Intellect vs. Instinct

I heard a story told about someone that went on a safari. He told that he was travelling on a jeep with a zoologist and a Zulu. As they traveled along, the zoologist was spouting out some of the greatest information ever heard. He was telling about how the teeth of some of the animals were shaped in such a way that when they bite certain branches they do so in such a way that they prune them and not kill them. He could look at the ground and tell how far or how close the animal was by looking at the feces on the ground. He was telling some amazing information. He could tell about the eagle and the breadth of it wings and how it flies. He could tell about the rhinoceros and its mating practices. He could tell about the lions and the tigers and all of the wonderful things in the wilderness. He could even tell about the elephants and how they drank water and how they conserve water and how they mate and how they do what they do. But he couldn’t find them.

He could explain away and tell about everything, but he couldn’t find what he was talking about. He couldn’t find the elephant. But all of a sudden the Zulu who has a shotgun on the edge of the jeep, first time he says anything, he’s been quite this whole time, says, “The elephant is over there”.

As I heard this story, i realized one thing. The person who was invited on this safari was sitting between two totally different people. He was sitting between Intellect and Instinct. Intellect can explain it All Day Long, but instinct can find it. This reminded me of some people I have known. Some of these people have spent 20 years explaining something but not really finding what they are talking about. These kind of people can teach it, they have degrees in it, they have classes in it, they are qualified to do it but they can’t find it. These same people get frustrated because they thought that if they went to school and got a degree, it would make them successful. But there is a difference in explaining an elephant and finding one. Thank God for the intellect that makes you explain it but dig a little deeper and get the instinct that makes you able to find it.

Just this past week, my friend Mack Story posted a story about what I will call “Competency vs Character”. He goes on to say that ” We are either growing intentionally or slowing accidentally. Not some of us, all of us.

It’s our choice, but be sure, one of the two is always happening. Why? Because the world around us is changing at an ever increasing pace whether we do or not. Consider technology as an example, if you grew and developed and were aware of everything there is to know today and stopped learning and growing, in a matter of days, weeks, months, you would be behind everyone, not ahead of everyone. We either grow and change daily to stay ahead, or we don’t, and get left behind.

This principle applies to both character and competency. Multiple studies have shown that 87% of our results come from who we truly are (character) and 13% come from what we know (competency). Unfortunately, most people that seek growth invest the majority of their time and $$$ intentionally on their competency. Just look at any college or university’s offerings. The vast majority is all related to competency development which is great if you want to make do with 13% of your potential.”

Do you think that the Zoologist in the story above might have done something different if he knew that only 13% of his knowledge would have been used in the field?

Remember, there was a gun sitting on the edge of the jeep? If something were to happen on that safari and the gun wasn’t there, would the jeep be able to outrun the animal? Using the gun as a metaphor of your life, most everything that happens in your life deals with that gun. It is intellect that knows how to load the gun, but it is instinct that pulls the trigger.

I am not saying not to get an education. I am saying to be as smart as you can be, learn as much as you can learn, be exposed to all you cam be exposed to because you are feeding your dream. You are feeding your dream. But when you get done loading the gun, you have to have the instinct to pull the trigger. When you get all the stats and all the data, you have done all the research and done all your homework, and now you have all sorts of information: “I’m so happy for you”. But it is going to take a gut instinct to show you how to take what you learned and use it in your situation.

You didn’t spend all that educational money to decorated your wall with pictures of your dream, No, you did that so you can step into your dream, but all of your attributes have not come to fruition. Lets take this one step further.

Keeping with the safari theme, let’s look at a giraffe. A giraffe doesn’t start out looking like a giraffe. As an adult, its neck can be 9 feet long. His total height can be 16-20 feet. He is not born with a long neck. He would not be able to traverse the womb and the birth canal that way. So when he comes forth, he doesn’t really look like a giraffe, because all of his attributes have not come to fruition. The reason he is so short and stubby is so that he can pass from one world to the next. The thought that comes to mind here is this, “Don’t judge me from where I start, Judge me how I finish.”

Finally, when you look at a giraffe, how many times do you see a giraffe looking down for something to eat. Never. It eats from the tops of the trees. It is unable to reach the ground by standing. How are you eating. Are you eating from the tops of the trees? Are you able to say that I am stepping into my dream rather that just posting photos of your dream on the wall? Knowledge doesn’t end when you get your degree. Knowledge is a lifetime approach. Don’t be limited by only 13% of your potential. When you do get your formal education, don’t stop changing and growing and most certainly don’t get left behind.

March Madness

I have been watching different teams during this the most exciting time of college basketball. I have seen young men cry from losing and cry from winning. Many of the young men have been playing for months trying to achieve the ultimate prize, the championship.

First though they must make it to what is called “The Dance”. This is where teams are automatically pushed forward to the tournament by winning their respective division. When they do that, they receive an automatic bid. Then the rest of the 64 teams are selected by their season record and I am sure a bunch of other statistics. Whatever the science, this is what the kids hope for at the end of the season.

I have watched different strategies from different coaches that really made a difference in the result of the game. What does it take to make a great leader? Good leaders are essential to having a good basketball team. They are often times the difference between a winning team and a losing one. The question is what are some of the things that you can do to be a better teammate and leader? There are multiple things that leaders can do in order to help their team win.

I am reminded of a statement from a great coach: “Coaches that outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen, but the that can succeed are the ones that can get inside of their players and motivate them” ~ Vince Lombardi

A good leader or teammate gives words of encouragement and keeps the team positive. The great thing about encouragement is that it helps the players to play even better. Even the weakest member on the team might surprise you from a few words of encouragement. Learning from a good friend of mine, really all this is is influence. Without having a leader that you can trust, you will not be a winning team. “Trust is the foundation of Influence” Mack Story

It is important to understand this early on and not get too down on yourself when mistakes are made. Instead of criticizing yourself or a teammate when someone makes a mistake, simply make sure that the lesson from that mistake was learned. Looking at what everyone did right and what everyone did wrong at the end of a game helps to make it less personal. Failure is a process. It is also a learning tool. A good leader will use the process to help build the team. Coach K of Duke University puts it this way, “It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them”.

I love watching the NCAA tournament because you see both team leaders rise from the crop, and you also see excellence in coaching/leaders of the team. Many times, teams go through what is called a slump. A period of time to which they are not winning and not winning for several games. When times get tough, it is important to have a team leader who can lead you through it. Good teammates who are giving it their all will also help. Leaders also know what to say when times are tough during competition.

Basketball is a team sport. It can be a highly satisfying sport that helps to build up your confidence. Especially if you are doing everything you can to be a great player, basketball will come with healthy benefits and lifetime friends.

So is life. If you are a good leader, your life will reflect it. No matter who you are, you are a leader whether you want to be or not. You have influence over people in your family, your friends, your coworkers. How are you going to lead the people that are closest to you?