Friday, April 1, 2022
This week, my wife, Annie, who almost never complains about anything, reached the end of her rope with our dogs. We have four of them – three English Bulldogs and a stowaway Boston Terrier. For those of you who have ever had English Bulldogs, you know that they are much like having toddlers. They are only about that bright, are always needing something, and forever requiring this or that to be wiped … all on top of their routine indoor “accidents.” And if you’ve ever had a Boston, you know that they are pot stirrers. So whatever problems the Bulldogs are creating become near infinitely worse when you add a Boston to the mix. Normally, Annie is their chief cheerleader and life chronicler. She has 738,000 photos of them on her phone and texts at least 19 life updates of each dog every day. So, for her to have had it with them took quite a lot. Naturally, she came to me for help. I say naturally because whenever the dogs misbehave their ownership status reverts to me; they become my dogs again. My advice for Annie in that moment was simple: with everything you want in life, will come something you don’t.
And that’s the point for the week.
It’s also true.
Don’t believe it? Think back to anything you’ve ever wished for and subsequently received. I’ll bet you that it came with something you didn’t want as well. It’s a simple fact of life. Everything comes at a price.
Rainbows come with rain. The down part of a rollercoaster ride comes with the boring click-clack up part. Spring always follows Winter. Higher income comes with a higher tax bracket. You get the idea. It’s always the case. With everything you want will come something you don’t.
The best leaders understand this intuitively. And they plan accordingly. They don’t draw up plans with lines that move only in an upward trajectory, because they recognize that ups come with downs and that highs come with consequential lows. They hire great people knowing they will have developmental areas. They recognize that any two steps forward will likely come with one taken back. They know that humans never get everything right; so, they don’t expect them to.
As a result, they hold people to realistic standards. They factor in the inevitable back-ups. They rarely lose their patience or their minds when bad things happen – mostly because they expect them, but also because they recognize the futility of temper tantrums. They know that no good ever comes from dwelling on the bad. So, they don’t do it. Instead, they celebrate progress and those who achieve it. They happily endure rain, the click-clack parts, and the backward steps. Because they know that they bring with them progress, beauty and joy.
They are people that others willingly follow, mostly because they are people who hold others accountable without destroying their dignity. Because they know they will live through minor setbacks and simple mistakes. And because they know that they will be encouraged and consoled when they fall, not berated, embarrassed or belittled. Most of all, it’s because they know that they will be accepted for who they are – taking any bad with all of the good and all that they want with everything they don’t.
So, recognize that anything you want always comes with something you don’t.
To learn more about Phillip Kane, please click HERE.
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Photo credit: L. Ann Kane