Expect it to break

It broke and I expected it to break. It wasn’t always this way. I used to think, for whatever reason, that if I were simply smart enough and diligent enough and careful enough and enough-enough that things wouldn’t break. The equipment wouldn’t break. The dialogue wouldn’t break. My relationships wouldn’t break. The screen door wouldn’t break. What I learned over time was that things just break. And, it’s not because I was being inattentive or lazy, but because I am in the act of living. The act of living means that things break despite our feverish attempts to keep things from breaking. Lawn mowers break and hearts break. The goal (now) isn’t to frenetically try and keep everything from breaking. It’s not possible. The goal is to simply do the best I can, expect that things will break, observe when something breaks, then fix it as I am able. And, to do all of this without the hand-wringing, without the consternation, without the irritation, and without mourning the lost opportunity cost. If you can spare a seat on the long bleacher in your soul and let this idea squeeze in, then you might save yourself some anguish, some anxiety, and some all-too-easy anger.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on October 11, 2018

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