Don’t steal the revelation

Do you remember that feeling in school when you solved a complex maths problem all by yourself?

Or when you suddenly came up with an idea, a song or solution to a creative problem you’d been working on?

Or what about the feeling when you nailed the perfect reverse parallel park on a busy street?

Joy. Accomplishment. Pride.

You feel your blood pumping, heart rate rising and give a little fist pump as you revel in your own genius.

If you’re anything like me you might even leap off your chair and shout “C’MON!”.

So what is it about that moment?

It comes down to mastering it yourself. 

No-one told you the answer to the maths problem, no-one micromanaged you when you solved that creative problem and no-one took the wheel of the car and parked it for you.

In the memorable cases, you likely got support along the way.

Be it from a teacher, parent, leader, coach, colleague or friend. They helped you see possibility, they acted as guardrails and maybe they nudged you with a question or insight, but ultimately you did it yourself.

That’s why you remember it.

Because it’s more rewarding, more inspiring and more joyful to solve something on your own terms.

Just watch a kid learn how to walk for the first time.

So the next time someone asks you for feedback, support or guidance, think back to that year 8 maths class and consider these four words:

Don’t steal the revelation.