“I have to feel secure. It’s important to me. I’m going to be starting a new job already. I’ve never really been anywhere else,” Heather said during our conference call.
We were on the phone making her an offer for a new job in a new city. It was a great opportunity for her. At least that’s what we thought. But Heather was having other thoughts. She didn’t say what those thoughts were, exactly. And, as she spoke, I began to see what was worrying her.
She was like a bird looking out at an undiscovered world while focusing on the familiar bars that she had mistaken for a warm security blanket. Her objections sounded all too recognizable to me because I’ve been guilty of being in a self-imposed cage, too.
I was living on the Arabian Peninsula many years ago when I first discovered the trap of living life in a cage. I worked in a multinational office with companions from more than six different countries. We all had different backgrounds with varied traditions, except for two of us there from Salt Lake City. One day, one of our colleagues from Asia was moving forward with preparations for an upcoming meeting when my other workmate from Salt Lake said, “You’re doing this wrong! That’s not how we do it in Salt Lake!” I watched our chastised colleague’s face darken with despair, all for no reason!
But I pulled him aside, privately, and said, “You’ve done nothing wrong. Please proceed with the preparations you’ve made. You’ve done great work!”
This good man taught me how to think differently than I would have ever considered before. I learned that things can be done differently and still have great results. He also taught me that we can all free ourselves from self-imposed cages by allowing ourselves to see new opportunities, places and people, as well as some questions you and I can ask ourselves as we look to enrich our lives.
What can I learn from this person who is so different than me?
Is there a way I can do this differently and get as good of or a better result?
Is this way really wrong? Or is it just different or new to me?
Challenge yourself to consider new possibilities and to free yourself from any cages in your life.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.