Beware the Door of Greatness

When it comes to coaching and facilitation I am a huge fan of self-reflection and visioning exercises. I like to think that I have a few good ones in my tool-kit but recently added a new favorite, compliments of my six-year old Natalie.

The other night as we were driving home from gymnastics she said, “Mommy, do you know what’s in my head?” I couldn’t wait to hear, since Natalie is my magical child with a fantastic imagination and a wonderful outlook on life. She went on…

“I have a world in my head, and there is confetti everywhere…. there is only one rule, that there are no rules…. but there is actually one more rule- no mean people allowed…. the world used to be inside a boy named Joey’s head but he had too many rules so everyone left and moved into mine… it’s like a giant palace with a huge hall and millions of doors including a Door of Love….. Every time someone walks in they get confetti thrown on them and are called a hero….there’s a Door of Greatness that is actually the Door of Doom…. I had a meeting with everyone and made sure they all knew never to go in the Door of Greatness… I only use it when there is someone who is mean and then I send them in… I needed a queen to rule the world but since I am not in the land very often- only at night when I sleep- I decided to hire someone…..”

As Natalie was describing the world in her head I was taken by the insights that her narrative revealed. The notion of dreaming has long been seen as a window into the mind, and a place to map out one’s hopes, fears, and aspirations.

Perhaps as we contemplate your own dreams and hopes for the coming year,we should all take a few moments to ask ourselves, “What does the world in our heads look like; what are the rules, and who would we want to come?”

And perhaps as we’re dreaming we should all take a brief visit to Natalie’s world to be showered with confetti, welcomed as a hero, and cautioned to avoid the Door of Greatness…..

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About mbhuber2013

convener and co-founder of BTEP, instructor for Tanzania Study Abroad course; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at University at Buffalo

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