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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Hope for the Cynical
"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin"
You are about to enter an arena that requires courage. Skill. Tenacity.
An arena that does not permit you to sit. Or stand on the sidelines.
You are out there.
In front of the crowd.
Livin' on a prayer.
You could be an athlete or an academic. An entertainer or entrepreneur.
Or you could be "interested" in someone special.
But no matter, you find yourself in a position where you feel vulnerable.
Because others are watching. And evaluating.
This is the place where few cynics dare tread.
A place where you won't find many men since guys normally don't like to get too "deep" with other guys.
But last week, a guy who qualifies as a man's man, took a risk and shared something with one of his closest friends.
He is a husband, father, entrepreneur, weekend warrior, hockey & UFC fan who counts "Gladiator" as his all-time favorite movie.
This is what he forwarded:
Research indicates growing cynicism among owners, managers and workers, however, few resources exist to address this syndrome. You won't find too many practitioners (educators, consultants, trainers and developers, human resource personnel, etc.) able to recognize and/or want to take cynicism head on.
Cynics tend to prefer movies with realistic endings as opposed to happy ones. They don't expect the truth from anyone, including family and friends, believe the self help industry is recycled feel-good crap and that the government is out to screw us all.
Jaded negativity or scornful skepticism is a convenient security blanket for self-preservation in professional or personal relationships.
But it inspires no one, and sadly, prevents enormous human potential from being released and shared with others. Have you ever noticed how the cynical types rarely, if ever, tap into their full potential and achieve any measure of greatness? Cynics will quickly dismiss "The Five Questions" posed by Tom Ferry in yesterday's TSB post.
1. What is My Purpose?
2. What do you Value?
3. What are your God-given talents?
4. It's ten years from now. How is the world experiencing You?
5. What do you do NOW to get started?
Answering those questions and others that probe the deeper recesses of your soul require equal parts of both Hope and Courage.
For the record, Greek mythology reveals that when Pandora opened her box, she let out all the evils except one: Hope. Apparently, the Greeks considered Hope to be as dangerous as all the world's evils. But without Hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora went back to her box and released Hope as well.
Oscar Wilde once asked, "What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing". That's why you won't see cynics investing time, energy or money into the stuff legacies and memories are made of.
Maybe, that's what separates musical gladiators like Jon from so many others.
Are there legacies and memories you need to start making?
When do you plan on making them happen?
"Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you"
JON BON JOVI
p.s... Can't resist throwing in this scene of Hope and Courage.