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Stephen Mayo | Isn't It Great?

Isn't It Great?

Oct. 10, 2021

Picture this: a 7-year-old girl is sitting on the beach, building a sand castle.  Off in the distance, she can see a beautiful skyscraper rising above the trees, its spire nearly touching the clouds. 

“Wow,” she says. “One day I’m going to build a great big building just like that”. She glances back at her sand castle. “But for now, here’s where I am. Isn’t it great?!”

For most people, it’s easy to be encouraging of such a child:  “Go for it!  The sky’s the limit.”

Can you imagine saying to the child “sure, you built a castle, but c’mon…it’s pretty small, and it’s only made of sand.” That would be downright mean!

Yet this is the way many adults talk to themselves.


It’s healthy to acknowledge that you want to accomplish bigger and better things, and to recognize your current ability.  But the perspective of “it’s not good enough” tends to create a condition of constantly being disappointed.  And that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: no matter what you accomplish, it’s not enough.  In the long run, this muffles creativity and motivation.

The 7-year-old girl is motivated not by some disparity between the size of her castle and that of the other kids.  Rather she’s driven by a hunger to create bigger and better stuff.  Not only is that a powerful force, it’s a healthy perspective for a career (and life) filled with more wonder, curiosity and satisfaction, whether you’re 7, 37 or 107 years old.

Here’s where I am now…isn’t it great?!

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