I was reflecting on John Maxwell’s talk at the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast I attended in May. Often in our lives, day after day, everything remains the same…yet we are hoping and dreaming for something different. We recognize many “contentment gaps” in our lives and wish that somehow our circumstances would change.
These contentment gaps may be represented by the symptoms expressed by this centuries-old, yet timeless, quote: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
We may be seeking to bridge any given contentment gap by wishing we could grow our company, find a new job, hire a leader to take us to the next level, or any myriad of combinations that would alleviate pain and/or create pleasure. This begs the question: Are we willing to implement the decision or make the choice that will ignite the desired goal or outcome?
John Maxwell made this statement; “We want to change our circumstances but not our lives,” and it really hit home for me. As a recruiter I have the opportunity to talk to many executives leading companies who express dissatisfaction with the performance of a division, underperforming teams or a company culture that allows toxic behavior. I also talk with professionals seeking new opportunities who aren’t willing to network, reexamine their expectations, go the extra mile, or make promptness and professionalism a priority in their email communications. The results – no interviews, undesirable job offers (or no job offers at all) – are producing increased pain in their lives, and the seemingly elusive pleasure that they desperately want.
At some time in our lives we all experience dissatisfaction; however, we often fail to recognize our unwillingness to change the behaviors that continues to yield the same results. I think Dr. Phil sums it up best with, “So…how’s that working out for you?”
We all know we can’t change others but often we can change our circumstances to bring about the satisfaction that we are seeking. If we are not willing to make those changes then this might be an indication that this is not of high importance to us, and we need to mentally move on and focus on the things we are willing to change to bring about the results we want.
Next time you are faced with a choice:
- should I eliminate a toxic personality in the company?
- observe and implement what works?
- rewrite my resume?
- hire a maverick for the marketing team? or..
- eat that candy bar?
– ask yourself,
“Will I choose to continue to defer my own hope with this choice that is set before me, or am I willing to explore different actions that may move me more in the direction of achieving the desired results that will bring sustainable, life-giving benefits to me, as well as to all persons whom my choice may affect?”