We all go through life guarded, the degree to which varies from person to person and moment to moment. Our guardedness determines how open (or closed) we are to new ideas (or people).
Seth Godin wrote about it a few months ago. We are all guarded at times and open to new ideas at others. In a bookstore we might be completely open to most any author’s ideas, but the minute we’ve walked out of the store, we’re guarded again.
I talk to guarded people everyday. It’s the guy who’s always looking for something funny as a way to relieve the tension constantly keeping up his guard. It’s the lady who always sees a problem, no matter how great the opportunity. It’s the water cooler complainer. It’s the “Yes, but” person. They might be otherwise very nice people, but you won’t hear them supporting your new ideas. The best you can hope for is that they will think your idea is good for you, certainly not for them.
Related to this, I happened across this very short video from Mike Dooley. He talks about our generosity as making our light shine brighter. As our light shines, we attract moths, or needy people. Fortunately, we also attract butterflies which we want to draw closer. Those are the people who help us to grow.
The more guarded we are, the more we keep the moths away from our light. Unfortunately, the butterflies are kept away also.
I have found many things during this year of giving. I now know and recognize the guarded ones and they make me sad because I can’t help them until they put their guard down.
I also have learned that the more I let my own guard down, becoming more generous and open, the better I am at letting the moths fly by and attracting the butterflies. It’s a skill that develops over time.
The butterflies can’t get in if you’re guarded. So be open and let the moths fly on by.
No need to be on guard against cleaning the house. The kids and I were happy to do it as a surprise for my wife who flew back home after five days away. Welcome back, we missed you!