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A Deep look into the mirror is a powerful thing to do.

I mean a really deep look. Not the kind of look that shows you if your hair looks good or the blemish on your chin is noticeable….the kind of look that assesses yourself in an accountable way. A look that measures your capabilities and gifts and asks the deeper questions about what kind of fruit your actions are bearing.

When I teach leadership, one of the concepts I talk about is the “mirror versus the window.” In short this concept relates to praising and recognizing others when they are performing well and looking at your self first (as the leader) when they are not. In this message I am taking this same concept to a more personal level and relating it to individual pursuits. It is quite natural for human beings to focus outward and look at the things we believe are in our way or challenging us when we are pursuing something. The challenge with this is that there are always many reasons or perceived obstacles we can find, for why we cannot do the thing we would like to do. This is true in every corner of our life.

The reality is that we only need one reason why we can. Hence the title of this blog. In a situation where you are dealing with other people or organizations in your pursuit, you will find many things you wish were different or better with either one. This is dis-empowering. We live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people, and organizations by nature, will also be imperfect. When we focus on what we don’t like or what we can’t change, we drive our energy down. If we ask the question “what can I do? from a positive perspective we will find many answers that can move us forward.

The reality is that we only need one reason why we can.

When it comes to the pure individual aspect of our pursuit…the actions needed to make it a reality, we face another set of reasons why we “can’t do it. We face our self-doubts, fears, and we also face our skill and knowledge limitations. If we focus on the things that we don’t feel we do well or don’t know, we will be dis-empowered by this also. Instead, if we turn the question to “what can I do? we assess the aspects of the pursuit where we already have capabilities. This allows us to work forward in a positive way, while we look for ways to overcome the areas we may not have a handle on yet.

I have had the opportunity to coach and mentor many people from many walks of life over the last 20 years. It is no longer a surprise to me that two people can stand side by side and look at the identical situation, from similar backgrounds and life situations, and one sees something wonderful and the other sees only negatives. Two people can have the same struggles in life and one says “look what they have done to me” and the other says “look what I have done to myself.” It all comes down to taking personal responsibility for where you are and what you want accomplish.

one sees something wonderful and the other sees only negatives.

Nothing in life is perfect, including you and me. However, any pursuit worthwhile will have the ingredients to provide a feast of accomplishment. You simply have to take responsibility for working with the ingredients. It starts with the two questions asked in a positive way “what can I do” and “What can I do.”


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