So often, we seek advice, counsel and affirmation from others when we make choices in our lives. I want to expand on the concept of keeping your circles small small when saying yes to pursuing the passions that live within you.
First, let’s remember that keeping your circles small when presenting your ideas will yield better results. So oftentimes, we feel we need approval to soar into and execute our wildest imaginations. We ask far and wide, ‘what do you think,’ feeling confident others will understand exactly what we are talking about and will jump in the trenches with us through their expressions of approval. We think that, in evaluation, they will contemplate the reasoning, the nuances, the challenges and the triumphs. We just know they will see it, feel it, smell it, taste and hear it just as we do. We are sure they can read our minds and will be right there with us in an enthusiastic fashion to support our realization of our dreams.
But not everyone comes alongside so willingly. We need to remember that not everyone sees our visions a clearly as we do. They don’t know what we know and at the time of decision or indecision, they may be contemplating their own experiences and not necessarily ours. They may even have a similar story to share of what didn’t work rather then an unbiased opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of our ideas.
The truth is, you don’t know what will work until you work it! So instead I encourage you to use every sense of your imagination with a short list of comrades that know you and are willing to trust with your intentions and intuitions without all the commentary. Let them hold you accountable to the implementation and evaluation of the outcomes rather then the choice of pursuit – placing themselves in your mind and heart for the reality checks needed when planning actions towards achieving your dreams. Utilize them to continue to go forward with discussion and remember, the only approval you need is your own. Say yes!
What are the personal dreams you put on hold, defend the tardiness, excuse the incompletion, perpetually move down on your list, figure ‘no’ would be the best course of action because the time is just not right?
How about saying YES, now?
You are a person on a mission – an entrepreneur with a method to the madness – a force to be reckoned with. You just have a heart and a gut intuition that ‘something’s got to change’ or maybe just shift. You realize it is not about everything, it is about preserving the best and enhancing the rest. It’s not about big, it is about one small step…..
What is the change, the shift, you want to see and experience in your world, our world?
Say YES now. Consider the following:
- Keep your circles small. Avoid the tendency to ask an army for their opinions. Most have grand advice for what won’t work. Whether ‘it’s been done before,’ or ‘you can’t do that,’ negative opinions tend to stall your momentum. Initially, I asked five friends and colleagues not only about the vision, but to join it. My sister said, ‘never heard of it, but if you say it is going to happen, it will.’ All jumped in the trenches including a friend as treasurer who didn’t even know how to balance her own check book?!
- Delay the business plan. Strategic business calls for a business plan. And, that plan takes analysis and long range insight. What if you just do it, and then plan based on the outcomes? From the time I had the vision, to our first program, was three months!
- Think small and one program at a time! Dreamers tend to think big. What if you just make a difference in one person’s life? Or in my case minimally two? The vision was to reunite a minimum of two siblings from a family. Our first Camp hosted 32 siblings from many families. When the last camper departed, the volunteers looked to me for what was next? ‘I don’t know, I replied, but I just fell in love with 32 kids, let’s do it again!’ Annual Camps and year-round programs flourished.
- Assume the permission. Know when to hang up the phone or walk out the door. Sales people know that sometimes closing a deal is based on silence. However, with that pause comes body language, and, a skirmish opportunity for the person listening to say no. What if you hang up or walk out the door with confidence and go forward assuming a yes? When my main constituent said, ‘that’s a great idea,’ to have youth in foster care from Nevada travel to Colorado to Camp, I said thank you and left his office. I knew what would follow would be a conversation about the challenges of taking these youth across state lines. The next exchange I had with him was from the airport in Denver when the campers arrived. “The kids are here, I said.” He replied, ‘Where?’ I excitedly shared, ‘in Colorado, you said it was a great idea!’
- Replicate without ego. It takes one person to have a vision, skipping the stone across the water. Once you prove the model, it takes a village to bring it to fruition, the ripple. Invite people to collaborate, not only by telling them about your vision taking place, but inviting them to experience it and then replicate it. Your volunteers will be chomping at the bit to share the vision where it hits home for them. That ‘do it again’, and ‘power of the ripple’ has resulted in reuniting over 10,000 siblings in 10 states and Australia – with partners and volunteers who live the journey in many meaningful ways.
So, as we head into the end of…today…say YES to your dream. I welcome presenting a keynote or passioning with you one-on-one to take your vision from do it now, to do it again!
It’s all about … your … YES to change or shift … NOW! One small step!
Social Entrepreneur – ChangeMaker – Ripple Creator
Ashoka Fellow; Founder and President Emeritus, Camp To Belong