I never take pictures. When my daughter was younger, I tried to remind myself to “capture the precious moments” but I did a terrible job. Luckily my mother made up for it by taking hundreds of photos over the years so I can always look back and see what my daughter looked like growing up.
Rocks on the Beach
My husband and I recently got away for a much needed weekend break to the Oregon Coast. It was the perfect two-day retreat. When we returned home we looked at a few rocks that we had picked up off the beach – you know – those AMAZING little stones with all the subtle colors and smoothed beautifully by the ocean waves. At home, when spilled our treasure out on the counter, they looked like dull grey pebbles. What were we thinking?
It’s so hard to capture a perfect moment and preserve it.
Later, back at our little vacation cottage on the cliff I stood out on the deck that jutted over the edge and took in the indescribable majesty of the ocean. I thought about taking a photo so I could explain later to my friends and family how breathtaking the view really was. But, I have seen those photos before – lots of blues and greys, the water indistinguishable from the sky, and everything looking much smaller than in real life. It’s just a big letdown. (Be sure to check out “7 Things you really don’t need to take a photo of”)
Planning Sessions & Conferences
We find in our work with clients that the same sort of thing happens all the time at planning sessions and conferences. You attend a great session, engage in “out of the box” thinking and brainstorm innovative ideas to change the world (or at least your organization). We’ve all had those moments where we, in the middle of exploring a concept, have a breakthrough! We feel inspired to really make a transformational change. We take notes, use our iPhones to take snapshots of whiteboards with crazy sketches on them, and leave with a bag of pens, magnets, and a mousepad to commemorate our experience.
But back in our office, we quickly misplace the pens and magnets, and the mousepad just doesn’t seem to inspire the same feelings now that we are knee-deep in the everyday grind of the organization. How can we “sell” that great idea, or keep that great plan alive when we feel there is no way to reproduce the experience? So, we let it go. The magic is lost. It was just another silly dream.
Evolutionaries are Different
If you have been reading my blogs since the beginning, you know that we love Chief Judge Ann Aiken. She is one of our favorite Evolutionaries. One of the best stories about Ann is how she went to a conference, brainstormed an idea with her assigned table group called “Drug Court”, and then came home and kept the dream alive. With a handful of other judges, she tested the idea in her court, then partnered with the local university to study the outcomes, and after proof of wild success has managed to get courtrooms across the country to adopt this revolutionary approach to successfully integrating offenders back into the community as healthy, contributing members of society. Now it’s called “Reentry Court” and it’s a national program.
Evolutionaries are dreamers, and they know how to hold onto that spark of inspiration. They take those little moments – the glimpse of the future, the radical insight into better performance, the seed of a great idea – and hold tight to them long after the moment has passed. They are romantics, idealists, and obsessive visionaries. They often look crazy, or can seem to operate on blind faith alone. Evolutionaries are more than just specialists in change, they are just crazy enough to believe that they can make the future a better place through the transformation that they lead. This rare ability to hold onto transformational moments and make them lasting commitments are not only the key to Evolutionary success, but also generate the optimism, confidence, and joy in an Evolutionary’s life.
So the next time you are walking on a beach and you find inner peace, and also some rocks, maybe you should just bring home the inner peace.