Day One

May 9th, 2017 | By | Category: Commentary

Jeff Hough
By Jeff Hough

I often wonder about the originality of ideas. For example, I study a lot about leadership and building great teams. Through the years, there have been trends that emerge and seem to resonate, but upon closer examination, there is nothing new.

From this perspective, it seems as if discovering something new is nothing more than uncovering that which already exists. But the circumstances or the connections which led to it, make the discovery seem new and exciting.

Following that line of thinking leads me to consider the core principles on which we base things. If we look at creativity and its core principle, we could make the case for it to be curiosity. Curiosity fuels explorers to see what’s over the next mountain or artists to combine new colors.

Many things influence creativity, yet in the end, it comes down to a willingness to explore. Either you are or you aren’t. Either you are willing to step outside of your door into the unknown or you aren’t.

The search for inspiration to take that step fuels the self-help industry and is the subject of countless books. Too often we label ourselves to ease our guilt for not stepping through the door. Self-talk like, “I’m not that creative,” or “I’m not that brave”, pigeonholes us into defined comfort zones. We love to be comfortable.

A core principle of great leadership is the ability to develop and maintain deep relationships. I have a coffee mug that I cherish because of the saying on it. It says “True friends say nice things behind your back and hard things to your face.” That is the essence of effective leadership.

To have the right people around you who will say the tough things to your face, while supporting you in front of the masses takes the courage to be vulnerable and transparent. It requires you to be comfortable with discomfort.

Touching center means you must give yourself permission to be curious and vulnerable. When you do this, you begin to break out of your own little pigeonhole and begin to see the world differently. The problem with pigeonholing yourself is there are too many variables to correctly assign yourself or someone else to a role.

Too often we assign young people a label based on some preconceived notion. We do it to make sense of our world. It makes social situations easier if we can label people and group them with other similar labels, because it tells us how we should act and react. We are pre-programming our behavior so we don’t have to experience each moment of our lives.

Living without pre-defined roles or expectations opens a new world to explore. It makes each moment more precious than the one before because there is always something new to discover or relationships to exp.

The question then becomes, how do we break free of pre-conceived notions and incorrect assignments? How do we live closer to the core principles on which things are based? The beauty of these questions is that there is no definitive answer. The real answer is, “It depends.”

It depends on you and what you are willing to give yourself permission to do. Can you give yourself permission to be curious or to be vulnerable? Can you give yourself permission to be successful, no matter how you define success? Will you build the relationships necessary to grow into your truest self?

In the end, true success lies in becoming who you can become. This idea has been around since day one, but gets lost in the noise around us. What is new, is your decision to make this day one or to make it one day.

Jeff Hough is a business author, blogger and speaker in Pocatello.

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