This Week’s Focus Point: Splashing in the Mud
Last Friday, I was wending my way through a client’s gravel parking lot looking for a place close to the door to park. As has been the case of late in my neck of the woods, it was raining hard. There were a few small potholes that had been created and were filled with muddy water. I was working to avoid them and a mother and her very young daughter that were walking in the deluge through the parking lot.
The mom was holding the little girl’s hand – she looked to be about 3 years old. They were dressed for the walk in the weather, including big rubber boots. While the mom was walking gingerly through the parking lot (as most adults would be doing), the little girl suddenly did what almost all 3 year olds would do – she very deliberately and with great gusto – splashed in the mud puddle. The muddy water went flying all over the place and the look of glee on her face was unmistakable. As she and her mother passed by me, the mom and I exchanged a knowing smile.
There’s something wonderful about being in the state of mind that you actually crave getting dirty. We are taught not long after 3 years old to avoid mud puddles. As we get older, we are also taught by family, society, school, and well meaning friends to avoid other “dirty” endeavors that might cause us angst. Things like boldly taking risks, being unafraid of failing, not worrying about what others think, to start a business, to jump out of a plane, to change careers, and many other activities that attract the risk of getting messy and muddy in life.
Ironically, the day before, I was sitting in another client’s office and he had a sign prominently displayed on a shelf that read, “If you didn’t get dirty, you didn’t play in the game.” The sign and the little girl’s actions offer a great lesson for us.
There’s nothing wrong with splashing through mud puddles and getting dirty. It’s how we best grow professionally and personally. We are all washable. Even the dirt that might cause challenges are only temporary and we end up being the wiser for them. My professional mentor Alan Weiss is oft heard saying that we are not here in the world to merely dip our toes in the water; we are here to make waves.
My encouragement to you this week is to make some waves, splash in some mud puddles, and get dirty. You may just walk away from the experience with the same gleeful expression of a three year old girl that just splashed through her own muddy water!
Do you or your company need help splashing in the mud? If so, we should talk. Contact me at (360) 271-1592 or email@example.com.
Quote of the Week:
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
~ Winston Churchill
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