A field trip in kindergarten taught me everything I needed to know about success. It just took me 30-plus years to figure it out.
The zoo had lions and giraffes. It also had a carousel. Beautifully carved horses and flashing lights are all it takes to make a 5-year old’s day.
But tickets weren’t free. Each rider had to bring a piece of litter to the ticket booth, in exchange for a small red ticket. No litter, no ride.
We scoured the zoo. Plastic bags, cigarette butts (it was the 80’s), and discarded paper. They’d even take sticky ice cream wrappers and, as one enterprising child learned, you could buy an ice cream sandwich and use your own wrapper to earn a carousel ticket.
We exchanged trash for a ticket, over and over and over.
Life is like this carousel. Whatever we want in life is readily available for an exchange. Life will also accept our trash for a ticket.
What’s our trash? Behaviors and beliefs that no longer serve us.
-Want a ticket to a promotion? Stand in line to give up your Netflix habit and substitute professional reading.
-Want a ticket to being a better manager? Stand in line and give up the belief that most people are lazy and you have to be the bad guy.
-Want a ticket to a relationship you can be proud of? Stand in line and just be present. Then go be present with that person too.
What litter can you find in your behaviors and actions? What can you trade in for the ticket to the next level?