claim to have played a part.
The Past verses the Future “If you want to see your past, look at your current situation. If you want to see your future, look at your current action.” We can choose to continue thinking on the past and how things were, and stay stuck in what was or what could have been, or we can learn from the past and let go of it to embrace the future. Tomorrow will come, but the tomorrow you have will be determined by the actions of today.
A critical attitude verses a constructive attitude When someone is given a critique their creative work is pulled to pieces or criticised. This could be positively or negatives. However, our human nature is that we will often naturally progress to the negative aspect of criticism. When someone is criticised often enough, it will not just discourage them or take courage away from them, it will cripple them. When this happens to those we are leading, we will quickly notice a grinding halt in our desired momentum. The opposite is also true. Encourage, or put courage into people and they will grow, and desire to achieve more. Then momentum will soar to record heights. Mental attitude makes all the difference to your overall momentum.
Indecision verses action John Maxwell says, “I am never overly impressed with idea people. Anyone who takes a long shower can come up with a good idea. I'm impressed with a person who has the tenacity and discipline to make ideas happen.” Leaders can break the momentum on their team by giving in to the “paralysis of analysis”. Sometimes a leader needs to act without all of the needed information. Momentum and risk walk side by side. As a leader, there are times when in order to inspire excitement in those you lead, you just need to act.
Tradition verses Creativity Good leaders consistently and demandingly question the reasoning behind the comments, “That’s how we have always done it” Although we need to know why the fence was built in the first place before we tear it down, we also need to realise that things that worked in the past may be outdated and could hold you back in the future.
Dishonesty verses Character What sort of leader would you follow? One who is manipulative and deceitful of one who is trustworthy and has integrity and a strong character? Character is the sum total of our everyday choices. It cannot be built overnight. Integrity of character comes from the proper decisions made behind closed doors even when people haven’t been watching because it was simply the right thing to do.
Peter Kusmic said, "Charisma without Character is a Catastrophe". The circumstances we live in determines our reputations, while the truth we choose to believe in determines our character.
We have the choice to continue to maintain speed and watch our momentum continue, or we can act in ways that will bring it to a grinding halt. Over the next few days, assess your personal momentum. Are you continuing at the same speed, are you increasing pace, or are you struggling to overcome even the smallest challenges? What has been happening that has brought about your answer? What steps can you put in place right now that will ensure that you Maintain Momentum today.