“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.
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.