Character Creates Opportunity® – The Unspoken Request: Thursday, July 21, 2016

Over the last 15+ years, our collective sense of security has continued to erode in our communities and the world.  The tragedies that we have witnessed continue to get more shocking as we all journey through uncharted waters and find it difficult to make some sense of our new reality.

Today’s topic is not going to solve the world’s security challenge, but will rather focus on something closer to home.  As we work to positively impact those closest to us, the hope is that the ripple effect of that collective impact can help to counteract the trends of our day.  There is an unspoken request within each one of us, that when acted upon, can strengthen the foundation of our well-being and best position us to reach our full potential.

When you look back into the history of your life, did you ever have someone who believed in you even when everyone else seemed to bail on you, including yourself? Someone who stayed with you regardless of the situation?  Did you ever have someone who did not give in to you while also not giving up on you?  If so, who is that person?  Just for a moment, can you recall those experiences that impacted you so deeply?

For each one of us, there is an unspoken request for a person like that in our lives.  Academic psychologists and our own life experience would say that having a person in our life who believes in us, through the good times and most importantly the bad times, is a critical element to our own well-being and will help enable us to raise the bar on our own potential.Melancholic Love

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, the challenge for each one of us is not to search for someone like that, but to strive to be “that person” to those we care about most.  We build and strengthen our character in the service of others when we meet this unspoken request in those around us.

I wish it were not the case, but I am sure there are a few who in your present situation or in your life’s history, could not see an individual who stood with you regardless of the situation.  This won’t be a pump-up speech from some high priced motivational speaker, but have a genuine moment of sadness and then prepare to get back in the ring as we all have a duty to those closest to us to bring about a better tomorrow.

As we look to meet that unspoken request in others and be “that person” who keeps the hope of potential alive in good times and in bad, here are a few simple and practical ideas to help:

  1. Listen…really listen for the content being described and the emotion being felt. Listen with the intent to stand in their shoes and know what it feels like.  Without getting too scientific, the most practical way for us to start is to just shut up for a moment.  Our chatter does not help us understand.  We already know what we think.  Turn our attention toward others.
  2. Be thoughtful and resolute in the consistent reinforcement of timeless and universal principles…there is still truth and relevance to principles like honesty, commitment, loyalty, and duty. These principles are a helpful way to remind others about an effective path forward when behavior has gone astray without letting “our opinion” be an obstacle to shining light along the path of a very dark journey.
  3. Provide a clear, unmistakable sense that “I am with you.” Those closest to us need to feel it and see it that we are not going to bail when the going gets tough…and it will get tough.  We are not perfect and in tough situations our imperfections often get magnified, but we should always come back to reinforcing the point that “I am with you.”

Our challenge today is to resist the temptation to wish for and search for “that person” for ourselves, but instead proactively be “that person” for those close to us.  The practical reality we all know to be true is that what comes around, goes around, and we will attract others who learn to share in our mutual effort to meet the most important unspoken request within all of us.

As we make the decision to be “that person” who believes in someone, even when they do not believe in themselves, we will build and strengthen our character and our Character Creates Opportunity® for us to have a lasting positive impact on others and reach our full potential in our journey of life.


4 thoughts on “Character Creates Opportunity® – The Unspoken Request: Thursday, July 21, 2016

    1. Wiley – Thanks so much for the comment. I thought I replied last week to this note, but it did not go through. Hope you and your family are doing well. All is well on our end.

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