I recently witnessed something that I believe accelerates the transformation we’re all pursuing. It was a really cool Dad moment too.
It was early in the morning and my 2 boys had just come downstairs after getting ready for school. I’m the breakfast guy so I was over the stove getting the mornings grub ready while Mom made lunch. For parents, this time of the morning is unpredictable at best so we’ve learned to set our expectations accordingly. You never know if the kids are going to be happy, cranky, or as it usually happens in our house with the….crazy somersaults off the couch.
My 8 year-old, Santino, is in a great mood and yells to me; “Dad, I’m on 462 on the Triceratops picture!” He recently got into Dot to Dot books and he was excited to continue connecting the dots in his new Dinosaur themed book. He had also talked Mom into buying a new book for his 6 yr. old brother, Griffith, who was playing in our entry way testing the boundaries with a football. I’m doing my best version of Iron Chef when I notice Griffith walk to the table where Santino was happy as could be connecting dots. He sat there quietly watching big brother for a moment when Santino started encouraging him to start his own.
A moment later Griff reluctantly opened his book and started a new pic. Santino says excitedly “Awesome Griff! Find #1 Griff then go to the next one!” A few moments later Griffith moans in frustration and wants to stop. Santino leans over “You already did 10 Griff! I see 11…you can find it Griff!” Griffith spots 11 and yells in an enthusiastic tone; “There it is! There’s 12 too!” This continues for several minutes then I give them my breakfast-is-ready whistle and the hungry boys join little sister for French Toast and Bacon. Griffith tells me how high he got and he and brother are bantering about how fun and cool dot to dots are. We scramble out of the house shortly after and everyone’s in a great mood!
Why was I beaming? Besides the obvious and unusual kindness and no fighting, I witnessed an exceptional lesson we can all learn from. You see, my boys were the characters in this story, but this story isn’t about them, it’s about the 3 invisible forces behind any transformation:
1 – Courage. Griffith stepped into discomfort and took the first critical step.
2 – Encouragement. Struggle is always a prequel to transformation, it’s hard. When Griff’s courage was running low and struggle appeared, Santino was there to encourage him.
3 – Trust. I was particularly proud that Griff felt safe enough to try something new and trusted his big brother enough to take the leap and accept his encouragement.
The most exciting part of this story is that regardless what character we are in this story, we get to choose in every one of our relationships how much of these forces we ignite. If 2 rambunctious boys can figure this out, imagine the possibilities for the great people and customers we guide when we lean into these invisible forces?
Choose your impact.