One of my friends told me about an exercise.
A woman described herself to a criminal sketch artist. The artist didn’t know it was her. The woman never looked at the drawing.
A friend came in next to describe the woman to the sketch artist. Again, the sketch artist didn’t know the subject. The friend never looked at the picture.
When the sketch of the friend was compared to the sketch created by the woman’s description, the friend’s portrait of the woman is so much more beautiful than the one produced by the subject.
My friend was moved by the exercise. It highlights the tendency of many of us to be super conscious of our shortcomings and imperfections. We let that consciousness cause us to doubt and to fear. It creates a hesitancy to speak, to act and to grow. It creates a life of discontent.
It reminds me of the old story about a Cherokee legend:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.