I promise I don’t only write about books on this blog. Really! It’s not a book blog it’s just that books are my primary modality for learning. That and podcasts. Which is why I turn to non-fiction books and have done so more regularly in my adulthood. Life after formal ‘schooling’ has developed in me this insatiable desire to continue learning despite no longer doing so within the world of traditional higher education. Been there, done that. Got the diploma, too!
The good news is, the learning doesn’t stop once you walk across that stage. It never does in fact! I’ve found that ever since graduating college I actually have MORE of a genuine desire to learn. It’s probably because it’s on my own terms now and I’m not necessarily obligated to spend an hour in a classroom learning about some math equation or rule that I’m really never going to use. Ever again. Sorry to all my former math teachers. It’s not you, it’s me! I’m just a creative, what can I say.
Learning as an adult is whatever you want it to be. If there’s a particular skill or talent you want to learn, you can! If there’s a way of doing business that interests you or perhaps how to be a better teammate, boss, etc. - all of these topics (and more!!) are subjects covered in hundreds of books out there on bookshelves around the world. I promise you! All you have to do is look.
The book I’m currently reading, ‘Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact,’ covers a number of topics that I’m interested in - leadership, business and being a people manager/leader - to name a few. I’m about halfway through and it’s been a tremendous read thus far. It will certainly make my ‘recommended’ book list for 2022.
I wanted to share one particular quote from that book that’s been sitting with me all day. I read it this morning before my workout and I was so taken aback by its resounding message that I marinated on it for a while before moving on to the next page. I even read it out loud to my better half and of course wrote it down in my notebook before officially flipping the page.
It reads as follows…
”We all know it just takes one person - in a meeting, a department, or the entire company - to hurt others’ productivity (and therefore happiness). Accountability requires a hard line to be drawn with consequences in place. Otherwise people will doubt the company values have any weight because others get away with not living by them. It just takes one or two weeds to wipe out the conditions that greenhouse needs to grow.“
WOW. This is now probably the fifth time I’ve read that paragraph and it’s just as impactful as the first. Let that sit with you for a minute. Obviously this book is specifically focused on the workplace and work environment but the above sentiment doesn’t only apply to business. It applies to LIFE. Your life, my life, LIFE. All it takes is one person…
Granted that one person could be the one person who changes your life for the better but in this particular example it’s referring to the opposite. That individual who’s detrimental to a team’s ‘productivity’ and thereby their own happiness in their working environment.
Let me ask you this, did you think about someone in particular when you read that quote? It doesn’t have to be work related, not at all. Did you think about that ‘one person’ in your own life who is detrimental to YOUR growth and YOUR joy as an individual? Have you ever stopped to analyze the POWER that person has over you? For lack of a better term, the true ‘choke hold’ they have you and your personal development in? If an individual popped up and you could see their face in front of your eyes as you were reading that I can already tell you, without question, they have too much power over you.
One of my favorite realizations in these beautiful 29 years I’ve lived on this planet was the fact that I can only control myself. That’s right, Casey. Me, myself and I. It’s the most transformational thing I’ve EVER discovered in my walk of life. Now that realization relates to the above sentiment because WE have control over our own environments. If you thought of a friend when you read that, I want you to process the fact that no one is forcing you to keep that person in your life. No one. If you thought of a coworker after reading that, while a little bit trickier, remember, please remember, that you can only control yourself and how you react to situations or people that may be threatening your light. Threatening to diminish you and what you bring to the table by bringing you down to their level. To their level of darkness, anger, mean-spirited energy. Can you remove yourself from that team? Can you share your feedback with leaders to hopefully address the situation with that individual? Because people cannot change if they don’t know what’s wrong. If they don’t recognize what’s wrong. If you‘ve never told your boyfriend that you actually don’t like that restaurant that you always go to every Friday night, how in the WORLD do you expect him to know that??? See what I mean?!
As you can see this sentiment really struck a chord with me. I’m hoping it did with you too. I’m hoping it’s encouraging you to run through the rolodex of individuals in your own life, both personally and professionally who came to mind when you read that quote. Who is that ‘one person’ - or perhaps more! - who is threatening you, your ’productivity’ and your ‘happiness.’ Are you holding them and their behavior accountable? Is it about time you cut them out and got back to infusing your life and your precious time on this Earth with people who make your face feel like sunshine? I think so...