Confessions of a “Wonderer”
I’ve always enjoyed the activity of Wonder. To see the possibilities…even in the simplest of things.
For example, watching the spring melt has fascinated me since I was a kid. The tiny rivers of water flowing down the curbs creating ice caverns under what used to be a snow bank. I loved how it forged its way through the debris of leaves, pine needles and dirt leaving an intricate path of least resistance.
As I watched, I wished to be downsized as in the movie, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” so that I could fully embrace the awesomeness of the spring melt.
So that I could be in the beauty of it.
I would enjoy putting leaves in these rivers and watch them move…seeing which path it would take and the speed at which it would flow.
There was potential in it all. Spring would be coming. Soon the trees would bud, eventually giving off a green hue, seen from a short distance away, informing us again of the promise of a new season.
Realizing Potential in the Little Things
In anticipation of summer, as I walked to school or on my paper route I would do my small part to help the melt by kicking snow into the sun that may have been in the shade. I’d break snow and ice apart believing it’ll melt faster when separated. Sometimes I’d kick more snow into the path of flowing water in hopes that it too would melt faster.
For me, these little things mattered because they took me…they took us closer to an iceless landscape where the green grass would welcome us once again. Where soccer fields, basketball courts and ball diamonds would be calling us to play.
As a Canadian, I have my own affinity for winter as well. But each season carries with it potential for something different and new. With each change there’s a unique beauty awaiting to be lived in.
There’s potential before you and there are grand possibilities in your next season.
Just like every tiny fleck of snow that is kicked into the open sun melts a little bit faster…Every small step you take in the direction of your vision is potential being realized.
Don’t belittle the small steps…rather celebrate them for they will take you further than you imagined possible.
How Do I Learn to See What’s Possible?
The activity of “Wonder” doesn’t come naturally to everyone and that’s ok because everyone is wired with different strengths. Building in systems can help us navigate those areas that aren’t second-nature to us.
Even in our strengths, adding some intentional patterns can help us break the assumption that our strengths don’t need any attention or development. For me it’s the ability to ponder possibilities.
Here are 6 tips to intentionally cultivate your ability to see potential. It’s not rocket science, but simply requires follow-through.
Pause. Look. Reflect. Ask. Read. Listen. (Consistently)
It’s hard to see life’s possibilities when it’s lived at a blazing speed. I’m sure you’ve heard this from a thousand different sources…BUT the question is…will you do it?
Take a time-out. Schedule it and make it easy to do.
Observe your surroundings and see the common from a different angle.
Look for something that intrigues you or catches your eye.
What are you observing or feeling? What are you finding yourself thinking about and what questions come to mind? Is there anything you are grateful for?
Writing these things out can be helpful to develop and bring clarity to your thoughts.
Create questions based on your reflections.
What makes that possible? Or what would happen if…? What principle can I learn from this? Is this (observation) the best way to do it? Is there more that’s possible here?
How can this be applied to…? What am I most satisfied with? Frustrated with? What small, consistent change could I make that would lessen my feeling of frustration? Or add to my satisfaction?
Find content that makes you think and helps to develop your own thoughts. We don’t have to adopt everything we read, but we can discipline ourselves to wrestle with and learn something from it.
Every conversation is an invitation to learn. When we listen intently to people’s stories they will tell us something significant about themselves that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Our conversation might be with a friend, a mentor, a spouse, a child, a colleague or even a book – regardless, there’s a lesson if you’re patient enough to listen.
Listen for the potential that’s in people and the potential they are offering to you from their story.
You don’t have to emulate them. But if you listen, you will learn how to better see & foster their potential and your own.
(learn more about how “Wonder” is the first activity involved in doing any kind of work according to Pat Lencioni’s newest book, The Six Types of Working Genius)
Realize Your Potential
In life, we assume far too often.
We assume good intentions are enough. We assume we know what we really want. We assume personal growth will just happen. We assume God will make it happen.
If you’re done with ‘assuming’, you are a great candidate for coaching.
Together, we’ll focus on YOU…with your personal growth as the objective!
A Team Session
You and I know that organizational health is not a luxurious add-on for your team but a necessary component for success. If you’re looking for the next tool to use for your team development, The Six Types of Working Genius is both simple & profoundly applicable.
As a Certified Working Genius Facilitator, allow me to walk you through a condensed Working Genius Team Session and I’ll allow you to decide the rest!