Obstacles into Opportunities

Sumi ink on Pastel Paper – Words: Eric Hoffer

At some point in our lives we reach the end of our abilities and skills. We have tapped out on what we can do so it is time to learn more. That means we need to be humble enough to admit it and be willing to find somewhere or someone with the things we need to learn. Be it a school, a workshop, a one on one session or simply a conversation at one time or another we all need someone else to help us progress.

Depending upon what we do we may eventually be the one to which people turn to help them learn. We are the trusted advisor or experienced teacher who knows how to help them get from point A to point B. That means we ourselves need to be skilled and wise enough to know when to push, when to wait, and when to allow them to fail to learn their most important lessons. Expertise in our area or craft is not enough. We need to be able to put our own accolades and egos aside and become a vessel that overflows with generous ways to help them enhance their world. It is no longer about us, it is all about them.

For many who have reached the pinnacle of their careers it can be hard not to put forth a humble brag to remind the room who they are and what they have accomplished. The best teachers and mentors are those who forget about getting credit and desire to invest in others. They turn off their own internal obstacles and egos and turn that energy into opportunities to serve. What makes us human is our ability to choose how we leave this world for the next generations. It is how we give back, pay it forward, turn lemons into lemonade not because we are thirsty but because those following in our path will need something refreshing to drink when they run dry.

Next time someone asks for your advice or guidance, do not look at it as an obstacle to conquer but an opportunity to exercise your humanity. Chances are that both worlds – your and theirs – will be changed forever.

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