Throw Out Fifty Things

Monday Morning Motivator: "GET REAL, WILL YA?!"



I hate that phrase. And heaven knows I've had it said to me enough times...sometimes in the form of "We have to manage our expectations." Or,  "Can you curb your enthusiasm for a minute?"  Or, "Afterall, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." And, "Look, if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Where would we all be if - as a country, a society, as organizations, families, or individuals - we had "gotten real"...had reeled in our expectations, curbed our enthusiasm, and said goodnight to our wildest dreams. And yet, "managing expectations" and "being realistic" seem to be the watch phrases of the day - in business, in politics, even sometimes, in sports. I find it disheartening. But wait, if I let myself become disheartened, I'll have fallen for it - fallen for the "how bad could it get?" theme rather than my own personal mantra, "how good could I make it?"
I mean, if "realism" reigned, nobody would've gotten on the Mayflower, or written a declaration of independence, or settled the wild west or....well, just imagine: We'd all be tucked in tight under the covers of "managed mediocrity" in a dreamless, tidy sleep - with no major failures to regret and no major triumphs to celebrate. That's not a world I'd want to live in - or a life I'd want to live.
But "realism" is spreading like wildfire. I heard someone in a company's team meeting say recently, "It's time to reign it in. We're getting ahead or ourselves here. Let's settle down and do what's practical, look at the facts and be prudent. I need you guys to be realistic.Got it?" His team nodded but looked crestfallen. Their shoulders slumped, the corners of their mouths turned down. One guy put his arm around a deflated colleague as they walked out...
Don't let that happen to you - or the people you care about and work with. Will Smith, the writer, entertainer and author of Just the Two of Us,  wrote, "Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity." Don't go down it. And don't allow yourself to be led down it. Because you might be safe but you'll be bored. And you might not be hurt, but you won't be thrilled. 
So listen, you might want to give that thing that ain't broke a good crack, don't you think? And in terms of the "bird in hand" thing? How do you know there aren't hundreds of gorgeous birds "in the bush" that would make it worth letting go of that one in your hand...
So please don't get real. There are rivers to cross and miracles to make. And we need you to cross them and you to make them....
As Robert Preston said in the 1955 film, The Last Frontier (also starring Victor Mature and Ann Bancroft.), "Victory is not given to the cautious."
Gail Blanke's Lifedesigns ©2014 All Rights Reserved

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