A few weeks ago, while sitting in my conference room, I waited for the clock to strike 2pm. I couldn't wait to share my “big idea” with someone who was a pretty big deal. Through a mentor, I was able to land a meeting with a top “mover and shaker” in my city who was willing to give me an hour to discuss my big idea. When he walked in, I did my best to win him over with my usual warm, vivacious personality. He was not moved. No worries, I thought to myself, my idea is gonna knock his socks off. He listened, asked questions, and pushed back on the idea several times, seeking more clarity. After several rounds of back and forth discussion, the room got quiet, he took a deep breath and said:
"I really like it and I really don't!"
While his reasons for both liking and not liking were profound and helpful, what really stood out to me was the wisdom he showed in recognizing what he really liked and didn’t like about something. Having this ability to balance emotions is critical when trying to solve a big problem. Often in our excitement, and even in our “hopes” that something we care about will come to fruition, we can lose the ability to see both the upside and downside to our ideas and opportunities. We are allowed to both like and not like something. We are allowed to balance these juxtaposed emotions. We are allowed to have more than one, contradicting opinion on something!
What is one area in which you need to exercise the balanced wisdom of defining not just what you like about your ideas, but also what still needs to be improved upon?