WHAT'S NEW?Nov 23, 2022
A few years ago, when our daughters Blake and Bailey were 5 and 7 years old, they saw snow for the first time. Without them with me, it would have been just another morning, but with their eyes wide open, so were mine. They woke up and took it all in. They cherished every moment. They asked good, honest, and insightful questions. They experienced it together. There was joy in their heart, and they were humble and hungry to learn. Not a bad mindset for all of us to be in…when we wake up and take it all in.
I learned this when I became a father at 40 years old. I had the privilege to witness my two young daughters see and experience things for the first time. I’ll never forget observing them - in real time – realize what’s new. That’s what children do. They’re explorers, uncoverers, and imaginers. If you’ve ever observed a child seeing and experiencing something for the first time, the wonder and awe, the barrage of questions, the racing mind, is something to behold. Whether it’s unwrapping a present, learning a new word, hearing a new sound, looking in the mirror for the first time, or meeting a new friend...it’s all one big, incredible, fascinating discovery.
As we evolve, mature, and grow as leaders, presenters, coaches, and teachers, we’ll inevitably be vulnerable to a “been there, done that” mindset. This lens can make it even more challenging to find ways to keep things fresh, make our message engaging, and remember what’s new. As we all progress, it’s so important we never get desensitized to the wonder and awe of it all. We may be leading, presenting, teaching, coaching something very familiar to us, material we’ve delivered over and over, information that is so obvious to us after years of explanation. We must remember that our audience is probably hearing it, seeing it, experiencing it, taking it all in for the first time, and we should honor that perspective.
What’s new? It’s a reasonable and common question, and if I’m a bit tired, slightly over it, in the mindset of, “been there, done that”, my response is something to the effect of “nothing much,”…and off we go. But if I take a moment to pause, step back, and truly reflect, there’s so much more to that question than “nothing much”. The answer is, in fact, so much more…especially when we can see things, approach experiences, live life, with a fresh perspective, a growth mindset, and a “what can I learn” lens.
We seasoned adults may wake up and view a snowfall as an inconvenience, a slower drive to work, or another cold and grey morning. But for others - our audience, our staff, our team, our children, might be waking up to the amazement, the wonder, the awe of it all. With that said, here’s to all of us working on our “what can I learn” lens and being humble and hungry enough to see things, approach experiences, and live life so we can all continue to discover…what’s new.
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