I stumbled across heaps of valuable learning this week by following this Woody Allen mantra.
One opportunity I tried to defer to a colleague because I selfishly wanted to lighten my workload, and unselfishly, I was hoping to distribute the chance to someone else. While I did find a person to take this project on, they didn’t have the time to properly prepare so I stepped up, albeit with slight reluctance; and, I was glad I did. It was something I had never quite done before and I learned some key lessons that I will utilize in my next delivery. If things had gone as planned, if I hadn’t shown up, I would have lost out on some incredible personal growth.
Then yesterday, I found myself double-booked and not able to fully attend a training session for Toastmaster club officers. I have been to countless sessions like this and I was pessimistically weighing my chances of learning anything new. Furthermore, since I could only attend the first part, I almost convinced myself to stay at home, sleep-in, and simplify my day. However, duty got the best of me and I decided to fit-in the single hour I could go.
It turns out this was one of the best leadership sessions I had ever attended, I walked away with a tremendous new perspective that wouldn’t have come to me if hadn’t showed up. Ironically, none of what I was exposed to was new. I was very familiar with the format used, I had already seen the video that prefaced one or our exercises, and the main presenter is someone I have listened to hundreds of times before. However, the right combination of content at the right time with the right people lubricated my noggin – just right- to create for me a vastly different way of looking at things. My mental model shifted and I will be richer for it.
So resolve this week to show up – anyway. Read that difficult book or that 12 minute plus video or attend that learning session that you are not looking forward to. Sometimes, the situations we enter into with reluctance, are the ones that we need the most.