Jonathan Hood
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"Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you." 

- Marianne Williamson

Sometimes we wake up feeling like our existence means nothing in this life. We wonder what would life be like if we weren't here. We feel like our playing small in this world allows us a get-out-of-jail-free card, and that we don’t have to actively play our role in our own lives.

We forget about the people we let down in the process. Our apathy services the complacency in our lives, and we fail to recognize the signs. We don’t notice our house is burning down.

Can you even smell the smoke?

For me, I sometimes feel like the work I do isn’t getting as big a reach as I’d like it to. I wonder if the work we do at AOTG makes a significant difference in these kids’ lives, or whether or not they’ll remember the impact we had on them when they’re older. Sometimes, when you’re in a position of influence, it can be tough to measure your success.

When your job is to work with others, how do you know you’re making a tangible difference? Apart from test scores, financial breakthroughs, or healthy lifestyle changes, how do you know that you’ve contributed to someone else’s growth? How do you identify that moment when you’ve shifted their paradigm and got them to see the light? And where do you draw the line when it comes to guiding them along their path versus taking a step back and allowing them to live their truth.

I’ll tell you how.

You listen. People have their own ways of showing you who they are through their actions, behavioural patterns, or thought-processes. Sometimes, when you listen carefully, you can almost pinpoint where they’re headed by their intentions, as well.

You watch. You see if they’ve taken the bait (err, advice). You observe their decisions and choices. You view things the way they view things and understand the world from their perspective.

You wait. You see if they are able to make the right decisions. You wait for them to come back to you for further advice, or if they’re strong enough to leave the nest on their own. You wait for them to make the move for themselves.

And above all, you stay. No matter what, you don’t turn your back on them. You made a promise to be there for them through thick and thin, and you plan to see it through. You’re committed to your word and let them know that your door is always open. It’s up to them whether they’d like to knock and come in. 

Don't forget to be there.



- JH

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