Where Could You Find Your “New Rope” Excitement?

As part of my repertoire of facilitation, I work regularly with other facilitators at an outdoor challenge course, which offers high ropes activities and team building experiences for organizations and school groups. The facilitator team is much more diverse than one might expect – with the common challenge course stereotype of middle-aged white men in the minority. Last week, when I checked in with one of the younger facilitators on his role for the day, he let me know he’d be working with various groups on the multi-vine. His tone changed dramatically when he took the materials to set up for the day and discovered that the belay line he’d be using was only a week old; I was the only facilitator to use it previously. He set up the activity, and sought me out to gush about how amazing this new rope was; it was smooth, easy to handle, with a loop on both ends for easy set-up. In short, the new rope made his day.

I reflected a lot on that interaction that day. I had used the same brand-new rope before him, and I was happy to use it, but it hadn’t brought me the same joy it brought him. And this facilitator was a young Black inner-city rapper and DJ – not someone I would expect to get excited about working with new rope. But he was. And his joy was passed on to the groups he worked with that day. I haven’t had a chance to work with that rope again since that day, but that interaction did leave me with a new perspective to notice and appreciate the small and mundane things that help me be successful in my work – interactions with others that lead to new ideas, or the ability to see a room by videoconference prior to leading a workshop. The kinds of things that we often take for granted, but that have the ability to bring joy and wonder to my day if I notice them.

I wonder what your equivalent of that new rope is? What’s something small or mundane that brings you a surprising amount of joy, even if it might not do the same for anyone else?

This Week’s Tips:

Ask yourself where you already find your “new rope” excitement, or where you could find some this week:

  1. Notice what brings you joy throughout your day. Do your conversations with others bring you joy? Or the actions you take? A treat you give yourself? The music you have on? Something you read, or watch, or listen to? Whatever it is, it might be meaningful to you in ways it might not be to anyone else – savor that.
  2. If you’re not experiencing joy during your days, ask yourself where you could find some. This might involve taking a break from work to call a friend, or to treat yo self to something good (food or otherwise). Maybe it’s something you can do with someone else that would help them experience joy too!
  3. Notice what brings your colleagues joy. What brings others joy might be completely different than what brings you joy – and that’s okay! You can still be happy for them in whatever they enjoy, even if that’s not your thing. Celebrate other people’s joy where you’re able, or just notice it and see if you can find joy in the same things.

Try these out this week, and let us know how it goes in our Facebook group! We’d love to hear from you.

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Published by Ian Jackson

Ian Jackson is the founder of Building Bridges Leadership, which works with individuals, teams, and organizations to create authentic community in the workplace. He also writes children's fiction and teaches creative writing.

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