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05-23-16 Don't Miss Image“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock

Sometimes we miss the beauty, the amazing possibility, and the untapped potential of the people and things closest to us.  Because of their proximity, we don’t always see the remarkable gifts in our spouses, parents, children and friends. Because of their familiarity, we don’t always grasp their full worth.

This unfortunate inattentiveness to those closest to us not only negatively impacts relationships at home, but also effectiveness at work.  Let me explain.

I’ve been speaking and writing for almost ten years.  Every time I’ve tried to make a substantial leap to the next level, I’ve invited outside consultants to help me. Each time we’ve tried to expand our platform or shift into a new direction, we fly experts in.

It almost seems like the further they travel the more effective they’ll be.

Don’t get me wrong, a different perspective can be extraordinarily valuable. Sometimes, however, there is even greater value discovered in the perspective and efforts of those who know us best. The decision on who to utilize to help publicize my book earlier this year reminded me of this truth.

My college roommate and dear friend had recently switched careers.  After more than 15 years in real estate, Patrick Barry was less than 15 months into working in the PR world. He had never worked on book publicity, never specialized in this genre, and had no big contacts in New York (or anywhere else!) to lean into.

Instead, what Patrick had was intimate knowledge of the story and a contagious enthusiasm for the project.

He also had something you can’t purchase: an unshakable belief in me.

Showing unmatched dedication, in just the first month he secured 75 media engagements. Those placements on radio, print and television outlets totaled more than 25,000,000 unique impressions.

Because of his effort, and as a result of so many other friends, coworkers, and family members believing, On Fire became an instant #1 National Bestseller, has been translated into seven languages, and has been purchased by nearly 40,000 people…all since March! The book’s message of waking up from accidental living and embracing the limitless possibility within this moment continues to spread.

Too frequently many of us place greater value on ideas from the outside than those coming from the inside. But in doing so, it diminishes the untapped genius of those closest to us.

Instead of looking elsewhere, understand that the best solutions often come from the creative coworkers and committed vendors who believe in our mission and feel empowered to do their best work.

Know that the answers are more likely to come from dear friends and loyal family members who knowing our weaknesses, choose to love us anyway by providing needed honesty into our lives.

Recognize that the talents, gifts, insights and potential of those closest to us may provide the answers we need in our current situation. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

And finally, appreciate that perhaps the greatest untapped resource of genius and possibility is much closer than you may think. It’s the individual whose reflection stares back at you in the mirror each day.

And because what we see depends mainly on what we look for, commit to looking daily for greatness in yourself and in those you encounter each day. 

It is certain to be the most important investment and best decision you’ll ever make.

Today is your day.  Live Inspired.

Have you ever missed the hidden potential in those closest to you? Share your own experiences in the comments below.

1 reply on “Don’t Miss What’s Right in Front of You”

Thanks again John for the weekly motivation.

This is about using that talent that is in our own backyard and also maybe being a little creative in how we do that. I worked for a University in West Michigan in the mid 90’s, as their Corporate Services Directory. I would recruit groups of people from large corporations to take classes, either on our campus or at their worksite with a group of fellow employees. We also provided professional services like strategic planning, facilitation, analysis, etc. I would help them determine their needs and then find the right “expert” to help.

One request was for a strategic planner. The corporations caveat was that they didn’t think there was anyone in West Michigan (specifically Greater Holland region) really qualified that would understand their “global” corporate perspective. I knew just the person they needed.

I contacted my consultant (who lived in a neighboring community and asked him to be at the G.R. International Airport on an assigned date, have a small carry-on suitcase and of course his materials he would need for facilitation. Our client would meet him at the airport (like he had just flown in) and take him to the session and return him later to the airport.

John rode is motorcycle to the airport (with luggage strapped on), met our clients, worked his magic, and then was returned back to the airport that night. He proceeded home in time for dinner.

The client loved the work John did and never knew that he was the “Expert” right in the backyard.

Paying attention to our “own” resources and throwing in some creativity may be just what we need to get the job done.

Thanks John!!

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.