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Friday, October 29, 2010

Quit asking for permission

She didn't ask for permission and look what she created.
My mother rarely flips out. She's stable and amazingly cool-headed. That's phenomenal when you consider she had nine kids. I would like to be more like her — the cool-headed part, not the nine kids part. The one time I remember her getting on my case was when she said something to the effect of, "Do I have to tell you everything that needs to be done around here?" I was a teenager and probably could have helped out around the house more. I think she must have reached a breaking point. She was tired of always having to ask her kids to vacuum, sweep, dust, pick up after themselves, etc.

Why weren't we taking the initiative? Why didn't we see that things needed to be done and do them? Why do most kids have to be told to do things? Most kids aren't that motivated. Motivation stops beyond things that they need or things that have a tangible reward. Sadly, many adults are that same way. Somehow they have to have instructions or an invitation to do something.

Why is it that so many adults refuse to do anything outside their job description —or worse— are too afraid to do anything that might be outside their scope? Maybe it's a combination of fear and laziness. What about people who are afraid someone else will get the credit? How about those that need permission in order to get through their day? Doesn't the lure of possibly achieving overwhelmingly positive results appeal to people anymore or is this world becoming a place where mediocrity comes standard?

I'm not advocating absolute chaos and mutiny in the workplace. But, having an independent thought outside the way that things are traditionally done is a start.  What would the world be like if people did something they weren't paid to do or asked to do? Some might say that's the "going the extra mile" mantra. I say it's the "take some damned initiative" mantra. Who knows, if everyone just took a fraction more ambition in their lives something amazing could happen.

This blog was inspired by Linchpin by Seth Godin. If you're interested in becoming a person who stands out from the sea of people who need to have an instruction manual to do anything remarkable, read it. This book will rock your boat — that's a good thing.


  1. That is a GREAT book, though I haven't read all the way through it yet. I think when I had more sleep (and more energy and greater power to think straight) I took more initiative and thought outside the box. Perhaps when I get more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night I'll do it again. ;)


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