How can I discover my best use or where I have an “edge”?

Check out the work of Marcus Buckingham. He writes fantastic books and they have tests that help you learn a lot about yourself. His mission is to help you reach your potential. Strengthsfinder helps you know your strengths so you can capitalize on them. StandOut takes what you would do in situations and uses that information to help you know how to apply your strengths to best advantage. They are both fabulous if you are seeking either self-knowledge or keys to best directing yourself. I highly recommend this author. Also, not a bad idea for people trying to decide what to major in or what career to pursue.

Trying to work with a boulder


Image via Wikipedia

You must have cooperation to move, but you just don’t have it.  That is one example of being stuck between a rock and a hard spot.  When you have a tantrum throwing toddler, you may not enjoy it, but you can pick up the reluctant ball and basically drag him or her behind.  But it doesn’t take long before the child is too big and that is nearly impossible.

There are many ways we try to cajole people into rolling in our direction.   Sometimes we fight and argue as if talking louder, like kicking your toe on the rock, would actually get it to budge.  Sometimes it works slightly, but just as likely it doesn’t or it rolls back and crushes your toe afterward.  Ouch!

Sometimes like Dr. Seuss’s Zax story we are fortunate enough to find a way around the boulder.  Or unfortunately we square up to it and refuse to move until the other does.  This is a recipe for NOT moving forward.  If you want to die on that hill, be my guest.  But, I want a better solution.

Teenagers, spouses, coworkers, students, teachers, team members, in fact ANY TWO PEOPLE are usually not going to all be going the same direction or need the same things all of the time.  It is no wonder we have a few car wrecks along the way.  My point is, we want to avoid the head on collisions, right?

So, what do we DO with someone else’s lack of cooperation or bad attitude?

My best solution comes from Captain Jack Sparrow on Disney’s Pirates of the Carribean.  You have to clearly keep in mind what you can do, and what you can’t do.  Captain Jack could kill the guy off, but he couldn’t pilot the ship all on his own.  Sounds like pretty good advice to me.

Sometimes we get so frusterated at someone’s lack of cooperation, that we nearly literally slay the person realizing too late that by verbally slaughtering them we are now left totally alone to try to pilot an impossible ship.  We must work together to be successful, regularly.

Keeping in mind, then, what I have most control over (myself and my environment) and remembering what is entirely outside of my control (another), I have to then decide what I will do about it.

I wish my children would understand this.  They endlessly tell me about how someone is not doing what they want them to and instead of accepting that reality and building a bridge over the zax to find another way to accomplish their desires, they will sit and argue with a zax.  Then, when I refuse to go talk to a zax (I have noticed that Zax attitudes are rarely overcome by two people talking to them instead of one), they start to be unhappy with me because I will not act the way they want me to, either.  It is a funny thing about people.  Mostly they do what they WANT to and not what YOU WANT them to.

Some people are so entrenched from all the battles, that they have totally lost sight of what they want for themselves, but they are still sure it isn’t what YOU WANT them to do, so they dig themselves in a little deeper by resisting everyone else trying to change them and not accepting, loving, or appreciating them the way they are.

A classic resisting or rebellious teen attitude can occasionally be displayed by the best of us.  Sometimes we dig in because we are afraid of something.    Sometimes we feel alone or friendless or hurt.  There are many reasons, some of them very good why we do not cooperate.  It violates our personal morals, goes against something we believe, or is contrary to our purposes.

It’s like going on a bear hunt.  You just keep trying things until something works.  If you can’t go under it, and you can’t go over it, then, oh, no, you have to go through it.  You can’t go through a person.  So, if you do need that particular person, just keep strongly in mind what you can do.

I recommend speaking as little as possible to a Zax.  He or she will be able to hear better after they cool off a bit.

Your own great attitude can sometimes rub off if it doesn’t overwhelm and irritate the crabby one.  You can go off and do the best you can at enjoying it with the ones who do want to help instead of stalling over the one non-budger.

The environment is probably your very best friend.  Sometimes a changing location or procedure can avoid a lot of problems.  See what you can change in your own expectations, schedule, location, and focus to help you smoothly flow around instead of fight the boulder.  You may notice that after a while, if you aren’t pressuring it so, it may get up and move all on its own.

And, of course, there may be a time when you absolutely must just sit down and wait.  Admitting that truth and not letting it bother you may eventually lead you to thank the other person who saw it another way.  You just never know.

© 2012 DarEll S. Hoskisson (dsh)