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by • January 7, 2011 • Leading, Leaders and LeadershipComments (0)1151

Snowflakes

Just a quick jumble of thoughts that I needed to get out of my head.

Winter weather often makes me pause and think (mostly because I’m stuck in slow moving traffic or feeling rather sluggish after trudging through mounds of snow). During one of our heavy (read:  1-3 cm) snowfalls, I was staring out the window admiring the view, feeling, as always, so grateful for the opportunity to take time to think and reflect with a roof over my head, food in my belly and money in the bank. As I watched the snow come down, I couldn’t help but marvel at the ability of these thousands of tiny little snowflakes to create, quickly and efficiently, a large snow drift. Looking at an individual flake, you don’t really notice how intricate it is, or how important it could be. It is only when this tiny piece of ice joins with many of its peers that it becomes something that we notice, appreciate (or loathe).

This phenomenon got me thinking about this incredible journey I’ve been on the past few years. Each moment, each encounter is like that little snowflake. At the time, I am often so obsessed with getting to the next moment, the next email, the next meeting, that I forget to stop and take in this little speck, this moment in time that I will never see again. Like the snowflake, that moment soon becomes wrapped up in the next, and the next and so on until all of those little moments become something larger, something more beautiful. Of course, I could see all of these moments forming a huge mound of snow that might be difficult to drive over or walk around. But what I’ve begun to see now is a collection of moments, insights and feelings, sometimes as small as a single flake of snow, coming together to form this amazing mass. How often do we ignore or rush past those ‘snowflake moments’ to only much, much later realize their full impact when we get that job, or that event runs successfully, or when someone we’re working with tells us how much we inspire them. One of my new year’s resolutions this year is to never merely ‘get through’ another day, which I now see means never brushing aside those snowflakes, because each one can, and will, become something far bigger than I could ever imagine.

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