How do you use your intellect?
Over the years I have thought myself quite clever. I have been awarded, lauded and applauded … You know where this is going. Yes I was bought down to earth with a crash.
I joined the Board of Citizen Advocacy Perth West. It’s one of the more intelligent things I have done in my life. CAPW connects proteges with advocates. Proteges are people who don’t have much support and like all of us have times when the going gets tough. They often have intellectual disabilities, sometimes physical disabilities as well. Advocates are people who want to support others. The two are made for one another.
One day I took my intellect to visit a protege. She was intellectually and physically disadvantaged. She also had 4 daughters under the age of 7. As I entered her home I took in the piles of toys, the delight on the faces of mother and daughter and over in a corner, a care worker watching the mother’s every act. Her other 3 children were with their foster parents. When I asked why the care worker was sitting there so intently, the reply shocked and pained me. You see, this woman was never allowed to be alone with her girls.
The protege turned, correctly interpreted my reaction, and in her way said:
“Jen, I have 4 gorgeous daughters who if I had them with me and we had a fire I may not be able to save them. Yes, I am never allowed to be alone with them. But I have 4 gorgeous girls. What does it matter if I can’t see them on my own?”
Her concern for me seemed to make her glow and sparkle.
I reflected on my day: Traffic jams. Missing documentation. Passing judgement. These were the things I spent hours ruminating, talking, writing, complaining about. My intellectual effort was going into things that were small. With the amount of hours invested, I was becoming an expert on things I disliked.
Whoa! The way I used my brain I realised was not so intelligent after all.
And what about you? How do you use your intellect?
Like me? Attending to the small so missing the big. Or like her, making the most of every moment of every day?
[And if you would like to support the wonderful work of CAPW, you can donate here.]
If you would like to get weekly insights like this, direct to your inbox, then click here.
Jennifer is a business and executive coach who helps leaders use the wisdom of their heart to turn their strategies into remarkable results. Call her to discuss your needs +61 439 520 182.