Flashes of Brilliance
Did you know that until this year, Indiana was only one of three states that did not have a state insect? That changed this March when Indiana Governor Holcomb signed Senate Bill 236 into law making the Say’s Firefly Indiana’s state insect. For me, fireflies stir up vivid memories of summer nights running around my backyard, surrounded by family and friends, chasing the firefly flashes. Thinking I was about to catch one when it flashed somewhere else. Giggling because we were all running toward a flash, being outsmarted, and then looking for the next flash. But, sometimes I’d catch one, cup it in my hand, and wait. Wait for the flash. I was fascinated by the flash. It was so simple yet so mesmerizing. It was beautiful and brilliant!
Early in my career I worked for a man named Jim. Jim was brilliant. He was an astute business man with an ability to execute strategies very well. If Jim was on a project, everyone knew it would succeed. Over time, however, Jim became so confident in his ability to execute a strategy that he forgot to look up to see what was happening around him. He didn’t acknowledge market shifts or another department’s needs. His career derailed. Jim had cupped his flash of brilliance in his hand and became mesmerized by it.
In our lives, and particularly at work, some of us can become like Jim, mesmerized by our flash of brilliance. We become overconfident in a gift or talent that we have been given. Focusing only on that gift and talent, unable to see or acknowledge the gifts and talents of those around us. Some of us may even make fun of other talents or openly complain about how others accomplish their work. Our focus is on ourselves and solely focused on our flash of brilliance.
Others of us, only look at the gifts and talents of others. We see only the flashes of brilliance through others and forget that we have a flash of brilliance as well. In the workforce, it plays out as believing our role is an insignificant part of the team or holding back our gifts and talents. We might even become mesmerized by other people’s gifts and talents and compare ourselves to them. Again, our focus is on ourselves but this time solely focused on the flash of brilliance we don’t have.
We ALL have a flash of brilliance in us. We need each of our flashes in our families, our places of work, and the places we volunteer. When we acknowledge our gifts and abilities and use them to their fullest extent, this creates a better place. It allows others to see a whole lot more of the good in this world. Rather than seeing one flash of brilliance, cupped in a hand, we see a whole backyard of flashes, lighting up the world.