Point to Ponder
What is holding you back?
one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence
All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in
one's favor all matters of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would
have come his way."
- W. H. Murray (The Scottish Himalayan Expedition)
The only way to
successfully climb a mountain is to start; to take that first
Yes, it is important to
make sure you have a plan, that you've taken care to ensure you have
competent guides and a team to make sure your climb is successful.
Of course it is important to train yourself and to make sure you are
in shape for the challenge ahead.
But, somewhere along the
line, you must choose to make that first step and then, once
committed, continue to make all the steps necessary to safely and
successfully reach the summit. Planning and thinking about the climb
are important, but you must begin.
Often you will find the
actual climb to be more challenging than you could have imagined. I
remember (one summer about 25 years back) hiking, what would be
considered a small height, up a 4500 foot vertical peak in the BC
interior. I went along with the encouragement of 3 of my friends who
were in much better shape and more experienced than myself. But, I
thought, if they can do it so can I.
I practiced walking
around my apartment with my 40 pound pack and took long walks around
the city where I lived to 'get in shape', and at last I thought I
was ready. Boy was I mistaken. That 40 pound pack would soon feel
like 400 and my legs would make me cry out in pain.
We started off very early
and the 1st part of our journey went very well. In fact, we found
ourselves where we had planned to stop the 1st night just after
lunch. This was the more gentle part of the trip. They decided to
push on to the summit that same day. Being a 'guy' I choose to
follow in spite of my already sore body. It was
excrutiating. I remember the last couple of hours
staggering 50 or 100 feet at a time and then slumping to catch my
breath or leaning against a rock or scrub tree. Then I would take a
deep breath, shift my pack, and stagger some more.
When at last, I reached
the summit... it was truly amazing. We were above the cloud line and
looking down saw other peaks appearing like islands in the clouds.
We cooked dinner on the summit and I have to
admit it tasted better than anything I had ever eaten. The next day,
I stayed at the camp to let my body heal while they went off in
search of something else to hike. I enjoyed the solitude of the day
and the vision of being above the clouds.
I also reflected on my
not fully understanding what I was preparing for in taking on
this arduous quest.
I also marveled that I
had successfully climbed this peak and reflected that I had done it
one agonizing step at a time.
"Until one is
committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw
What is holding you back
from making your dreams a reality? What is holding you back from
starting? When will you take the first step to climb your
Archives of past issues are
available on our www.ideaman.net website.
My friend George Torok is
also a Creativity Catalyst from Toronto... perhaps that is why we
are friends. He is a very creative man and someone whose friendship
and insights I value. Here is something he shared with me that I
feel is appropriate for this issue where we are challenging you to
set new goals and bravely move ahead into your fall.We are also
challenging you to look at what you have done and see if, perhaps,
it is not working for you. If not, painful as it may sound, CHANGE
But We've Always
Done it This Way: Top Ten List
What does that really mean?
Perhaps you just asked a question at a
committee meeting. The room went silent and at least one person
pointedly explained to you that "We've always done it this way". The
rest of the group either chimed in or nodded their heads in arrogant
approval. Some might even have glanced at you with that dismissive
look of lost causes.
For many people change is painful. It
doesn't matter how silly their current path or how promising the
opportunity of other possibilities. Change hurts.
It is also painful to admit that what you have been doing
needs to be changed. Accepting change means accepting the
possibility that you are not currently doing things the best
While you bite your tongue or fume at
that response consider this Top Ten List
of the Real Meanings of "But we've always done it this
What might people be thinking
as they state that lame defense?
10. I haven't got a clue
why we do it this way and I never thought about it before. But I'm
not going to admit that to you.
9. Your question is a good one. But I
never asked it and wish that I had. As much as your question
disturbs me I won't admit that out loud.
8. You're new aren't you? You new people
just want to change our perfect little world. We like it the
way it is. We can outlast you.
7. How dare you question
the wisdom of your predecessors? It was good enough for them why
isn't it good enough for you? Have you no blind respect and
subservience to those who were here before you?
6. You clearly don't know how we
do things around here. It has nothing to do with logic,
fairness and openness.
5. If you are a team player you
will go along with us without asking embarrassing questions
4. We don't like
questions like that. And right now I don't like you for
3. Perhaps you believe that you have the
right to ask questions... but you're wrong. Shut up and go
with the flow.
2. It's working the way it is.
Leave it alone. Can we go now?
1. Despite what you were told, this is
not a democracy. We don't care about your ideas.
Just do what you are told to do. And do it the way that you are told
to do it.
When you try to change things you will
hear the response "But we've always done it this way." Don't hate
people for that response. Consider the list above to understand what
they might be feeling. Recognize that your questions might be
disturbing them and they might not be ready to give you an honest
and thoughtful answer.
"But we've always done it this way" is
likely the response of a person who feels threatened.
When faced with this challenge you will
need to find a less threatening way to make change. The other
alternative is to expose the status quo as the bigger threat.
© George Torok is a Creativity
Catalyst. He helps teams make productive creative change.
Find more creative ideas and tools at www.Creative-Problem-Solving.org To arrange
a presentation on Creativity or training program on Creative
Problem Solving visit www.Torok.com or call
Mid-monthly Musings I mentioned the deck we fevorishly worked on to
allow us to host everyone at Kelly and Christine's place following
Steve's funeral. Here it is in all of its glory. It simply requires
us to replace the temporary hand rails.
project it takes leadership and teamwork. This project was no
different. Kelly took the lead with me helping him; and we had a
host of eager helpers who helped make this project flow and allowed
us to complete it on time.
Special thanks to: Kelly and Christine,
Stephen, Peter and Diane, Russel, Ryan, and Norman, and of course
Alexa who cheered us on.
find Irene and I taking a bit of a break. We'll head out to the
Okanagan Lake Country to spend the weekend with our friends Wayne
and Brenda (we love hanging out with these delightful folks), then
over to Castlegar to visit Charlene and Randy who just retired out
there (Charlene worked with Irene). Then we will head to the coast
to spend some time with Irene's Aunt Eva who we love. Eva is
fighting cancer so we want to ensure we are there to support
finishing outside projects (providing the rain holds off) doing some
work on websites, radio interview on the 9th, CAPS on the 13th, and
writing and recruiting a 2012 leadership team for CAPS Edmonton as I
will serve as President.
with the finished pond. We still have some landscaping to do around
it, but it is finally done.
'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your
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meeting, or training event a larger success. For more information
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