Nothing is certain (maybe)

They say nothing is certain; there are no sure things. The expectation then is that you can’t count on anything. This can be good or bad, but what people lose sight of is that it’s not about that expectation; it’s how you react when expectations are, or are not, met.

At Freedom, we do our best to set the right budget, hire the right people, approve the good loan, cash the safe check, but as the Scottish Poet Robert Burns wrote, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley” (the best laid plans often go wrong). Foresight, planning, the best of intentions can all work perfectly or, at times, be in vain and not reap the intended benefit. However, it’s these little hiccups that can also bring out the best in us.

When things don’t go as planned we must have the ability to regroup; to objectively listen to other points of view, heed advice and, as necessary, change opinions, shift priorities or start over. Obviously no one likes to get it wrong, but that does present an opportunity. That’s the key. It’s not about making a mistake, it’s about learning from it and not repeating it.

Monitoring products and processes, evaluating performance, listening to valid feedback isn’t about finding fault. Those things let us build on the positives and isolate the negatives in hopes of becoming better. We will all have occasion to be a mentor and a student, to lead and to follow. We count on each other every day. It is, therefore, the mindset of the individual, the willingness to focus on the good, the desire to improve and motivation to serve others that will drive the ability to switch between such roles and successfully adapt to a changing world. That’s certain.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” — Charles Swindoll