How to be the sun rather than the wind


It’s something we all of us take for granted. Although we may have less of it than we perhaps would like when we get up in the morning, the fact that we do get up is evidence that it is there. Now imagine for a moment a time when you were at school. And on one particular morning you really didn’t want to get up.  You turned off your alarm, put your pillow over your head, and then hoped no one would notice.
Of course, someone did notice. Do you remember what finally got you up? Was it parental “encouragement”, the sudden presence of siblings bouncing up and down on your little rectangle of paradise, or something else? It could be that you eventually mustered the courage to take action yourself; however, if you were like most children, then there was more than one occasion when someone helped you. 
  • How were you helped?
  • What persuaded you that getting up was a good thing to do?
  • What action did you find to be the most motivating?
  • Was it when you were yelled at? 
  • Was it when you were threatened to be sent off to school without breakfast?
  • Was it when you were told you’d have to walk in the rain?

Aesop, in one of his many fables...

...describes a contest between the wind and the sun. The challenge was simple: to get a man to take off his coat. The wind went first. She blew a gale such as the world had never seen. Roof tiles flew through the air like paper plates. Trees fell over. Even the wool flew off the sheep. None of this mattered. The man held onto his coat for dear life, wrapping it even tighter around his body than he had before.
Then the sun took his turn. He burst out from behind the clouds, warmed the earth, and that cheered up the man no end. In a few moments, the man took off his coat. All it took was a little gentle positive persuasion, a little encouragement, and a little enthusiasm. 

Think about your business.

  • What happens when you make a presentation, or meet someone one-on-one, or even make a simple telephone call?
  • Do you warmly energize them, or just exhaust them?
  • Do you breathe life into them and your ideas, or suck life out of them?
  • Do you share your positive enthusiasm, or take away the little that they have?

You know, it only takes a little bit of heat to thaw ice

It’s less than the difference between finishing at the bottom of the league tables and winning the World Cup. It’s not even as far as the “extra mile”. It’s just a little bit. One degree is the difference between water hot enough to make tea and hot enough to drive hughly powerful steam engines.  You only need enough enthusiasm to get others going, and then a little to help them carry on. 

How about you?

  • Do you bring warmth to everyone that you meet, or do they feel even colder than they did before?
  • Do you bring flowers or just blame and complain?
Flowers versus blaming and complaining
Bring your enthusiasm to everything that you do so that you can generate it in others. It will encourage them more than you can know, and it will add a little bit of sunlight to their lives.
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