Rubber bands

Have you ever found an old rubber band, maybe in a desk drawer or behind a shelf, stretched it and it snapped? I recently picked up a stack of papers from a rarely-used file drawer; as soon as the documents shifted, the rubber band snapped.

I don’t know the science behind it (and please don’t comment on the science either, nerds); what I do know is that this usually happens with rarely used rubber bands. And that got me thinking about people. I am always thinking about people, though some get better thoughts than others – you know who you are.

You see, people are like rubber bands in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to our development. If we stop stretching and become complacent, we become brittle and lose our elasticity to learn. Maybe we don’t snap (heavy emphasis on the maybe), but it is hard to work it – to expand.

It is easy to let our personal development get slipped into a drawer and forgotten, only to find it while we are rummaging around, trying to find a justification for why we should have gotten that promotion or should have gotten that raise. At that point, it is too late! We have to own it. We have to work on that development rubber band.

So, back to my stack of papers. The rubber band was thick and didn’t seem overstretched. If I had periodically added additional documents to the pile, it likely would have held more. Instead, they went all over the floor into a big, disorganized heap, which is how I can feel when I let my personal development slack off and then try to get back on it.

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