When I was little, I was taught about responsibility by owning pets. First it was goldfish, then it was lizards and salamanders that I picked up from the forest behind my house before I graduated onto hamsters, and then to dogs.
The hamsters taught me a lot about uncertainty.
See, they lived in a cage.
It looked the same day in and day out. That spinning wheel stayed in the same place every day. The cage always had two floors to it. They got food and water from the same spot.
They explored that cage every day as if it was new to them. As if that wheel was finally gonna break them free and that food finally going to taste that much better.
When I would open the cage door, to “set them free,” they ran – ran to a safe spot in their cage or that awkward place under the ladder where I couldn’t reach them. They dug into the wood chips. They hid. They flared their teeth at me. They became scared of leaving the same cage they were held captive in.
The only way they would come out was to wait. I waited until they calmed down, regained that sense of curiosity about their surroundings, and found the open door themselves. And there I would be, ready to pat and play with the happy little critters as they ran around our living room floor.
When I am introduced to new situations at work, new people, or new development distinctions, I can sometimes become that hamster – digging into my own jail and hiding in fear from what I don’t know.
The magic happens when I discover the newness “on my own.”
It resonates more with me.
I make it an adventure.
It builds up my confidence in handling the unknown.
When we want to set another person free, just leave the door open.
This guest post was written by Matt Corker – International Operations Specialist, lululemon athletica
Matt Corker has a serious addiction to big ideas, bold goals, and strong communities. After working for the University of British Columbia in alumni and student affairs, Matt was drawn to lululemon athletica – a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company that creates components for people to live long, healthy, and fun lives. After working first in Leadership Development creating opportunities that empower their great staff to achieve their dreams and live a life they LOVE, he moved into a new role supporting the global goals of the company. Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource Management and International Business from the Sauder School of Business at UBC and his MBA from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. He has a strong background in leadership and development and a big heart for new technologies, inspiring minds, and giving out great high fives. More information about Matt can be found at http://thatsacorker.com.