A brief dialogue, between the producer (Dana) and her associate producer (Natalie), that drew my attention this week:
Dana: You know something, I can’t think of the last time I had a good idea.
Natalie: This segment’s a good idea.
Dana: It’s not a really good idea. It’s a fine idea. It’s a regular idea. You have a lot of good ideas. I find myself saying “Natalie’s got a good idea.”
Natalie: But you also find yourself saying, “Natalie if you screw that up again, I’ll set you on fire.”
Dana: That’s true, too, and yet it’s the good idea thing that I’m focusing on.
This conversation reminded me of how, as therapists, many of us have been guilty of overemphasizing our success, while unconsciously disregarding failures. Simply, it also illustrates how when redirected to our failures, we would rather change the subject.
Her conversation with Dana sparked something within Natalie later in the same episode:
Natalie: I feel like a freeloader sometimes, leaving the good ideas up to other people. I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of generations past. Do you know what I mean?
Jeremy: My grandfather invented the clipboard.
Natalie: Did he?
Jeremy: Well, he didn’t invent it, but he always use to complain that he didn’t have a portable writing surface.
Natalie: I don’t think you’re getting it.
Jeremy: Yeah, I don’t think so.
I like Jeremy. A loner, he is not short on information, but it is often poorly received by others and is even more often resented. Additionally, he possesses a sardonic wit that I fancy myself possessing from time to time. To put it simply, “I get him”. Although, that is not my the point…
In order to make progress, we must necessarily build upon the successes of generations past. This is neither something to be ashamed of or something to avoid. It is important, however, be careful whose shoulders to stand on.
In the past, I’ve stood on the shoulders of Graston, Barnes, McKenzie, Greenman and Hrsuka. In each instance, feeling much like Indiana Jones, I would make a small jump from the shoulders of one man to the shoulders of another for survival. It was my experience that to stand on the shoulders of one man (or woman) for too long brought an uneasy feelings of inadequacy.
After all, a single misstep would topple me over.