Earlier this week, my son asked me a question that I’m guessing every child (and adult, probably!) has pondered:
If you could have any super-power, which would you choose?
We talked about how fun it would be to fly and how sneaky we could be with invisibility. How much help we could offer if we could instantly transport ourselves to a particular place. I think my “super-power of super-kindness” was dubbed cheesy, but that’s kind of cool too, right? 😉
We also agreed we are glad not to possess some super-powers. I don’t think I’d want to read everyone’s mind or constantly know every single thing that will happen in the future.
But when I woke up this morning, a new super-power came to mind that’s really got me thinking:
The power of hindsight.
Like, in the moment.
We all hold the power of hindsight, of course. You can look back on an event that happened 5 years ago and likely glean a lesson from it or see how it helped you grow, evolve, or shift your lifestyle for the better.
But what if you knew the reason for an event while it was happening?
What if you could experience a job loss and know, in that moment, that it was exactly the push you needed to start the business you’ve been dreaming about for years?
Or if you could work for a difficult, demanding boss and know, at that time, that he was preparing you to be the exceptional leader you are today by demonstrating what not to do?
I had a client a few years ago who had interviewed for a position she viewed, at the time, as her dream job. Tears flowed when she received notification that they had hired someone else. Then, 18 months later, she learned that the work environment was hostile, leadership was horrendous, and the company was in turmoil, with a very shaky future at best. Now happily employed elsewhere, she emailed me saying, “I always believe there’s a reason for everything that happens, but that situation never quite made sense. Now it’s so clear, and I am so thankful!”
Wouldn’t that have been helpful to know at the time? Think of all the frustration, disappointment, and hurt we could save ourselves!
Then again, perhaps it’s that very frustration and pain that allows us to learn the lessons at all. Maybe if we had instant-hindsight super-powers, we’d never actually grow into the rich, fulfilling leaders we are meant to be.
We can, however, enhance our sense of “instant-hindsight” to help us through challenging times. Keeping a Success Journal or talking out a situation with others, for example, can provide perspective we wouldn’t otherwise see in the moment.
Even looking to our own past experiences – particularly times when we’ve entered difficult challenges and come out stronger – can build our resilience. A question frequently at the forefront of my mind is, “What might be the lesson here?” Not always easy to answer, but helpful to consider nonetheless.
What do you think? Would you like the super-power of instant hindsight? What other super-power would help you succeed at work and in life? Feel free to share your responses below, on Facebook, and via Twitter!
Dr. Christi Hegstad helps you successfully do what you love! As President of MAP Professional Development Inc., she coaches business owners and leaders to get unstuck and reach meaningful results with clarity, confidence, and meaningful action. Learn more at www.meaning-and-purpose.com and follow Dr. Christi on Facebook and Twitter.