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Fireworks vs. People

Many of us have memories of fireworks lighting up the night sky on special evenings. Whether it is an Independence Day spectacular, or a way to ring in the New Year, we are familiar with how fireworks operate.

For most of these mesmerizing explosives, there is a fuse that needs to be lit in order for the chemical reaction to occur. This reaction results in an awe-inspiring sight that causes many to stop, look and relish in the beauty.

But when a firework is labeled a “dud” it is placed in a bucket of water and never given the opportunity to reach its full potential. It is never allowed to shine in any shape or form.

People are the same way.

When given the right setting and encouragement, the potential is limitless. By supporting others, we are in turn saying that it is okay, even encouraged, for them to shine. The difference between a super star and a “has been”, could really be a byproduct of their environment and not the individual.

Stick with me for a moment. I’ve seen this one first-hand.

I was once in a situation when I did not feel supported. We have all been there. Our ideas are shut down before even having a chance to explain fully, our suggestions are dismissed, and our voice is dwindled down into a whisper in a room that is overpowered with noise. We could have the best idea in the world and flawless execution, but it simply falls flat when others dismiss it without a second thought.

It’s like putting a firework in water, the flame is gone. It cannot be lit again. There are no mesmerizing light displays. No communal enjoyment.

When this happens, it is difficult (often impossible) to re-light the flame.

It is the same with people.

Once your voice is silenced and ideas are dismissed, the true potential inside is also dimmed.

The other day, I heard a quote from Steve Jobs who said,” It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people and let them tell us what to do.” In other words, create fireworks together. Let the smart people create fireworks for themselves, and in turn, it will also create massive fireworks for the organization.

Personally, be supportive for friends and watch them explode!

We all have the potential to ignite the chemical reaction that makes magic. The question it, will you be the one to light the flame, or will you be the one to toss it in the bucket?

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