“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust

FIERCELY AWARE: The Call to Get Fierce: 1.3.4

And is Better Than Or

Beyond our challenges with society, evolution and existing systems (see the last three posts), it will all be smooth sailing.  Well…not exactly.  Fortunately, you do have everything you need to succeed already.  You can fiercely choose, moment by moment, a thousand times a day, to reach for human goodness and a strengths-based perspective. When you do, get ready for your engagement, motivation, well-being, and effectiveness to grow.  We will look at specific strategies in the next section but right now you can begin by making small “replacements” in your everyday life.

FROM bubbling with frustration over family, colleague, or neighbor conflicts
TO spotting the potential of their unique strengths and enjoying the possibilities.

FROM a myopic focus on organizational outcomes
TO celebrations of achieved milestones and individual and group contributions.

FROM giving primacy to the negative events of the day
TO actively scanning for the positive.

FROM gripping onto anger
TO granting forgiveness

FROM aloof distance
TO love and kindness



As you begin to make replacements, beware of the “tyranny of or” and the possibility of what the “genius of and” represents.  The “tyranny of or” according to Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, is the false notion that we must choose between two seemingly contradictory strategies. For example, I can be a strong leader/parent/citizen or I can be loving.  The “or” can be used as a get-out-of-jail-free card, excusing us from being our best selves.

On the other hand, with the “genius of and,” we refuse this simplistic contradiction and bridge the divide.  This thought process holds our feet to the fire.  For example, I can be a strong leader/parent/citizen focusing on growth and stay committed to relationships in the process.  “And” keeps us from taking the shortcut.   By fiercely refusing the “or” we can experience more of life’s goodness, find new solutions to challenges, increase effectiveness and engagement and overall well-being.