“I Can” is Good, “We Can” is Better


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what motivates and demotivates us to make changes. Often when I’m in this frame of mind, I will pick up a book and be struck by words that relate to the matter at hand. This happened while reading Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner:

“All of us face barriers – physical, financial, temporal – every day. Some are unquestionably real. But others are plainly artificial – expectations about how well a given system can function, or how much change is too much, or what kinds of behaviors are acceptable. The next time you encounter such a barrier, imposed by people who lack your imagination and drive and creativity, think hard about ignoring it. Solving a problem is hard enough, it gets that much harder if you’ve decided it can’t be done.”

How many of us have encountered the “it can’t be done” barrier? I know I have. My initial reaction is to feel like all the air has been sucked out of me … a deflation of sorts. Then, my mind starts working the problem and the rebel in me thinks “I can.” And I know that “I can” means “We can” because I will reach out to others to bring more power to finding and creating a solution. I learned early in my career that I did not need to be an expert in everything – I just needed to know who to ask for help, achieving greater value from what others brought to creating solutions.

I love the power of a team, especially a team of diverse thinkers with varied backgrounds. The energy created in those conversations cause me to consider new ways of thinking, reframe problems, create possibilities and so much more. We don’t always find the solution, but we find solutions … and we always learn something new as our connections grow stronger.

This Week’s Challenge: Know that something needs to change but don’t know how? Plug into the creative power around you. First, do your prep work and be clear about the issue. Know what you would like the outcome to be and why. Share it with people around you and see what happens. Give it space and keep it light. Something unexpected may emerge.

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  1. Doug Brady on September 28, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Well said ME!
    Thanks for sharing.

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