Lesson #6: Are you Willing to Answer this one Critical Question?

“I wish I could do that.”

“I would give anything for that success.”

We hear those comments often – sometimes we say it ourselves.  We would love to be the ones doing the impossible but we are not.  Why?

We have more opportunities at our fingertips than at any time in the history of the world yet too often we settle for a world of complacency, convenience and comfort. Why?  Why don’t we the bold action when the opportunity is available. Why do we hold back, hesitate and wimp out?   questionmark

  • Why are we so shy when it comes to disruption?
  • Why do we even whine about it later?
  • Why do we continue to conform, cave and comply if we don’t like the results?

These are the compelling questions that we rarely vocalize.  These are also the tough questions we must ask ourselves if we want to move from the ranks of the followers to standing alone as a leader.  But there is one question that might be the most difficult to ask and answer,

“Do I really want to Unleash the Ultimate?” 

In this series we are discussing how to be the disruptive leaders who is willing to be different and leverages their leadership power to do the impossible.  I started out intending this to be just five lessons but found a couple more that are too valuable to keep to myself. If you read the first five, you know that I’m using basic lessons I have learned in my favorite hobby of photography to explain how to become a disruptive leader.

My “Duh” Moment

At first, I said, “No way!”  When I first read about how professional landscape photographers got up long before dawn to  venture into the dark just so they could capture the scene in the perfect light, I dismissed the idea quickly.  While I don’t mind getting up early, I didn’t want to get up THAT early.  I didn’t want to disrupt my comfortable habits.  I didn’t want my life inconvenienced.  So the next opportunity I had to do my photography, I did what I normally did.  I got up at my normal time, fought the normal traffic and arrived mid day.  The site was crowded as it normally was and my photos were mediocre.  They didn’t pop.  They were nothing special and would never win any award.  I doubt anyone would ever buy one.

I knew that wasn’t what I wanted.

So I started reading and noticing.  It was then I had to stop and reconsider.  To get the shots I loved and the ones others raved about, I had to be there for the perfect light.  That is what photography is all about -Using the perfect light to create the best image possible.

I said I wanted the best yet I was ignoring this basic principle.  That didn’t seem very wise.  In fact, many would say it is downright STUPID.

It was then that I realized I wasn’t answering the critical question,

“Do I really want to Unleash the Ultimate?”

I had to be serious with myself.  I came to a point where I had to know, “Am I really serious about doing something so grand?  Or am I just dreaming, being a talker and not a doer?”

So at the next opportunity, I purposely got up early, real early.  I would have rather slept but I knew the sacrifice was needed if I was serious.  I’m glad I did.

The colors were amazing, the shadows stunning and the reflections mesmerizing.  The blanket of darkness was slowly rolled back with a gorgeous predawn hue.  It was here, before dawn, that the light was soft and seemingly pliable.  Here was where I saw the shades of grey transformed into a prism of colors.  This was the “blue hour” photographers raved about, providing the most unique light of the day.  Then the sky changed from blue to gold, coming alive, moment by moment, building to a crescendo for the sun’s incremental but grand entrance. Ever so briefly, the “golden hour” revealed the very best lighting.  It was soft and what photographers call “diffused” rather than the harsh midday light.  This is the lighting where contrast is reduced, allowing the subtle shades to emerge from the shadows.  But the golden hour slips away quickly, and with it, the opportunity for the perfect light disappears.

I was hooked and blurted out, “Duh.  Why did I wait so long?  This is incredible.”

To do what I said I wanted to do, I had to do what I had been unwilling to do.   I had to be bold.  but I had to be honest and answer the difficult question.

RiseEarlySmallBoldly Taking the Lead

As leaders, we often hesitate to take the bold action.  We rationalize why we don’t need to make the radical change in our habits.  We often settle for mediocre results but comfortable enough to keep us in our leadership position.  We justify our actions.  Sometimes we argue, claiming the risk is unnecessary.  No wonder we are frustrated with our ability to leverage our power to do the impossible.

  • Aren’t we just fooling ourselves?
  • Aren’t we really wanting to do what critics claim is impossible?
  • Aren’t we making excuses for why we don’t have the guts to take the bold action?

I didn’t want to ask or answer the question, “Do I really want  great photos?” so I made excuses for my mediocre shots.  But when I was bold enough to ask myself that transformative question, I knew I couldn’t deny the honest answer.  It was then that I knew whether I was a talker or a doer.   It was then that I started getting the results I desired.  Now wonder I have been focused on doing the impossible ever since.

Are you willing to disrupt your own comfort to Unleash the Ultimate?  What is your answer?

Transform Your Thinking

Unleash the Ultimate(TM)

Leverage Your Power to Do the Impossible

I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I help aspiring and emerging leaders leverage their power to do what followers and critics think is impossible in this 3D world.   Are you tired of the same old game?  Are you ready to break through?   Are you determined to leave your legacy?  If so, contact me today at Loren@MurfieldCoaching.com.

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