Many years ago I was in a master’s level class entitled “Creative Leadership Personality.” Don’t ask me what I learned, but there was one exercise that really made a difference. Within the following 24 hours we were simply to do something we had never done before. Anything!
We all looked at each other with wonder and almost laughed at the audaciousness of it all. When had we ever received an instruction like that? Who had ever given the permission?
First was to come up with an idea . . . not as easy as one might think when it’s so open-ended. Life has guidelines; we’re conditioned to stay within them. As adults we’re seasoned to be dependable, predictable. But this was to shake all that up, to confront a hardening of the imagination and restore courage for thinking a new thing, and doing it.
It would take us off subject to relate what I or the others did. The next day we all reported on it. As you can imagine there were a lot of laughs.
It was great fun, but the lessons learned were solid. Like: How do I come up with an idea when anything goes? Answer: Limit the context, “What can I do now?”
Then once the idea has come, how do I overcome initial inhibitions in the mind? Answer: Remember the time limit, move quickly into it.
Then, how do I become the slightly different person, at least for that moment, to pull it off? Answer: Just do it.
Finally, am I now a slightly bigger, broader, deeper, more courageous, and more experienced person than before? Answer: Of course.
Finally, finally, will I go on to be that bigger, broader, deeper, more courageous person ongoingly? Answer: It depends.
But first it’s all about the permission. That’s what we need. After that, watch out! Great things are on their way, or at least new things.
So, friends, whatever it is that you’ve been thinking about but haven’t let yourself do because it’s too big, too different, too audacious but could, should and would happen if you only had the permission; I hereby grant it to you.
You have my permission. Now grant it to yourself. Today’s the day.
(Let me know what happens.)