This is #7 in the series, “50 Ideas Worth Fighting For.”
I feel an energized anticipation when I am getting ready to move.
I feel engaged – challenged, curious, motivated – when I am in motion.
I feel rejuvenated, refreshed, stimulated, creative, purposeful, accomplished, and unstoppable when I return and come to rest again.
Some version of this is true whether it’s a sniff walk with the dog, an aggressive uphill run or a long meander on a forest trail.
I am not made for sitting at a desk for long stretches, though moments of insight, inspiration and even revelation do occur there.
I have determined, however, that those moments occur at a frequency proportionate to the quality of movement that I practice when I am not there.
There is no doubt at all that how well I work, and how affirmatively I live my life, depends on my resolve to get and to keep moving.
Sometimes it is small and just barely there. Sometimes it grows out of nothing into something. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the path. Sometimes we notice it and sometimes we don’t.
Life is always there, it is always happening. It is among the greatest disciplines we can practice, that of expecting to encounter life at every turn and to be fully available to it when we do.
This is the life that is always emerging in and from yourself. This is the life that is emerging in and from everyone you meet. This is the life that is actually teeming, breathing, vibrating around you right now.
To be there for it is to honor it. To notice can mean everything.
As leaders learn to see themselves as planters and cultivators, they will grow increasingly well attuned to the optimal conditions for growth:
Container: the supportive container for your team members is the thoughtfully defined scope of their work. It is appropriately sized to their role, experience and your expectations. It is adjusted based on progress, conditions, and the inevitable changes that occur.
Resources: soil, water and light for your team members are the information they require about the organization and its plans, how they fit into those plans and easy access to the tools they need to be successful. It is context and perspective about how what they do is connected to the goals and vision of the organization.
Attention: for your team members, regular care and feeding is checking in, asking what they need to be successful, providing recognition, assurance, feedback and necessary course corrections. Too much and they will drown. Too little and they will starve.
Applied with discipline and with care, it is nothing short of a miracle what can occur when living things are provided with conditions that respect and expect the emergence of their inherent potential.
Growth is never a given. It can never be assumed. But it is always possible when the conditions are right.
Plumeria seedling at three weeks. Photo by Davis Berry (2018)
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world. Connect with him on Twitter at @berrydavid.
In fireworks as in life it’s best to remember that a whole lot happens before the grand finale.
While you’re worrying about how to navigate the crowd to get back to the car a lot of good stuff is going on.
The end will always find us. And it may be beautiful and powerful evidence of your best effort. But when it comes it really is the end, leaving us to wonder what we might have missed while we were waiting for it to be over.
Don’t be in a hurry. This next one just might take your breath away.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.