How to Start Making Every Day More Valuable
In a room of 200 people, a well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. He asked, ”Who’d like this?” Hands went up.
“I’ll give it to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple up the bill and asked, “Now, who wants it?” Hand remained in the air.
“Well,” he replied, “what if I do this?” He dropped the bill and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Who still wants it?” Many hands continued to be raised.
He went on to say, “My friends, you’ve all learned a very valuable lesson today. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.”
Often in our lives, we’re dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the circumstances that come our way and the decisions we make when facing those circumstances. We sometimes feel as though we’re worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value as a human being as long as you remember to stay “Above the Line.”
What does that mean? Well, in life when something comes our way – either good or bad, we have choices as to how we’ll handle that event. We can either be “Above the Line” or “Below the Line.”
To be “Above” means taking ownership, holding ourselves accountable, and being responsible for the part we played – always looking inward and gaining value from the experience.
To be “Below the Line” means blaming others for what’s happened, making excuses, or being in denial about the situation – losing out on all the lessons that could be learned if we just took the opportunity.
Over the past year, we’ve had every reason to give up, blame others, or feel out of control. But I hope this story shows that as long as we continue to stay “Above the Line,” the value we gain and hold onto in every situation, will always move us toward victory as people and as leaders.
The next time you face a challenge, don’t waste time blaming others or excusing it away. Look yourself straight in the eye, own it and move forward.