“Fear is a threshold phenomenon, the threshold of a new adventure” Doug McKegney.
Doug was my first coach and now a good friend. In those early days fear pretty much kept me paralyzed as I wanted to venture out into the world of coaching. Doug was the first to tell me that fear is like the shadow of Godzilla only to find when exposed to the light of day, that it’s a wiener dog. It’s a matter of perspective.
Today’s gift, if I could give you a gift would be the gift of Perspective. Life provides many events, situations, joys, sorrows, frustrations and disappointments. However, it’s not the event that makes or breaks the person – it’s how we respond to it – the meaning we give to it.
I’ve quoted Viktor Frankl before because what he wrote is so meaningful to me. A Jewish psychiatrist imprisoned in Auschwitz Germany during World War Two, beaten more than once he later wrote, “In the concentration camps…we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions.”
As we enter the holiday season with all its hustle and bustle, all the frenetic energy that goes into creating a just so “perfect experience”, as that person cuts us off in line or the store runs out of your favorite (fill in the blank), as the wants exceed the money available, as things just don’t go right, my gift would be a different “Perspective”: To choose a different more empowering interpretation of the event unfolding before you, to embrace rather than resist or resent the moment. As teacher, speaker, coach Jim Sorenson says, “Don’t let that guy who just cut in front of you, drive away with your good mood in his trunk!” In that moment that event may feel like a Godzilla, but in taking a different perspective it becomes the wiener dog.