There are two shiny, red corvettes. I’m not entirely sure of the year, but from the cut of the fenders, the glisten of the cherry paint and the muscley-muscleness they represent, I’d say they are a 70’s model. Sure, they are probably from the 70’s. My step-children are intent on arguing which one is theirs, however. The little one insists the one in her brother’s hand is IN-FACT hers and the other, identical one on the counter belongs instead to him.
It doesn’t matter, I admonish.
They are the same car. We bought them on the same day, at the same time, from the same store. They came in the same style box and you both liked the same car. For goodness sake, each take one of them and go play. She sighs a huge sigh, shoots her brother a death-look and takes the other car from the counter, likely to create some sort of Evel Knievel-style launching system from which to shoot it from.
It’s tough, this game of possession and the level of importance we assign to the objects, the things, the stuff that “belongs” to us.
As a matter of fact, I’m of the persuasion that we really own very little in our lives. I feel we are more gifted an authority over things and we get to choose how to execute the stewardship of those things.
This stewardship is ours to command, from work to home and back again.
I have a home. A home I purchased and work for and pay for. However, when I am done with the use of this particular dwelling, when it has served it’s purpose in my life, or I decide to move on from this place, I will relinquish ownership to the next purchaser and it will no longer belong to me.
So, rather than get prideful about the place that I own, I try to honor it for the thing that it is, a place of shelter, a quiet place to read or study, a place to share a meal with family and friends, my safe harbor and the place in which I may rest my head at night.
The same must go for the place I occupy at work. I fill a role, command a position, and represent a brand. It is my commission and my duty to execute my commitment to this role with all intention, passion and fervor.
I feel we can give such attention to the things in our lives and the people, as well. I must remember as a wife that I do not “own” my husband. As a supervisor I do not simply “command” my employees.
Rather, I feel in this journey of life that we are called to enhance the other’s existence. This is the true essence of living and leading with intention. I am called to encourage others around me in a way that does not overtake or abuse their position in my life. Rather, I am entrusted to foster their development, inspirit their growth,
I do not wish to take for granted this marvelous responsibility I have been given.
We can deliberately cultivate our work relationships by remaining committed to intention. Sometimes this is quite challenging when turnover in a role has occurred, especially if that role is paramount to your success in your own role. Establishing communication, taking time to listen, growing that relationship on a daily basis takes time.
Being open to realize another individual’s potential or recognizing them for what they bring to the table can go a long way in giving solid foundation to important alliances.
I help my step-children with small pieces of the idea that things are meant to be shared…space, time, objects and ideas…by providing them a donation box in which they can also release some of the ownership of their things in order to share with those less fortunate. They sort through their toys and belongings and look for items to share.
They do not have authority over another person, or the responsibility of managing a team of individuals. However, their understanding of guardianship and ownership rests in the physical things they possess.
I challenge them to intentionally desire a will of goodness, compassion, empathy, kindness, support and generosity through actions like sharing.
Although her sharing box consists of items that have memories for her, my step-daughter has come to terms with relinquishing her command over these objects. For now she keeps that little, red corvette and that is okay, too.
She is enjoying it for this moment and perhaps will have a moment in the future where it is no longer hers. Cherish the moments, baby girl, instead of the things. I will enjoy more watching you create those loops and jumps, rather than basking in the pride of what items we can afford or not afford for you. If you must posses, then posses the moment. If you must own, then own the responsibility.
And, if you must insist, then insist on intention.
This lesson goes for me, too. I want to encourage you to take stock of your own intention. Perhaps you can insist on being the rock in your department. Even if you feel overlooked, realize that managers are aware of potential.
Good leaders depend on individuals who are patient to learn a new project, who are open to sharing new ideas, who make space at the table for the new face among the group.
Be the person who cares.
Give a little kindness back into the world and allow it to booster your own outlook. Your stress level will feel more managed. Your work relationships will blossom. New opportunities will open. And maybe, just maybe, you will find purpose through your intention.