When we look at the challenges in politics or business around the world, we can see the opposing teams trying to face each other down and out do each one another. I don't know about you, but sometimes I look at them and think both sides are wrong, or perhaps I have to take a neutral position as I am unsure about the facts.
The thing is, a lot of the time neutral isn't so neutral after all. Did Switzerland really not care who won WW2? Are we so deflated as human beings that we cannot make an informed judgement on the important things in life? The reality is that when we say we don't agree with either side, we have by definition set up another argument, we are actually offering an alternative position.
To bring this closer to home, are we taking up neutral positions that are undermining our growth and the successful outcomes we say we want? I hear people say things like, "he's into all that personal development stuff and networking, which is good, but it's not for me." Or, "she just goes on about designing proper systems, she loves it, but I can't handle all that detail."
Of course there is no law that demands we take on anything to do with personal growth or developing proper systems in our lives and business, but without them we will stay static. To be neutral in these things has much the same effect as opposing them, in as much that we won't see any of the benefits.
I can remember being very relaxed (that is an understatement) about proper policies within the organisation I led, after all I knew what I wanted, I had a good team and we were doing well. That was all fine and dandy until a legal case was brought against us and all of a sudden I was being interviewed by government authorities and even the police! That was a mother of a wake up call, and trust me, I am not neutral about contracts, policies and proper procedures anymore - in fact I have become a bit of an evangelist. BTW, the investigation was stopped as there was no evidence to support the accusation, and we were entirely innocent of any criminal or even dishonest activity - however I was guilty of being somewhat stupid.
My point is, being neutral about developing our skills and methodology leaves us exposed and vulnerable in so many ways. If we want our careers, businesses and relationships to be successful then we have to take deliberate steps to bring that about.
Personally I have been a student of personal growth for decades, but it is only in the last few years that I have come to realise that personal development is only as effective as the practices my developed self has available.
What about you, where do you stand when it comes to improving your effectiveness? Success only comes by design; even if you were fortunate enough to have a happy accident one day, for that success to become long term demands a design.
Don't forget, your life matters.
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