*“A little girl was holding two apples with both hands. Her mom came in and softly asked her daughter with a smile: my sweetie, could you give your mom one of your two apples?
The girl looked up at her mom for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly took a bit from the other apple. The mom felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment.
Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mom and said: Mommy – here you are – this one is sweeter.”
Perhaps you, like me and the Mom in this story, are susceptible to making snap judgements and/or negative assumptions about other people, their actions, and motivations. Perhaps those of us who have been “in the trenches” of coaching, teaching, leading, and/or parenting longer are particularly at-risk for assuming the worst based on select past experiences. While there is certainly much value in learning from experience, it can backfire on us and, in turn – others, when our past experiences cause us to assume the worst. It is true that assuming the worst in others can serve to protect us from disappointment from time to time, but rarely does it inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
While I am at risk for that cynicism, there is still part of me inside that hangs onto hope and optimism about others’ actions and motivations, including my colleagues, my students, my kids, my wife (and yes, even Dr. Nick!). Perhaps you, like me, would benefit by allowing that younger, and admittedly a bit more naïve, part of myself to be present when interacting with those I care about and those I am called to serve. This, I think, is a good part of the recipe for inspiring others to be the best version of themselves. What an sweet gift I can help give to others and, really, to myself as well.
Until next time….Laugh a Lot, Love a Lot, and Have an Excellent Edventure!
- Dr. Rick Albright
*Story from “Top 100 Motivational Stories: The Best Inspirational Short Stories and Anecdotes of All Time”