UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Sitcom Solutions And SEL

watching-TV-with-kids mesmerized

Watching your favorite show typically means that the episode’s issue will be resolved in a predictable amount of time. Unfortunately, real-life challenges are not done in a 30 minute block. Even considering longer programs, 60 minute increments of time rarely solve real-life issues either. Problems like sharing personal challenges, figuring out positioning in social groups, or equipping someone to manage raging emotions all need deliberate steps amidst uncertain navigation. But, who has tools to help these situations? How do people of all ages and maturity navigate paths resulting in functional adults? Why are these problems not resolved in one episode?

Nature
Watching a school yard full of children play at recess illustrates a full spectrum of human experiences. In 30 minutes outside the classroom, exercising physical bodies, social skills, and innermost insecurities are all simultaneously happening. As children develop over the years, these seeds flourish further into identities resulting in varying degrees of functional behaviors. However, at the dysfunctional end of the spectrum, emotions run rampant toward aggression and rage. While tools are available to curtail negative behaviors, who is responsible for deploying them? Who stops the negativity from dragging down the community?

Uplifting the community coincides with uplifting the individual. While authority dictates establishing rules and parameters, positive societal outcomes result from listening. Technically, positive outcomes are a result of communicating. However, the listening component is the more difficult part. While popular entertainment delivers conflict, then resolution within a single episode, human behavior does not obey any set schedule. Strengthening tools to communicate and cope depends on the skills of the teacher and the learner. Consequently, teachers proactively need to acquire effective coping skills so that they can teach the elements of cooperating socially.

Nurture
Unfortunately, developing such coping skills defy any imposed schedule. Based on the learners, emotional, psychological, or intellectual baggage, the necessary time for correction varies dramatically. Factors ranging from school environments to home structure affects any individual’s ability to communicate appropriate, social interaction. Furthermore, this variance includes, teachers, leaders, and authority figures. The absence of Social Emotional Learning reverberates through communities and learning environments. Teachers that are burdened with emotional baggage are often ill-equipped to impart skills they never adequately received. Essentially, they cannot nurture attributes that they have not acquired themselves.

Consequently, without tools, nor allocated time, the problem festers. Poor behavior that results from poor guidance continues to foster aggression, apathy, and insensitivity. Simply starting to develop stronger listening skills often contribute to improved behaviors in developing minds. Furthermore, incorporating role play scenarios with encouragement allows positive behaviors to surface from turmoil. Also, empowering learners to establish group guidelines often facilitates positive behavioral outcomes. However, requiring conflict resolution inside a pre-designed timeframe is a recipe for frustration and failure for all involved parties.

Takeaways
Without understanding the degree of scarring that initially created dysfunctional behaviors, leaders are ill-prepared to predict in any way the necessary time to correct behaviors. Through intentional academic and community-based programming, people have the potential to develop behaviors that are more consistent with socially acceptable actions. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) helps build that strength. Creating ongoing education for all involved parties, leaders and learners, reinforces the tools to reform aggressive behaviors and transform them into more compassionate interactions. Despite not fully knowing the necessary timeframe to conclude training that improves social behaviors, the evidence is clear that the time to start instilling better behaviors is now.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more – and even DONATE – go to www.TYRS.org

 

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May 21, 2019 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Were Kids Together

Kids on the Playground (2)

Here’s a quick test of your competitive spirit. Would you rather compete with your best buddy or your fiercest enemy? Friend or foe, who gets your best effort? Unsurprisingly, champions and conquerors often refer back to competition in their younger years that later developed unconquerable spirits. Great achievement involves more than overcoming significant obstacles, it features competing and defeating assorted adversaries. The core of the friend or foe argument is whether the competitive spirit is forged in the cradle of friendly contests or the crucible of heated combat. What exactly happens in these metaphorical sandboxes that breeds competitive greatness over time?

Competitors
Competition is the father of achievement! You got to play to win. Whether on the playground, in the classroom, or inside a laboratory, competition inspires superior performance. To be clear, competition also involves communal efforts. Teams integrate individuals who work together for group achievement. Applying this mindset to communities, victory is not a singular accomplishment. Having assorted individuals and groups contribute toward an identifiable goal is the heart of victory. Winning involves defeating circumstances as much as an opponent.

Engaging competitors is more than a group identifying a common, external adversary. Competing against internal apathy is also part of the battle. The best victories emerge when individuals unite against a common enemy whether it is an individual, a community, or an institution. The benefit of competition is that it consolidates complimentary resources to defeat external opponents. Having common bonds resulting from common perspectives and backgrounds truly builds a spirit of camaraderie that is hard to overcome.

Comrades
Team building matters. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield built Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream on a mutual obsession for ice cream and other foods. Inseparable since high school, their mutual passion jointly led a revolution within the food industry. Ben & Jerry’s redefined and reignited the ice cream industry by providing a premium product in both retail outlets and specialty shops. In their case, their common background facilitated common values, as well as a desire to disrupt that conquered the ice cream industry. Their collaborative, cooperative, communal perspective was anchored on joint experiences that led to a joint perspective, then joint domination.

The power behind collaborative success creates synergy. Aligned focus results in more strength targeting solutions. From a teamwork perspective, aligning synergy among several individuals impacts a community. Positively impacted communities lead to progress. The metaphor of kids growing up together directly applies to building unity in several common endeavors. Camaraderie directly correlates with teamwork and incrementally impactful outcomes. What better image to establish an environment where relationships facilitate common culture than kids sharing a playground?

Takeaways
Returning to the initial question: would you rather compete against your best buddy, or your fiercest enemy? There is no right, or wrong answer. But, an individual’s ability to compete, discern, cooperate, and win is undoubtedly revealed during competition. Anyone can compete for individual glory. However, teams also benefit by competing for communal rewards. Cooperation fundamentally is a learned individual trait that produces collective benefits. The ultimate benefit is when groups form to find new challenges and overcome them. Simultaneously cultivating competitive and cooperative foundations helps a lot. Kids who literally grow up together geographically, or grow up together experientially, will build common and functional cultures that will flourish over time.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more – and even contribute/ donate – go to www.TYRS.org

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Problems? I Have Puzzles

Quincy Jones Diverse Humble Band

Legendary music producer and epically cool dude, Quincy Jones, once quoted, “I don’t have problems. I have puzzles.” Considering the 27 Grammy awards he has earned over his 50+ year music career across genres, personalities and time periods, he has solved a lot of puzzles. Formal education did not give him the ability to solve problems or puzzles; he has no earned degrees. Yet, his unceasing approach toward education and innovation clearly reveals his enormous learning capacity. So, how does a young overachiever replicate any portion of Jones’ success? What tools are available to equip the next legend to promote selfless collaboration and excellence?

Building Blocks
Foundationally, Jones is a lifelong learner who seizes learning opportunities everywhere. He travels globally. And, he refuses to define himself into any genre or stereotype. To benefit from assorted experiences, Jones constantly embraces interactions with enormous empathy and curiosity. He sees other emotional viewpoints. Through constantly embracing diverse interactions, an inquisitive nature, and ongoing practice, Jones builds enduring relationships and curiosity which contributes to his leadership and innovation.

To apply this skill to youth, first establish a culture that encourages interactions with people outside immediate social circles, ethnic backgrounds, or demographic profiles. Create environments where social tensions and conflicts can be intentionally discussed without forcing resolution. Support listening to other perspectives with the expectation of understanding instead of winning arguments. Advance these practices within an environment of empathy and mature guidance. Help create a community of collaborators, not alpha dogs. Emphasizing commonalities through open discussion and shared experiences provides the final building block.

Building Leaders
Another essential component of Jones’ broad success is his ability to nurture leaders. In the studio, he is known for empowering, corralling and liberating talent. By not entering the studio acting entitled to the alpha role, Jones approaches the environment collaboratively, and then persuades other alpha dogs to follow him. Leadership is much more powerful when followers select the head. Dominant personalities still maintain their dignity as leaders and essential contributors. Yet, Jones’ skill includes persuasion to use superior talent to strengthen the group deliberately. If this developed skill can win over prima donnas like Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra, it can work in any community.

In building leaders, the most necessary skill is to value followers. In community building, that priority means influencers need to develop skills to listen empathetically, as well as to communicate prioritized team goals. Furthermore, adult leaders who demonstrate an “I know better because I am older” attitude will eventually recognize that approach worked poorly in their generation, and most likely in the generation before theirs. Sharing responsibilities, in conjunction with opportunities to succeed and fail, builds strength and resilience in adversity. At that point, youth are equipped to solve puzzles. Also, big problem gets managed because smaller tasks that initially created the monster are resolved.

Takeaways
Building skills that emphasize empathy, values and legacy encourage human development by rewarding individuals in ways that they specifically own. Listening to the team’s desires and personal objectives helps leaders identify proper rewards for contributors to the communal good. That skill requires listening with hearts, as well as ears. The resulting legacy relies on learners accepting that today’s decisions will impact tomorrow’s results. All these moving parts result in complex puzzles. But, when communally valued tools and reduced egos drive each step, using heads and hearts to solve puzzles becomes much easier than solving bigger problems birthed from uncontrollable egos. This approach has worked in Quincy Jones’ orchestras. It will work in developing nearby communities.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more – and even contribute/ donate – go to www.TYRS.org

August 9, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Make the Call

Business Storytelling

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” Pathetic talking heads spew this cliché to advocate the virtues of networking! Supporting this madness are countless “thinkers” increasing social media contacts to justify claims of being connectors. Professionals seeking help need more “doers” and fewer “thinkers”. Networking means serving, and consequently human contact. Serving another person’s needs demands contact with other people. It eventually requires people exchanging ideas. Fundamentally, doing a favor, performing a service, or connecting colleagues, depends on establishing communication. Simply, someone must make the call.

I Know A Guy
Continuing with mindless clichés, claims to know someone who can solve someone else ’s problem have become laughable. Nowadays, knowing a guy can mean having attended a prestigious kindergarten with Ms. CEO, or just started following this individual on Instagram upon seeing their “sick pics in Vegas” after they spoke at last week’s conference. Regardless, the implication screams “shallow relationship”. Knowledge is good, but genuine relationship is better.

Someone with a need, whether a referral or a recommendation, truly requires connectivity. The request implies personal closeness. “I know a guy” only suggests awareness. Awareness does not solve problems any more than driving past Krispy Kreme (and that cursed red light) delivers weight loss! To serve a colleague’s need, understand the specific request. Probe for the pain’s core and the desired remedy. Then, seek a solution through personal connectivity. Profiles, handles and email addresses are irrelevant. Leveraging an established relationship to propel another one initiates the process.

The Guy Knows Me
To maximize the ability to help another, the connection should be selfless. Bragging about the depth and breadth of a network typically minimizes the ability to serve and solve. Possessing a network that features influencers and problem solvers who want to help, maximizes value. “The Guy Knows Me” communcates that the network has willing individuals who accomplish goals. Such relationship’s foundation features a history of trustworthy performance that benefitted both parties. “The Guy” has tremendous incentive to cooperate. They already know the benefits resulting from helping. It has happened before.

At the core, networking represents accumulated social capital from investing in favors and generating strong returns based on execution. Generating such returns require active and personal effort. Connecting a colleague with a need to a professional with a personal incentive to help, leads to a genuine effort for success. Beyond having lots of followers, is having the right followers. Ask favors from someone who can deliver results, and who wants to deliver results for the person asking. Productive professional relationships commonly have this dynamic.

Takeaway
Actually, the initial, pathetic talking head is not absolutely wrong. The speaker simply finished their slightly disjointed thought too quickly. “It is not what you know; it is not who you know; it is who knows you!” When requesting a referral or favor, be sure to ask the professional who knows someone significant that wants to help. Such networking contacts are in demand because they deliver. These relationships drive results. Value these relationships and actively look to reciprocate. All contacts are not created equal. It truly matters “who knows you.”

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building Relationship Is For Them

 

Hall Crowd

Who doesn’t want to be loved? Some people seem to attract strangers who are willing to share their life stories. Whether they have an empathetic ear or a trusting face, these lucky listeners have people approach them with personal details. The best of these folks embrace their abundant relationship trait. Patience is often a common characteristic. An electric smile emerges as a sure sign in other cases. Nevertheless, recently two friends laughed over really good coffee about how they manage the unusual attraction of people who willingly over-share.

Music
Friend One is a musician who has a full dose of the relationship trait. As a working musician, he finds himself in assorted halls, theaters, and churches where he encounters diverse fans. Invariably, after a set, fans and listeners are inclined to pull up a chair to share. Friend One believes his highly evolved ear makes him a gifted listener.

He receives their input by listening intently. Too often, people do not really want someone to solve their problems; they want someone to listen to them. They equate listening with caring. Because Friend One listens well, his audience believes he cares well. Consequently, they share well and in turn, experience relationship. Friend One’s gift is establishing connectivity with people who need it. The music is simply a vehicle.

Lecture
Friend Two on the other hand, is a lecturer. Whether teaching, presenting, or consulting, he dispenses knowledge for listeners to apply. Establishing rapport is a skill he has developed over time. But in order to personalize information, he has to understand his audience in as much detail as possible. His primary skill is questioning.

Great lecturers do not necessarily create knowledge. But realize that knowledge is more readily available now than at any time in history. A great lecturer personalizes the knowledge. They present information in ways that multiple individuals in the audience want to receive it. Consequently, asking the right questions, while sharing information to ensure understanding, is an exceptionally valuable attribute. And, as the audience responds, either by individual or as a crowd, the connection becomes more firmly established. And, whether the bold learners address him during Q & A, or the extremely bold learners approach as he packs his materials to leave, Friend Two reinforces connection by exchanging more information individually.

Fundamentally, connecting with people happens at an emotional level. President Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” The conversation is just the foundation. The listening and connecting is where the value happens. Relationship is the foundation of human and commercial value. Would you buy your morning coffee from someone if you do not believe it is going to be good (or at least dark & hot)? Whether the power comes from listening or questioning, it is the personalized dialogue that expresses caring. And caring is the foundation of relationship.

So, in building relationship, how do you express caring? When are you most receptive to connecting?

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

April 5, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get An Old Man

Two Men Talking 2

“You have to get an old man” advised the half-crazy upperclassman tutor to a group of freshman trying to survive their first term at an elite university. The freshmen were baffled how an old man could help navigate their coursework. Then, the tutor elaborated that the old man was for wisdom, not education. This was real-world knowledge. In any complex organization, success requires more than raw, intellectual firepower. Negotiating cultural landmines and systemic distractions requires understanding and revelation that only comes from wisdom. Figuring out any large institution demands more insight than any one individual can acquire in a few months. It takes scar tissue to navigate the intricacies of complex systems. Why not benefit from someone else’s wounds?

Wisdom
“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”, according to Vernon Law. Wisdom comes from learning the lesson and surviving to tell the story! Lessons are not simply endured, they must be learned. Old men have already learned the lesson. Imagine the advantage of having the lesson before the test. Youth involves absorbing experiences for the first time. The advantage of maturity is knowing that someone’s first time, is most likely not the first time something happened. Youthful exuberance does not provide that perspective. Every old man was once young. Identify one that has walked the trail that youngsters are preparing to walk. Realize that the old man does not just know the challenges, they know how to avoid them.

Results
Another benefit of old men is that they have seen great ideas come and go. They have seen talented people long on vision and short on execution. They understand that results matter! The upperclassman had personally witnessed brilliant students that struggled because they had always excelled alone. They had never needed help, so never learned how to ask. Corporations, academia, bureaucracies are full of these types. The wise old man knows what newbies need before they do. He is not competing for a grade, or a promotion. He wants to be part of their success. Wisdom will be shared with someone and it will be valuable. Get in line and receive it.

The most fascinating part of engaging an old man is what he gets out of the deal. Some youngsters avoid bothering an old man because they have nothing to offer back. Their intelligence blocks their understanding. They assume they cannot reciprocate, then applaud their brilliance. Old men vary; often relevance is all they seek. Other times it is repaying an internal debt from when they finally accepted wise counsel. Occasionally, they see the greatness in a potential protégé that the youngster is afraid to embrace. Regardless, seek wisdom. Wisdom does not follow age. But, wisdom ages well. The old man does not have to be old. It does not have to be a man. Mentors only require understanding that can guide toward a desired result. Get an old man. Then later, remember to find a young person!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get On The Lifeboat

Titanic Band

According to historic accounts, the band played until the Titanic sank. People’s lives are at stake, and these musicians did their jobs. Jobs are important. But, priorities have a hierarchy. Preserving life is more important than hitting your note. Flatteringly, history acknowledges that the musicians provided a noble service. Still, an individual possesses a higher calling than their occupation. Each individual must take into account their entire contribution for every community where they participate. Then, maximize it. If the ship is sinking, make it a priority to help others get on the lifeboat. Life is precious. Consequently, by all means get on the lifeboat, too!

Your Job
Receiving value for individual contributions is part of the economy of humanity. When money enters the equation, quantifying the contribution’s value and discerning comparisons, become measurable, if not easier. Roles as parent, sibling, companion, mentor, bridge partner, or golfing buddy also matter. Fulfilling the highest contribution takes many forms. Understandably, work demonstrates economic and psychological worth. But, what happens when a worker’s replacement is identified? Is the predecessor rendered worthless? What about the boss who benefited from extraordinary efforts from previous staff? Is that contribution marginalized by the inability to maintain productivity? To the contrary, effective leaders constantly develop talent for contingencies. Inevitably, needs emerge for replacements. Hopefully, contributors evolve and grow. No rational individual should confuse their entire personal value with their organizational position, or economic contribution. The job is important. So is individual self-worth.

Your Responsibility
Saving and comforting perishing passengers is a noble duty. However, every individual has individual gifts to perpetuate. The Titanic’s exceptional musicians admirably performed their jobs and tragically left gaping holes with friends and families. Ultimately, responsibility is contributing to a greater benefit than the individual. The job is important. Fulfilling each human’s potential is also important. A higher responsibility is to contribute to family, community, and mankind. That greater purpose features assorted talents. Develop and deliver diverse and evolving skills that greater purpose. Seek opportunities to grow and contribute more. Ignoring that personal responsibility empowers someone else who will gladly use the value of such individual gifts for their own personal improvement.

Try naming ten martyrs. How about five? On the other hand, quickly name five lives that you presently enhance! Your personal gifting, not your professional role enhances those lives. Clearly, establish a purpose and fulfill it. It can certainly coincide with professional duties. Performing a job well is important. But, it does not qualify as a life purpose. Account for the impact that an individual’s successful performance delivers. Recognize the difference between a duty and a calling. A duty is the performance of a task for a specific benefit. A calling is the application of individual passions and skills to maximize contribution for many. No one can save another in the long-term, if the first person sinks in the present. Yes, you have a job. You also have a responsibility. To maximize your personal contribution, choose which of your attributes impact the lives or community that most matter to you individually! Prioritize and deliver on that calling.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

March 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bloom Where You’re Planted

bloom-where-planted

Community gardens uniquely reflect growth! The location’s inherent beauty and the unconquerable human spirit jointly emerge regardless of the surrounding environment’s condition. The individual may suffer. Aggregately, life thrives despite the surroundings. Whatever conditions may dictate the environment, in the presence of community, life perseveres. Similarly, great ideas are birthed wherever the human spirit intercedes. Today’s dilapidated warehouse becomes tomorrow’s technology hub. Like the garden in a field of asphalt, the result demonstrates that life, people and ideas have the capacity to bloom where they are planted.

Breakthrough
Before the garden spreads, the first seeds must have their breakthrough. All the seeds have the genetic capacity to emerge in harsh soil. However, certain seeds have either genetic tenacity, or a fortuitous crack near their germination which results in their breakthrough. People, and subsequently communities, must take advantage of breakthroughs as soon as they happen. Blooming never gets the chance without an available opportunity. Call it luck; call it favor; call it destiny. But to bloom where planted, the individual has to answer the call. Whenever someone emerges successfully from squalor despite nearby death and destruction, that individual seized their breakthrough and then absorbed a disproportionate amount of radiance and nutrients. Another nearby person may have had more innate talent. Yet, they failed to seize the resources that were available to all. Blooming requires grabbing resources where seeds take root, then expanding beyond the local boundaries. Do not wait for the next turn. Fight for resources that provide individual transformations.

Spread
Greatness is not a singular event. The bloom that emerges in their desolate environment needs to spread seed in the environment so that additional growth can occur. The garden is not successful with one stalk. Success requires a community of vegetation to make the soil healthy enough for more growth. The goal is to bloom where you are planted. It is not bloom, then wait to be transplanted. Even with expanding growth opportunities, no guarantee exists that every new seedling has a breakthrough. Bloom where you are planted requires cultivating a more vibrant and fruitful garden which enriches the soil to reproduce additional growth. The pockets of life interact. Their networking strengthens their aggregate opportunities to benefit each other and grow. A community does not grow one individual at a time. It grows and flourished when multiple pockets emerge in the same general location. The groupings share resources and nourishment, then the garden eventually changes its characters. The asphalt gives way to fertile growth.

Creating a vibrant community requires a symbiotic, pro-growth environment. Tilling, seeding, watering, pruning are all components of growing a garden, even a community garden. Spreading ideas and opportunities into pockets of growth facilitate the next generation enduring the same routine. Blooming is not a singular event. Growth demands time and replication. To change the environment, the enriched soil must be maintained. Remove weeds that choke the growth. Also, introduce outside influences that understand how to grow gardens so that they benefit from proven practices. Blooming communities require the ability to develop and nourish each other. It is difficult, but it is worthwhile. But to start, the first intentional cultivation must bloom where it is planted.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All My Previous Addresses

mansionshack

“I think we are a product of all our experiences.”, according to legendary banker, Sanford Weill. That quote became crystal clear when a pastor friend became privately furious when someone tried to take advantage of him in a business deal. The adversary mistakenly took the pastor’s kindness for weakness. Consequently, the pastor planned to attack more than his character. Considering that the pastor grew up in violent communities, his plan involved more wrath than forgiveness. Nevertheless, the small group erupted with laughter when the pastor threateningly snarled about his adversary, “He doesn’t know all my previous addresses!”

Where You’re From
As a man of God, the pastor had attained a respectable position in his community and among his congregation. As a troubled youth he had learned how to extract revenge and never show weakness. Whether earning a PhD from Oxford or a GED from the School of Hard Knocks, people apply lessons from their individual history into their personal growth. Every individual’s past is a foundation for their future. The strength used to navigate through a ruthless past is the same strength used to develop unconquerable character. The caterpillar that enters the cocoon has the same character as the butterfly that releases from it. The transformation equips it with better tools, but the tenacity to escape and ability to fly was in there all along. Success requires acknowledging the past; all of it. Channeling experiences from early conquests to develop new and improved skills result in future victories.

Where You’re Going
Everyone is heading somewhere. Many sermons point out, “You’re either going into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm.” Regardless, progress is about the journey, not just the destination. Be aware of both. The journey is not linear. Pick a direction anyway. Pursue the mountain top that everyone sees, yet fear prevents them from ascending. Those left behind will hurl discouragement from the valley. Others will present obstacles from above fearing progress will soon overtake them. Nevertheless, grasp all previous experiences to build momentum. Let the insults and obstacles serve as stepping stones toward progress. Feel free to lead others also willing to ascend toward higher destinations.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”, according to President Theodore Roosevelt. Ultimately, individual skills, experiences and values are the most prized possessions. Limits do exist. But, they usually exist well beyond where most people dare to climb. You did in fact live at your previous address. And, then you lived at another address. No one needs to know all your previous addresses. But as you climb, the new address is the one that matters. And, the next one does too. Furthermore, the same skills and characteristics that began the ascensions serve as the foundations for the next plateau. Progress prohibits remaining at previous addresses. But, it is essential to remember the lessons they provided, and the power that they birthed!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond.

February 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Never Go Back, It Changed

homecoming_2012

A friend told me they no longer visit their old high school. It changed. Well, he did too! The story in no way advocates living in the past. It is not a plea to “go back home” and change the old neighborhood. The point is to recognize that an individual is a composite of all their experiences. The successful person has more experiences and embraces them all. The past is part of an individual’s legacy – for good or for bad. The legacy is a byproduct of the changes that occurred. Change is a choice. Make the choice. The past is static. Go forward to a dynamic future.

Embrace Change
Regardless of the foundation, growth is based on new inputs and experiences. Revisionist history can reveal new insights, or perhaps tell an entirely different story. But, it does not change the events, or how they may impact an individual. The individual who continues to grow beyond their foundation, acknowledges the prior events, then embrace changes toward progress. Education is an easy example of this phenomenon. However, trials and tribulations are more powerful. The process of overcoming difficulty builds character, commitment and a chart toward triumph. Accept life challenges. Improve based on new experiences. Dare to be great. Upon escaping the furnace, the individual does not have to return to prove their mettle. But, he ignores character building challenges at his own risk.

Launch Change
Change is not inevitable. People stay stuck all the time. But, progress is impossible without change and a leap of faith. Some individuals deny the opportunity to go back because they never leave. But, leaping from any foundation propels forward. Each experience, each introduction, each risk brings a new set of potentially positive outcomes. Positive outcomes are not guaranteed. But, stagnant existence is fairly certain, if no movement exists at all. Risk does not have to indicate danger; but, it always represents opportunity. Fundamentally, success is a product of change. Energy starts and continues change. The energy can be a push out, or a lift up, or a shove down. But once the energy is released, change surely happens.

Accept the possibilities that involve choice. Accept it, then embrace it. Leave your past behind you, if you choose. No need to criticize the past after moving forward. Focusing on the past becomes a weight slowing an individual down, or worse, holding them in place. Regardless, change is inevitable. And, progress is not guaranteed. No need to go back, unless it is a choice. But if that is the choice, bring back progressive, forward- facing experiences. Upon returning, share experiences with the next person that goes forward. Just do not go back and add to the problems. Deciding not to go back because it changed is a choice. But, going back to show the path to progress is a virtue. The next one who embraces the risk is now prepared to launch into a better future. Be that difference.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment