Color Outside the Lines

One of the cool people I was honored to meet at last weekend’s Leadership Success Summit was Lisa Marie Platske.  She’s an energetic speaker and shared some great information on how to step up and become a leader.

So I did a quick search and found this great article she wrote about coloring outside the lines to share with you.

By Lisa Marie Platske

Because we’re each wired for our own unique greatness, our interests and hobbies are different. When I was 6 years old, I enjoyed drawing and could entertain myself for hours with a box of Crayolas and a coloring book. My teachers and family alike rewarded me for staying between the lines. I wasn’t encouraged to be creative; in fact, I was encouraged to be exact.

Fast forward to fifteen years later, and my hobby had become making lists. At that time in my life, it was important for me to be perceived as someone who could “do it all”, so I became a skilled list-maker and did it so well that it could’ve had its own job description. I wrote lists about what I wanted to do, needed to do, and already did. I wrote down what I was going to do during the week, and on the weekend. I itemized where I wanted to eat and travel, who I wanted to see, and who I needed to call, write, and visit. My lists included who, what, where, when, why, and how….and I began to suck the spontaneity out of my life. Even though I was rewarded by my co-workers and managers for being precise and organized, I came to the conclusion that something was missing.

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said, “That which is used develops, and that which is not used wastes away.” Whenever I hear this statement, I think about that part that was lost in the midst of the list-making. I focused on a skill that I have and developed it, but my talents fell to the wayside.

The Latin root of the word “talent” means “balance or sum of money”. Hence, our talents are what make us individually valuable. Those innate abilities and personal gifts that I have – the ability to walk into a room and change the dynamics with my energy, to be present with a person and engage them at their level of need or want, to inspire them to design their destiny – were not used. Consequently, I found myself making lists but never really creating anything. And since I wasn’t connected to that part of myself, the part that wanted to go outside of the lines, my measure of success was determined by what others expected from me.

Have you experienced this before? Are you experiencing it now? If you take inventory of how you spend your time, how much of this precious commodity do you use to focus on staying inside of the lines, and how much do you spend doing what only you can do the way you do it?

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Each day in your life is an opportunity to create something meaningful. Remember to color outside the lines!

Lisa Marie Platske, President and CEO of Upside Thinking, Inc., radiates a high-energy presence that immediately involves people and inspires them to create positive changes in their professional and personal lives.

Drawing on 15 years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, she uses her background in banking and Federal law enforcement and as an entrepreneur, author, and leadership coach to create unforgettable presentations and coaching sessions. Audiences and clients rave about her humor, powerful instruction, and relentless passion for helping people achieve more happiness, success, and meaning.

Lisa Marie’s goal is to transform lives by helping others see the possibilities, identify what they truly want professionally and personally, and use the three principles of Upside Thinking to achieve long-lasting results. Her unique approach helps leaders create balance in body, mind, and spirit while they learn how to develop a clear vision, increase their sphere of influence, and achieve long-term growth and steady profits.

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1 Comment

  1. Hmm …food for thought. I once wore the badge of the super, octopus, martyred mom. I never wanted help from anyone and I never accepted help from anyone … even when they offered. Why? Because I had the misconception that in order for me to be independent and strong, I had to do it all. I didn’t want to be vulnerable and weak because when you are, you get left on a side walk with your two little boys and your unborn baby daughter. Fortunately, I developed a higher level of conscious awareness and realized I was being a hypocrite. I enjoyed giving but denied that joy to others. In essence, I stomped on the positive energy they willingly gave to me. Not only should we be willing to give but we should also be willing to receive – when I accepted that as the truth – I freed myself to color outside the lines.
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