Every political office Abraham Lincoln contested for and lost propelled him to seek a higher office. Either the man was insanely optimistic or he believed and understood that every lemon unwilling to transform into lemonade enables you understand better how to avoid, manage, or tolerate lemons until only sweet, succulent, rehydrating oranges seek you out. A man who probably lost as many offices as he won became President of the United States of America.
Truth be told, the path to sweet oranges is filled with lemons unwilling to become lemonade (“unwieldy lemons”), lemons that simultaneously seek to keep our attention. Think the girl or gal who thought you were boring. If two people are having a conversation, just how is it possible for only one of the two to be boring? It takes two to make boring conversation, meaning whenever someone says “you are boring”, they really are saying “I am not participating in this conversation, merely attempting to judge your conversational skills.”
But how do you judge conversational skills without really participating in a conversation?
If a conversation is boring, it is possibly because two people have yet to arrive at a topic of interest to both parties. A conversation then can be a poor fit for one or the other participant to a conversation. Boring as such is judgment of both people involved in a conversation. But why arrive at a judgment, as opposed to trying to make the conversation work? If the conversation does not work no matter what, it is reasonable to conclude poor fit — think the nerd who wants to talk about nebulae and the gal interested in discussing Beyonce, clearly a poor fit. With the right person, however, both the nerd and the gal can be two of the most engaging people on the planet. “Boring” as conclusion to a conversation? Reveals the person arriving at the conclusion made no attempt to make the conversation work.
I do not rush for judgment whenever someone says “I am boring”. Typically I have encountered such comments from people who delight in gossip or have hidden agendas. I know, however, to begin to determine the extent to which such people are unwieldy lemons. Typically, I find they turn out to be.
Illustrations of unwieldy lemons abound. Think the coach who will not adapt his strategy to skills a brilliant person brings to the table that would help the team win. Such coaches typically hide under some ambiguous notion of “team philosophy” as a crutch for losing. Many a times in reality it is because the coach wants all of the credit for team success — unwieldy lemon philosophy. Think the company that sticks with what it is used to or familiar with in face of a value proposition that has reasonable potential to leverage business to new unproven heights. Think a neighbor who abhors good relations with another neighbor over a land marker he or she thinks is two inches in favor of their neighbor. Think a company which insists on proving to new hires that everything existent in the company prior to onboarding of new hires already was perfect and having no need of improvement. Unwillingness to even listen to new perspectives from new hires? — unwieldy lemon philosophy.
An unwieldy lemon cares only about itself. It refuses to acknowledge that it is most useful only in conjunction with something else. Add a tad of lemon to many beverages and you create a variant of that beverage that has a little bit of welcome tartness. In the refusal to acknowledge its true worth is attained in conjunction with something else that has value, an unwieldy lemon becomes an obstruction to its own well being and can attempt to drag others down with itself. When we learn to identify unwieldy lemons, we desire to keep on moving until we arrive at the sweet succulent orange that is our destination. If an unwieldy lemon is totally unavoidable, we learn how to manage and tolerate such lemons until we are able to move on in our quest for wieldy lemons or sweet succulent oranges.
A little bit of reasonableness can prevent us from becoming unwieldy lemons. Maintenance of focus on the big picture and noble objectives can enable us identify unwieldy lemons and avoid being bogged down in life’s journey. If we desire to avoid unwieldy lemons, we must desire to not become unwieldy lemons ourselves.
What sort of lemon do you consider yourself to be?