Personal Growth Success in Life
Don’t Waste Your Energy Asking Why. Sometimes That’s Just the Way it Is!
Don’t you just love it when you are cooped up in the car with young children, going on a long trip and every time they see something they haven’t seen before, they begin with the questions?
Well, if you are anything like me … it drives you nuts! 🙂
I understand these questions are an absolute requirement for their development and the answers you provide goes a long way in developing their intellectual capital. So, although it can be extremely frustrating and annoying, as parents, we need to take the time to answer these questions and show as little irritation as possible so you don’t deter their inquisitiveness and stifle their growth.
Even though this is true it’ll still drive even the most patient of people crazy when every explanation is met with the question …
I know I’ve uttered the response many times when the interrogation has gotten to this point, “That’s just the way it is!”
Remember when we were children, we all went through this stage. Some of us longer than others, but there is a time in your intellectual development where you need to understand that sometimes that’s just the way it is!
One of my mentors, Betty Dunbar, helped me come to this understanding about 15 years ago. We were building a business together and there were some very challenging “people problems” we were dealing with. We spent our time and money traveling around the country helping people build their businesses. Our goal was to identify leaders in specific geographic locations around the country and teach them to teach the people in those locations.
I know, I know, this sounds like a very innefficient way of doing things, since the same thing could be accomplished virtually with the Internet. Well, at that time the Internet wasn’t very prominent. In fact very few people even had a computer in their home so it was an issue.
Anyhow, we had issues with some of the leaders we helped out the most. They would be on board when we were there and would act like our biggest supporters, but once we left they would do thier own thing and bad mouth us and everything we were teaching. When we’d address this with them they’d of course tell us it wasn’t true. It didn’t even matter that we had proof, theyd still deny it.
I remember a conversation where I was telling Betty how I just didn’t understand why they would do that. It didn’t seem fair to me that we’d be spending our time and money to help them increase their business, yet they were running around undermining all the efforts we were making. No matter how hard I struggled to figure it out, I just couldn’t come to a place where it made any logical sense.
Then Betty made one of the most profound, yet frustrating statements I’ve ever heard. She said …
“The cat’s gotta be some color.”
What? I thought she was out of her mind. I wasn’t talking about cats! I was talking about these pseudo leaders that we were busting our tails to help, and they were, in essence, spitting right in our faces.
I mustered up all the patience I could find and said, “Could you please help me understand what that means?”
She said, “Sure, what I mean is just because you paint a black cat white, doesn’t make it a white cat. It’s still a black cat.”
Alright at this point I’d had it and was quite irritated with what I thought was some type of riddle she was throwing at me, so I dropped it.
However, I didn’t forget it.
Over the years this one statement has stuck with me and changed my perception about people and the way the world works.
Think about the last time a change took place at your place of employment that you thought was great. You looked at it from every angle and once you’d gone through the thorough analysis of the change you came to the conclusion that it was going to add security to your position, and everyone else in the company. Not only that but, ultimately everybody would experience a salary increase, and the work conditions would be much better as well.
Just as you finished going through this analysis you walked into the lunch room….
You heard one of your co-workers moaning and complaining about the change. They were just spewing a bunch of negative garbage challenging the intentions of “the man” and talking about how this was going to be the beginning of the end.
For a quick second you began to wonder if the two of you had heard the same message so you engaged that person in a quick conversation and agreed they were talking about the same issue. You pointed out a few thoughts from your analysis and they immediately challenged each point. Finally you went back to your office and probably wondered, “What the heck … Why would they do that?”
Well if you think about it for a minute, that person probably had a consistent track record of doing that with almost every aspect of their life, or at least the parts of it you are privy to. No matter what happens, this person always views the negative and you can’t remember a time where they were excited about the future.
Well let me save you from any future wasted time and effort of asking … “Why does this person do that all the time?!?!”
The answer is …
THE CAT’S GOTTA BE SOME COLOR! 🙂
You see, over the years I finally understand what Betty meant when she said that to me. What she was saying is if someone is a habitual “moaner and complainer” they have become that way because they constantly “moan and complain.”
It’s an absolute waste of time and energy to figure out why, and why would you want to anyhow? Just know the following….
If someone is a motivator …
They Motivate people.
If someone is an achiever …
They achieve things.
If someone is a moaner and complainer …
They moan and complain.
The next time you find yourself trying to figure out why someone does what they do. Don’t waste the energy and just say to yourself, “Sometimes that’s just the way it is,” and move on. 🙂
Pete, what a great post and insightful story. This is empowering for people who have a hard time letting go of something – for whatever reason. It happened. It’s over. You can’t change it. It’s just the way it is.
Thank you for keeping this so real!