Outside Experiences Influence Inside Perspectives
This is a line from an old Hank Williams song called “Why don’t you love me?” In the song, Hank is expressing his frustrations that his wife is not treating him the same way she used to, even though he feels he is the same person he always has been. The lyrics and that old, twangy sound make it a fun song to sing along to while tapping your foot. Beyond that, and at the risk of trying to pull gems from a pile of rocks, I think this song presents an interesting self-reflection opportunity that I would like each of us to consider.
2020 has been a unique year to say the least. Global pandemic, social injustice issues, economic disruption and instability, Presidential election drama, just to name a few. All of these things have caused us to make adjustments to our usual way of operating and to our usual way of engaging with the world around us – not just so we can be sure we remain productive and fully valuable to our employers, but also so we can simply maintain a level of overall personal health and well-being. We have all made adjustments and I would propose that we all have done a pretty amazing job at making those adjustments.
In What Ways Have You Changed?
It does not take much effort to name all of the ways the world around us feels different to us and, as a result, all the ways our interactions with the world around us have changed. It makes me wonder, how likely is it that we have navigated so many significant changes and experiences in the world around us without being at least partially shaped or influenced by those experiences? I would suggest not likely! So here is the self-reflection opportunity to consider. In what ways have you changed as a result of your efforts to effectively and adaptively accommodate to all the changes around you? To what degree have there been shifts in what you believe, in what you value, in what you appreciate, etc.? And more importantly, how will those shifts influence your relationships with the world around you going forward? As a leader of others, how will these shifts influence they way you interact with and lead your teams? These are just a sample to get you started.
Naturally, there are no correct answers here, but it is important for us all to remember that while we may feel the world is constantly changing around us, that we too are also constantly changing within the world. To what degree these changes are positive or negative is for each of us to decide for ourselves. But that you must – be mindful of those changes, decide if they are negative or positive, and take ownership of what you decide to do, if anything, with those changes. The world will continue to change around us, but our impact lies most immediately in remaining as aware as possible of all the ways in which we continue to change within the world.