What’s in a Reflection?
The story of “The Alchemist” begins with a narration of the legend of Narcissus, an individual so enamored with his beauty that he entered a trance and fell into a lake. The very same lake on whose surface he had gazed upon his reflection. But the story gets better as you see the lake wept unending tears. You would be right to believe that the magnitude of the tragedy, which signaled the end of Narcissus’s daily visits, had gotten the better of the lake. But these tears foreshadowed the lake’s future regret of no longer seeing its beauty reflected in the eyes of Narcissus. Here in one brief scene we have a demonstration of the power of reflections. They are cast everywhere we go in life and the reason is simple. Our view of the outside world is just a reflection of who we are on the inside. And, for those of us struggling with workplace frustration, a significant transformation awaits those you can go within and change on the inside, so that outside world becomes the very thing of beauty they wish to see.
So how do you reflect your value in your environment at work? How do you overcome the fears of the critics and cynics that abound? It starts with profound clarity. Why do you want this change so badly? Yes, you have come a far distance in a short time by applying the reframe and the rewrite principles. Your mindset is now in a much better place, but all of this was just preparation. The awareness you now hold did not come to you and through you to be kept private. You are now becoming that person you wished would have shown up for you not so long ago. It is time to embody the identity of this person and lead from the front, not by belittling those whose receiver is off but by setting the example to follow. Your ability to deliver measurable impact derives from what you do and not what you say. Action indeed speaks louder than words and builds character and integrity.
The task at hand is simpler than it appears, but it is our nature to overcomplicate everything. You know what your environment lacks, after all, this has been the reason for your prolonged discontent. You have whispered these shortcomings with your colleagues in passing and now is the time to pause and take inventory. Bring to mind what is lacking and then identify the “One.” Just like in The Matrix, there is one thing that if address could make all the others easier or downright unnecessary. What is that one thing that you could bring to the table? Focus on the value of the idea in relation to its impact and not how it will be accomplished. Sure, there will be a time to contemplate all of the obstacles but now is not that time. Who will benefit from this idea? Go into the future and see your design complete in all its glory. How is the environment different? You will know when you have the next best idea when you can fully emotionalize it. For me, my idea took the form of “Step Up”, a program birth out of three desires to:
- Unleash My Voice
- Create Opportunities
- Elevate with Radiance
Great, you have just experienced first creation. What is this you say? Stop for a minute and take stock of your surroundings. What do you see? Is there a phone in view tempting you to check-in? This device and all the other items you see were created twice, first in the mind of the creator and second in the world as a physical manifestation. This process is called first and second creation. The problem for most people is that great ideas never see the light of day because they go from ideation to stagnation of further frustration, and clearly we do not need more of the latter. So how do you get this done? How do you implement your idea without been hacked? We are now ready to consider the how.
With any idea you can find ALL the reasons why it cannot be and those will distill into one of two camps — lack of identity and/or resources. You will question who are you to do this great thing? No one asks you to step up or granted you permission. No one has given you the things you need to get the job done, after all, this is extra and you already are swamped with your daily task. This my friend is where the leader in you separates from the herd. You are enough because you answered the call to act. The answers you need are within you waiting to be rediscovered. You have enough because time is not your most valuable asset. It is not the reason why you may have become stagnated in the past taking action. Attention is your most critical resource and the one you need to guard with zeal. Focus all your attention on this one idea and start taking small steps each day to bring it forth. Set a date for its completion and make it public to build urgency. The longer your idea stays on a slow bake, the faster it loses the power of intent to doubt and distraction.
This thought is your idea and you cannot wait for others to see it and bring it to light. Yes, recruit those that are willing to help but you must be of service first. You must show up for others and deliver value before they will show up for you with testimonials and a desire to spread the message organically. In the end you will have built the environment that you wish to see. This is the power of a reflection.
If you will like to learn more about “Step Up” and use a similar process to create your workplace lunch and learn program, then pick up my Three R’s book and follow along my journey from frustration to joy. As always, I wish you the best of luck and remember you can be at cause rather than effect if you decide today is the day that you will no longer settle for a life less than ideal.
P.S. Every program needs a motto. Feel free to borrow and extend that of Step Up — “What we do in here is a model for how we perform and engage out there.”
This article was originally published by me on Medium and Linkedin.