Do you know what’s in front of you?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Have you ever walked over a bridge and looked down at the water flowing beneath you? My guess is that you have, and very probably you saw a rock or two in the stream which caused the water to go around them. Were the rocks obstacles placed in the way of the water or was it the beginnings of a bridge. The water just flowed around the rocks almost undeterred by their presence in the stream. The water simply found the path of least resistance (which could be a message for another day). I would like us to focus on the rocks. Were the rocks obstacles or the beginnings of a bridge?  The answer to my question is determined by your perspective. Are you looking for obstacles or bridges? How we see things in life determines everything. The very same object or circumstance in our path can be a major setback or the beginnings of a bridge.

I remember my first job as an apprentice toolmaker. After a year and a half with the most prestigious tool shop in town, I was suddenly laid off and found myself at an aging company in Auburn. Now don’t get me wrong, I was very thankful for work, but I went from the mansion on the hill to the shack by the river in terms of toolrooms. From the best of the best in machinery and tooling to finding ways to make due with what I could find, or in some situations have to make what I needed. One afternoon in frustration I must have blurted out a complaint, when suddenly the journeyman toolmaker simply replied: “Anyone could do it if you gave them all the tools, but It takes a craftsman to figure it out when you don’t.” I can still hear him saying that to me, and he was right. Over the years I was forced to be more creative and more innovative. In so doing, I developed critical skills that have served me well ever since. These were not obstacles; they were bridges to a better version of me.

What do you have laying in front of you? Are they obstacles or the foundations of a bridge that will carry you to a better version of you? It’s all in how you see things. Join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we talk about developing the ability to see differently.

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