To Towers Of Tenacity

It was a hot and humid August day.

One of those days when you start to sweat the minute you open the front door.

It was also the first day of the long-awaited family reunion.

That’s a problem

In hopes of avoiding the merciless heat, grandma and grandpa got out the wooden blocks for the kids to play with.

Perhaps that would keep everyone distracted long enough to keep them inside during the worst part of the day.

Time to pull out all the blocks

The children could choose from lots of different kinds of blocks. There were your standard cubes. There were cylinders. There were triangles.

There was even a set of blocks that were shaped like planks or slats. And they were colored in bright yellow, and shiny white, and red, and blue, and deep black.

Most of the kids decided to work with the standard cubes.

The bold blockheads prevail

But a small, daring group chose the brightly colored slats.

Some of them made crisscrossed walls.

Some made pathways.

Some stacked the planks one flat side on top of another.

But Aria was different

Somehow the little four-year old found a way to stack them on their ends.

The result was an unbelievably tall structure. It looked like a majestic, colorful, Mondrian skyscraper.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

It was so beautiful and unique.

Then it happened

The tower started to shake.

I frantically grabbed for my phone, but before I could take a picture, it collapsed.

What was once a unique creation was now in pieces. Strewn all over the floor.

And now I waited for her reaction.

The real moment of truth

I know when I was four I would have thrown a tantrum.

When I was 14 I would have thrown the blocks across the room and stormed off.

When I was 24 I would have sworn up a storm.

When I was 40 I probably would have cursed my bad luck.

But this little four-year old smiled and quietly said,

That’s okay, Peepa. I’ll build it again.

Aria taught us all a lesson that day.

Where the heck did that come from?

You see, Aria parents hadn’t taught her that there are a limited number of options available to us. Her school hadn’t taught her the rules for doing things.

As a result, Aria has an abundance mentality. An innate understanding that there is an infinite number of solutions out there. That we have many options.

It’s just a matter of being open to them.

Slow it down

When we are acted upon by some one or by some force, we do not have to spontaneously react. There is a moment – a sliver in time- when we can stop and think about options.

There is a gap between being acted upon and reacting when we can be proactive. When we can exercise our free agency. When we can choose our response.

It requires a belief that there are many options available to us. And a conscious effort to check for other possibilities.


If you want to transform your purpose, your tribe, or your organization, be like Aria.

When things go wrong, don’t give up. When your plan falls apart, come up with a new one.

Don’t go off half cocked. Look for other possibilities.

You may find them in the most unexpected places in your head.

Be tenacious.

Be brave

Find your abundance mentality.

Build it again.

Give us wonderful, amazing new things to see.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s your take?