I was on a call on Monday morning with my Seth Godin alumni group. It’s a powerful 30-minute call where we are given a prompt to ponder and discuss. We head off into break-out groups for about 20 minutes to discuss, in detail, and then we return to deliver our brief summaries. This week’s prompt was from Brené Brown and it went something like this:
When this happened to me, I did ________, and it never worked for me. Now I do __________, and it changed my life.
How would you finish that prompt? My group discussed how we used to default to our powerful self. We would be strong and in control and make demands to rectify our not-so-great situation. But we have found our softer approach works better—not only for those around us, but for ourselves. It has made us more calm, generous, accepting, patient, understanding, motivating, AND successful. Power doesn’t have to come with force.
As we discussed this somewhat counterintuitive idea, one woman in our group summed it up best. She said, “By not using our power and force to change the situation, we give others the opportunity for their best side to show up.” Wow! Imagine that, encouraging others to show their best side. It reminded us of this Chinese proverb:
“In the struggle between the stone and water, in time, the water wins.”
P.S. This picture sums up water’s approach beautifully. It doesn’t fight the rock, or try to go through the rock, it simply and naturally washes over and around it. This might be the visual we all needed today.