Wisdom for us from Children’s Books

Today, I feature a few items (favorite quotes shares by friends Jen Lewis, Lori Mercurio, and others).  These should remind us that life from a child’s eyes is simple, beautiful, and full of endless possibilities.  What do you see in these?

  1. M. Barrie, from Peter Pan – “The moment where you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever being able to do it.” –  So many things are possible until that hint of doubt creeps in.  When you believe that anything is possible, the tendency is to achieve much more than when you place limits on yourself and others.  From the viewpoint of a child, anything is possible.  How would our work change if we took that viewpoint?  How much could we achieve if we looked at what is possible rather than “achieving a 10% improvement from 2015 results?”  Can we try to remove some of those limits we place upon ourselves that keep us from being more than we ever believe possible?
  2. Frank Baum, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – “The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.” – I have been a fan of this book since I was a child.  It has so many lessons that adults could learn.  This quotes is the true definition of courage.  Anyone can be “courageous” when they have nothing at risk.  It is only when you are afraid, or have something to lose, that you exhibit courage — true courage.  Are you or a colleague fearful of something in the future?  Is there a risk that you simply need to take?  Is there something to gain that can make the risk seem minimal?  What is it that you need to face today?  And, is there someone you need to take with you on that journey?  It is easier to face danger when you face it together.  Likewise, the things we gain by taking risks are more enjoyable when shared with others.
  3. Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – “It’s no use to go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” – Hopefully, we are different today than we were yesterday.  We are smarter, more experienced, more confident, more relaxed, a better friend, a better teammate — It is easy to dwell on what we should have, could have, wanted to do yesterday.  But, today, we are a different person and one that will do those things we neglected yesterday.
  4. K. Rowling, one of the Harry Potter books – “We must all face a choice between what is right and what is easy.” – Don’t you face this choice every single day?  We probably face many situations each day in which we must choose to do what is right or what is most expedient for that day or situation.  As we drive continuous improvement, we’ll hopefully see that what is right IS what is easy.  However, our integrity is challenged – and built – every single day on those choices we make and whether we neglect that which is right for that which is easy.
  5. Aesop, from The Lion and the Mouse – “No act of kindness , no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Kindness is a personal value for me.  There is never a time when kindness is inappropriate, unmerited, or unneeded.  Every kindness, even the smallest act, adds value to the life of someone — whether that is the person performing the kindness or the recipient.  So, I believe this one — no kindness is every wasted.

How will you be different tomorrow?  In 2016?  Can you apply one of these nuggets of wisdom to make a difference in your life, your leadership, your work, your home, or in your relationships?  Which of these hits you today?  Have a marvelous day!  Thanks for being great teammates!

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