I love to take my dog – Maya – for walks and she loves it when I throw for her and she fetches. A long throw really helps her open up the speed!
As I took her for a walk this morning, I brought with us one of her ‘throw and chew’ balls. Much like a tennis ball but squidgier.
Usually I throw rocks for her and I have a pretty long throw – but despite my usual effort, this ball didn’t travel as far.
Now, it was substantially larger than a stone and almost perfectly spherical – looking picture perfect to throw, but it lacked density and this is why it didn’t make the most of the strength with which it was hurled. In fact, sometimes it only travelled a few meters! Needless to say, Maya was none too pleased.
It got me thinking
I believe that Life, the Universe and the force that is greater than us all, seems to want to propel us to great heights towards what we wish for ourselves, but what do we bring to this ambition to help it along?
If life presents an opportunity to propel a person forward – perhaps to greater learning and prosperity, how does that person get themselves in a position to maximise how far they travel?
As I pondered this, I wondered if the density or substance of the rock was more suitable to be propelled than the ball – which ‘looked’ like the best thing to be propelled.
What is the substance of a person that helps them make the most of the propulsion that life offers? Seems to me that by the time the opportunity arrives, there is likely very little a person can do to acquire the skills to make the most of that particular gift. So it seems substance is a set of general characteristics and capabilities.
Here’s a list of attributes that I think count as ‘substance’ by which a person ‘goes far’.
- Integrity – being true to your word and being guided by your principles.
- Being good to work with – being respectful of others, open to collaboration.
- Being adaptable – anticipating and responding elegantly to change,
- Learning what they need to – and quickly.
- Being generous – with their time, knowledge and resources.
- Being open – in mind and of heart.
- Persistence – knowing when to push on (and pushing on) and when to pull out.
I’m sure this is not exhaustive but what do you think?
Do you agree with my list, can you think of any more?
How does one develop these capacities to be a person of substance?