It’s time for the competition to start. About this time of year, every group on campus starts battling to out-raise and out-serve the chapter next door. This competition might help us do more, but is it helping us do better?
Learning from mistakes doesn't work the way most people think.
If you do something wrong, it's wrong. When you recognize and acknowledge that it was wrong, it becomes a mistake. Repeat a thousand times, and the only thing you "learned" is one thousand mistakes not to make.
I have a degree. Does that make me smart? Intelligent? Competent? I have parents and mentors. Does that make me a better person?
Is ritual it just a formal, routine observance? Or does it have the power to create change? In some traditions, ritualistic ceremonies are believed to bring about a physical change in the natural world: dances bring rain, a community feast secures the next harvest, prayers bring safety, and various superstitions bring about good luck.
I have a co-worker who can be difficult to work with. He’s not difficult in a bad way, but difficult in a way that makes you work harder to be better. He is very detail-oriented and wants to be overprepared for any scenario. Last week before a product presentation, we were reviewing all the equipment and information to make sure we had anything that our new clients might need. I hurriedly tried to reassure him that everything would be ok, but he insisted we double-check every last detail.
I met Karen in first grade, and she quickly became my best friend. I remember being so excited every time we got the chance to play together, and I remember how much I hated it when one of us had to go home. I wanted Karen to be a part of everything I did: swimming, dancing, playing tag and hide-and-go-seek. At times when we weren’t allowed to play together, it though the world was about to end. It seemed as if I would we never be able to play Barbies again! When I went off to college and joined a sorority, I felt the same way about my new sisters. New member education was new, exciting, and always fun! I attended every single activity and wanted to be on every possible committee. I signed up for everything, and if I was unable to attend, it felt as if my world had ended. Just like my friendship with Karen, I was thrilled about becoming involved with a group of sisters that would be a major part of my life forever.
I read Awesomely Simple by John Spence today. It is an excellent book that contains some of the best lessons that I learned in his "Strategies for Success" workshop, along with a few additional insights that he has discovered over the years. One quote in the chapter about developing a "Vivid Vision" particularly struck me: "If the vision is written down in a hundred places, painted on banners, and carved in a giant rock in front of the building but is not a living part of the culture, then it is the same as not having one."