The other night, as I was sitting on my part of the couch, my husband slid in on my right, and then the kid slipped in on my left. My portion of the couch has the footstool, so these two often vie to take my spot. Because I was already there, they had to “share” with me. So much for personal space.
We sat there for a while, quietly watching Rise of the Guardians, one of those lovely family movies we missed the first time around. In it, the Guardians must conquer the Boogie Man by helping children overcome fear. Using the magic of the holidays, wonderful dreams, delightful memories and the fun of childhood, the Guardians help restore hope in children's minds and hearts. As the snowballs fly, fear dissolves, leaving the Boogie Man weak and powerless.
Good triumphs over evil. Again. Phew.
Alright. I realize nothing in life is this simple. So, why do I bring this movie up? Because, woven into each one of these movies is a ribbon of truth. What is the ribbon here? Mythical and magical creatures are not the only ones who can hold the role of Guardian. You can as well. You can be the Guardian of your family, the Guardian of your relationships with friends and loved ones. You can be the Guardian of those whom you mentor, those who come behind you and need your guidance. You have the ability to channel hope and faith, to bring and restore magic, to remind others what good things have happened, and those that are yet to come. Positive energy sprinkled with a little bit of fun. It can work wonders.
Truthfully, it isn’t an easy task, but it is a worthy task.
It follows that when we need a Guardian, one is there to help. What you need the most in that moment will likely be provided. Perhaps it is comfort and guidance. Perhaps it is a laugh-out-loud joke that leaves you out of breath and with a stomach ache. Perhaps it is unfettered direction. No matter what is provided, you need simply to recognize the help being offered, and to be open to the assistance.
If you feel you can, take that step and be a Guardian for others. In the same vain, you have earned the protection of Guardians. If you need one, let that person in.
Be a Guardian mentor. Find a Guardian mentor. In both roles, you will grow, and you might even have a little fun.
Do you want to build a snowman?
Always bring your “A” Game. Know when to be the “Minus.”
What the hell does this mean? Who wants to be a Minus? Doesn’t everyone want to be a plus?
And sometimes it is important, even necessary, to be the Minus. Let me explain.
First, I think it is important to make clear that “A Game” individuals and “Type A” individuals have characteristics that overlap…extensively. Both are generally known to be knowledgeable, organized and prepared. Type A’s are also known to be direct, unyielding and curt. A Game individuals are, arguably, a bit less rigid. Sometimes, they are charming, accommodating and pleasant. Other times, they cannot be differentiated from the Type A group.
Looking more closely at those who bring their A Game, in addition to being knowledgeable, organized and prepared, these folks also possess the following traits:
Yes, an overarching confidence is woven through all of these traits, and no, these folks are never described as wilting violets. With all of the above noted, it is understandable why “A Game” individuals are highly sought.
Taking all of this into account, why would anyone want to be a Minus? To that very good question, I have the following answer: when a person embraces his or her Minus, he or she practices the skills specified above by merging strengths with knowledge and wisdom. To be more specific, a Minus routinely operates by doing the following:
Overall, the distinction between the “Type A” and the “A Minus” is, arguably, temperament. The Minus has all the Type A skills, and the temperament to lead and/or close a deal without needing to be in the spotlight.
So, embrace your Minus. It is your greatest asset.