This morning, we all awoke a world seemingly divided. The political circus runs rampant and the arguments rage in every corner. We can block it out, but we start to see the effects carrying over into our day to day lives, as well.
Yesterday morning, I dealt with an incredibly lazy, entitled, and negative cast of 14 year olds in rehearsals for my adaptation of "Hamlet". With the performance less than a month a way, they were far under performing the expected levels of work. When confronted with that reality, the response was one of unapologetic attitude. As you can imagine, I tried to work through their objections, but ultimately found things very frustrating.
While consulting with some of their other teachers, I was encouraged to go the draconian route, setting up an essay per day requirement for the next three weeks. It all made sense from a specific standpoint, however, my heart was saying something very different.
Yesterday morning, I spent time watching the world. I read some social media postings and saw the negativity in the air. It reminded me of what I had witnessed the day before in rehearsal. Then, I chose to accept where that division, where that argumentative energy existed within me. It was there, lurking...and, embarrassingly enough, it looked a lot like self pity. It was then that I decided to change my mind.
I decided to look at what was missing from the occasion. What the world (and my cast) needed was someone who would bring the positivity, the motivation, and who would refuse to give up when it became hard. Not that I had given up, but I felt a real turning point had been reached in the process and that I had to make a choice.
So, here's what did. I sat them down and laid the situation before them. I told them what I had been encouraged to do. Then I told my cast that I wasn't ready to give up on them. That I knew, from experience with them, that they could do it. Not only could they do it, but that they could have a great time while doing so. It took a little while, but I suddenly noticed the change in body posture and the engagement growing. We discussed how to show up ready to work and developed several systems to make it happen. Then this morning, we did it. We executed. And it worked beautifully.
From there on, I have used this basic principle in every scenario possible, heaping authentic praise and love on whomever I was talking to, and this key, whether out loud to them or just mentally while talking. Call it woo-woo, but it truly appears to work. The energy around me has shifted intensely...or perhaps it's just me. Either way, I call it a win.
What do you think? Is it worth a try in your own life?