Prepare to Lose

It’s no secret – we’re living in a complicated world.  We’re faced with very tough issues.  We have our personal perspectives, points of view, and experiences, plus we are being bombarded with media and advertising messages seeking to influence our minds and actions.  In talking about this notion with my friend, Dr. Bob Hill, recently, he said, “I feel so strongly about speaking up for what I believe is right that I am prepared to lose.”

Prepared to lose?  What is it that he is preparing to lose?  I wanted to know more.  He went on…

“I know that sharing my point of view is going to be hard and that not everyone is going to agree with me.  I’m not expecting to change minds, but I do hope people will listen and try to understand.  In the process, I know that I will lose some friends and colleagues who I thought were allies.  I’m prepared.”

Wow!  This is a person who I have always admired, and his comments and courage made me even more impressed. 

With these concepts in mind, here are a few thoughts for being willing to share one’s perspectives openly:

  • Be true to yourself.  Hold tight to your convictions while continuing to check your gut. 
  • Be transparent.  Stand up for what you believe is right.  No need to hide from your point of view.
  • Don’t focus on changing minds.  This is not a race to the finish – it is an exchange of ideas.  Convey your points without expectation of action.  That others are willing to listen is a great first step.
  • Do invite others in.  Just as you wish to be listened to, afford others the same courtesy.  Listen with an active ear so they feel comfortable and safe sharing their points of view in return.
  • Prepare to lose. So, stand up for your perspectives, share them with others, and be ready for changes to the composition of your relationship base.

In his book, “Necessary Endings,” Dr. Henry Cloud says, “Whether we like it or not, endings are a part of life.  They are woven into the fabric of life itself, both when it goes well, and also when it doesn’t.  On the good side of life, for us to ever get to a new level, a new tomorrow, or the next step, something has to end.”  Be prepared.

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