Making It Their Idea

In life, if you can cause your idea to become the idea of others – you practically have the world handed to you on a silver platter. It’s a win-win in any scenario with both humans and animals.

The other person or animal thinks they had this brilliant idea, which they did, but you also feel great. You feel great, because you were able to get your idea across to them without asking or telling them to do anything. Here’s an example, and it’s actually one of my favorite excerpts from Tom Dorrance’s book (well actually every excerpt from that book is my “favorite”). The book is called True Unity.

“The first time I started realizing what Tom was about, I had been here a couple of months and we were fixing something on the ceiling. Tom was on a short ladder and needed a hammer. I was holding the ladder – and obviously it was a lot easier for me to go get the hammer. Tom said, ‘If I had a hammer I’d nail this up.’ I went and got it, but on the way over I was thinking to myself, ‘Why didn’t he say will you please go get me a hammer?’ But he said, ‘If I had a hammer I’d nail this board up.’ That was when I learned he was making it my idea. So I went for the hammer like a puppy chasing a stick. I ran over and grabbed it because I already knew what to do.”

-Anonymous (A student of Tom’s)

I’ve heard my mentors say, “Cause your idea to become their idea” many times. It was after reading this little excerpt, though, that it really stuck. I kept repeating this story in my head (and still do) throughout the day: “If I had a hammer…” In other words, I am now constantly thinking of how I might word things in a way that I don’t even need to tell or ask for things. Rather, I can cause my idea to become yours.

That way no one feels bossed around, and I don’t feel like I have to constantly tell or ask people what to do.

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