Have you ever been ‘stuck’, not able to make progress in life, not able to reach towards your goals, no matter how hard you try? Knuckling down, grit, and old fashioned hard work don’t seem to work any more – the words ‘just do it’ seem a distant insult?
What about the other way around: have you ever tried to get someone moving, but no matter what, they just don’t seem to make any progress. No amount of ‘Just do this!’ makes any difference whatsoever. They’re like a car stuck up to the axle in mud. No matter how hard you push or pull, they’re simply stuck: the mud sucking them inevitably down.
Well, here’s a different perspective: why not lift them up? Horizontal efforts will only get them further stuck. You’re simply playing a game that the mud will always beat you in, there. But vertical efforts – now that’s when mud can’t win.
Horizontal efforts: those encouraging, well meaning, but almost nagging urges to ‘just do something with your life’ simply cannot win, because the core issue is the mud: the person’s thought that ‘i cannot win’, ‘i’m a failure’, ‘this is an unbeatable situation, i can’t win’. These thoughts put up a wall that this kind of encouragement simply cannot penetrate. And hence the mud of negative thinking wins the day.
But what if, instead of fighting the mud on its own terms, you cut it off at the knees? What if you speak life into that person? How about: ‘i believe in you’. Or try this one: ‘you’ve got what it takes to beat this problem’. Words like these are so rare, and so powerful. Negativity will fade away in the face of consistent positive words being showered over a person. So – be the leader, shower those positive words.
And the beauty truly is that once the negative mud has cleared from someone’s life, you don’t really need to push all that hard any more, they’ll have all the traction they need to turn their own wheels and get moving just fine.
So next time you’re trying to push someone, how about trying to lift them up instead. You might find that in doing so, you’re solving the root issue, and the symptoms will simply take care of themselves.
Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.
(Comp Sci, Hons - UTS)
iOS Developer (Freelancer / Contractor) in Australia.
I have worked at places such as Google, Cochlear, Assembly Payments, News Corp, Fox Sports, NineMSN, FetchTV, Woolworths, and Westpac, among others. If you're looking for help developing an iOS app, drop me a line!