This is a great question: What could you accomplish if you knew you could not fail?
I did not always think that way. I thought it pushed the rhetorical envelope too far until my personal trainer pushed me to finish two more squats in the third set with a weight far greater than ever before telling meYou can do it ... you GOT this and this was at the end of a session with added ‘heavy’ weights. Maybe there’s something to that phrase, I thought.
Starting a run the other day, this question came to mind. It stayed there for a mile or two, morphing into this:
What could you accomplish if ...
- you were recognized for accomplishments, big or small?
- each of your steps forward were recognized as a small victory?
- each new plateau was recognized as a launching platform for the next stage of progress?
- each step back, each failure was recognized as learning experience for yourself and others?
- your strengths were recognized for their role in your accomplishments?
- your accomplishments were shared with others, showing how their day benefited.
- your accomplishments were shared on social media for the world to see?
- your accomplishments were shared on the intranet along with everyone’s accomplishments?
- your efforts and struggles, goals and dreams, were recognized with better equipment for you to use?
- your efforts and struggles, were recognized with more training, better training, consistent training?
- another A-Player or two was hired to work with you?
- a mentor was available?
What could your team, department, floor, group, division, friend, spouse, accomplish if you recognized their efforts, successes in some of these ways, ways that mattered to them?
I write these posts in a direct way, pointing the finger at the reader. But I read and edit these posts and so that makes me a reader and that points my own finger at me. Yeah, I'm asking myself the same question.
What can I do to better recognize the efforts, successes, setbacks and lives of those around me?
I can listen more.
Rather than listening for an opening to talk about me, I can listen for an opening to recognize them.
Rather than commiserating in their frustration solely, I can then ask the question, what could you accomplish if you had ... x? I think that helps them rise up above the frustration and ponder it themselves. Then later I can ask How would you get that ... x?
I make a daily habit of writing a gratitude list in the morning. It’s simple. I am grateful for .... and I bullet point everything I can think of in a stream of consciousness.
I end my day listing three positives I experienced for the day.
I have a strong inclination towards penetrating criticism. That habit is not the problem. It is how I use the habit to identify faults instead of virtues that’s the problem. These two daily habits is a simple way to turn that habit into something ... positive.
Back to the question.
What could you accomplish if you knew you would be recognized for it, for the process, for the results?
What could those around us accomplish if we recognized their decisions, their process, their results, their setbacks as learning experiences and helped them as we can and always, always, celebrated their achievements?
Yeah, the possibilities I see make me smile.