What’s the Alternative?

IMG_5108_2I’m headed out today for the annual Mentor Summit hosted by Alan Weiss for all the consultants around the globe in his mentor program. It’s always a fun event…last year in Washington D.C. and this year at Las Vegas.

(I’m traveling to Vegas on the first day of Lent…I guess discipline is the first test for this year!)

I consistently learn a lot from Alan, and one of his most recent newsletters contained a brief article that resonated with me. I’ve printed it out and glance or read it every morning for perspective. I thought on this day that I travel to see him and many of my colleagues, I’d share it with you. I hope it has the same effect.

My friends, I have a question: What’s the alternative?

We are living on a chunk of space rock traveling at 80,000 miles per hour around an exploding star. We influence and control none of that, and scientific and religious argument notwithstanding, we don’t actually understand very much of it.

Hence, it’s rewarding to be optimistic each day, canine-like in our eagerness to exploit the new morning, because it’s the only sane way to live. If you oppose suicide, then why throw your life away piecemeal by worrying about every conceivable issue and assuming and fearing the worst? Every day those of us who drive engage in a huge display of positive faith by driving on roads at 60 miles per hour or more with those around us – distracted, on phones, angry, having consumed alcohol or drugs, daydreaming, depressed, stressed – doing the same within mere feet of our cars.

Ergo, we all exhibit at least a cautious optimism. We believe we can avoid accidents and are willing to take the small risk of someone acting recklessly around us. Our portmanteau is actually filled with reasonable assumptions and safe predictions. One of my favorite apothegms is: “This, too, shall pass.”

I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt until and unless they prove unworthy of it. I’d like the same favor extended to me. I believe in temporary setbacks and not fatal mistakes. I’m an opportunist by nature, and if something unanticipated is in my path, I don’t avoid it, I think about what I can do with it. (A dog will try to eat it and, failing that, play with it and, failing that, urinate on it. My hierarchy is somewhat different.)

Therefore, what choice do you really have? Are you going to face the morning as another long, slow, crawl through enemy territory? Or are you going to sprint into what light we have?

If the latter, that figure out there ahead of you would be me.

~ Alan Weiss (from his newsletter, Balancing Act ®)

 

© 2016 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

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