Friday, November 6, 2009

I never shall shine, 'till some animating occasion calls forth all my powers

In 1760, John Adams wrote these words in his diary, "I never shall shine 'till some animating occasion calls forth all my powers." It was just seventeen years later he was fighting for the liberty of the nation in the Congress of 1776. He would later become the second president of the United States.

I have often found it easier to sit back and continue doing what I have always done. There is comfort and security in doing what I know I can do - and do well (maybe even better than others). But, staying in the same place will not "call forth all my powers." In order to grow, I must change.

Recently I have taken on new responsibilities in my work. At first I thought I could not take any more on. I was worried I would be overloaded. What I am finding is that this "animating occasion" is pulling me up to a new level. It is bringing me to a new level of productivity, a new level of satisfaction, and a new sense of accomplishment.

Surely this also applies to those who work for and around us. I wonder if sometimes we limit the potential in others by trying to protect them from being overloaded. We are concerned they will not be able to handle the extra load. What I am starting to see is that sometimes pressure can bring out creativity and new energy in people.

Let animating occasions call forth all your powers and all the powers of those around you!

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