Ralph Waldo Emerson once observed, “Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.”
I remember when I was parenting young children how rules, discipline, and boundaries created a stronger sense of security for both of the boys. For a time, trying to be ultra-modern and free, we offered much more leeway and freedom. We found during that period that the boys seemed to shrivel, become uncertain, and ironically crankier. Something I’d heard previously brought us back to our senses, giving the boys a much stronger foundation that saw them flourish.
Boundaries, rules, and discipline are necessary elements of societal life, and is encountered in every adult encounter inter-personally, organizationally, and culture to culture. We don’t have it right, but if history is any judge, we are in many ways getting better. Before naming all the things that are wrong, keep it in perspective; our getting better also means we’ve discovered, invented, and implemented new tools and resources, ideas and politics, and a slew of choices that see many mistakes being made. Considering the societal norms of today versus 250 years ago, we have made progress.
With each generation we are challenged to operate in a societal culture of norms that need growth and change, amongst the tide of resistance to change. We know change to be inevitable, yet another facet of life and changes sees people resisting change as they seek to find a sense of peace and stability – maybe just to have a rest. Others, are just plain obstinate. Me too, at times.
And here it is, our biggest want, observed by Emerson, is to have someone willing to make us do what we can. We are capable of so much, and yet often find ourselves doing so little with our talent, passion, and dreams. Someone willing to make you do what you can also must be willing to assert rules, boundaries, and yes, discipline. You know what? In some ways it does feel uncomfortable, but I’ve also recognized the suck-it-up factor, acknowledgement, encouragement, belief, and empowerment that fuels my next moves.
Step-by-step, it gets better. Step-by-step, I improve. Step-by-step, I sometimes fall. Showing up each day, getting back into the fray, and communicate with those who matter with the stakes in your life. Choose, open, and grow with each challenge and opportunity to discover more of your potential. Step-by-step, my someone will still tell me when I’ve appreciated their feedback and made an invitation for more. Thank-you, I feel that force of ability to achieve my personal potential. What about you?
Have you got your someone?