Thinking Out Loud – Ep: 14 – The One Thing Needed To Change The Problems We Face

Welcome to “Thinking Out Loud” with Dr. Joe Currier! ¬†Here, we’ll be regularly sharing Dr. Joe’s latest groundbreaking insights.

We all want change to happen, and most can agree: We want it now. But, *real* change requires each of us to choose ONE POWERFUL WORD with only ONE letter. On the other side of that one-lettered word… there’s growth, expanded capacity, and hope.

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Episode Transcript:

Andrew J Mason:

This is Thinking out Loud With Dr. Joe Currier. Episode 14, the one thing needed to change the problems we face. Welcome to thinking out loud with Dr. Joe Currier. My name’s Andrew J. Mason, and this is the show where we hit the pause button on life, head to the locker room for some life-changing halftime inspiration, and then zoom back in and grabbed the tactics direct from Dr. Joe’s playbook to pull it all together when we’re on the field. Today, Dr. Joe talks about the one thing that we all need immediately as this difficult year draws to a close and a fresh one begins. It’s obvious when other people need it, but it’s next to impossible sometimes to see the need in ourselves, it’s simple but not always easy. Here’s Dr. Joe with more.

Dr. Joe Currier:

I was in a great discussion with my friend and podcast partner, Andrew Mason, looking back over this very, I’m struggling to pick the word to describe 2020, we agreed people are struggling. Can we all agree that regardless of who you are, what your background is, what political affiliation you belong to, how much or how little money you make, who raised you, what career you have or had, we’ve never seen anything like this, not this generation. Your mind races and your heart probably continues to break as you hear words like unprecedented and uncertain and trying. You probably wonder if there ever will be a normal again when businesses are struggling to keep their doors open for just one more day, parents are trying to keep mouths fed, and you wonder when it will be safe to give your loved ones a hug.

Dr. Joe Currier:

The urge to get back to normal can be so strong, we just want something familiar to steady ourselves, to feel like we aren’t falling. We want change and we all can agree we want it now. Yes, we need more vaccines now. Yes, we need more money and opportunity on main street USA today. Yes, we need more hope to manage uncertainty. The list keeps growing, which is why I’m sharing this podcast. My goal is to emphasize what we need most. To top the list of needs, please consider this, what we need most is leadership. Leadership is the one thing we need during this chaotic, historic moment. Please hear me out, I’m not trying to be cute. What I’m about to share might sound shocking, but when we wrap our heads around it, it’s absolutely liberating.

Dr. Joe Currier:

Here we go, we can’t go back to the way things were. Some may ask Dr. Joe, are you nuts? That’s another question. I can almost hear you yelling at me through the internet, please, just hear me out. I’m not saying businesses won’t thrive again, they will or we’ll never be able to be in a crowded stadium cheering for our home team or giving someone a high five hello. I am saying you can’t go back to the way things were because who we are has fundamentally changed for the better. When there’s increased struggle, increased demands, it creates the opportunity for increased capacity in each of us to find our full potential, our power, our capacity to become more, to stand tall, be counted, and lead ourselves and others. The pandemic creates a vacuum of need and opportunity, and now, now is the time to fill that vacuum with our leadership, and this is not bad news. The goal isn’t to go back, the goal is to blaze a new trail forward.

Dr. Joe Currier:

Pre pandemic, we’ve all had challenging days, yes we have. I don’t know about you, but after this, there are things that I was complaining about that I’ll be grateful to get to experience again. A crowded line at a DMV, well, that may be stretching the point a bit, how about waiting for a table at a restaurant, a crowded sporting event. The very same things we were complaining about perhaps years ago, we’d give anything to get to experience again. It’s not trying to get back to a way that we were, an old season, that’s impossible and we wouldn’t want it anyway. The coordinates have changed, the terrain, the contexts have changed, and we’re taking a new route to get to our destination. Be healthy in this season, find ways to express gratitude in this season, dream big in this season, and, you fill in the blank, for this season.

Dr. Joe Currier:

What does that look like? Each individual gets to choose. To fill in the blank, you don’t need fresh perspective because you’re in fresh territory now. There’s nothing to get back to, just experience the joy of blazing new trails. And every corner is leadership, and it’ll expand your capacity. You will have to create, be, and do more than you’ve ever done before, but that’s also where opportunity is born, that’s also how we grow. Listen to Judith Barwick’s advice, there is danger in the comfort zone. Also I’ve said in life, you are either moving forward or backward there is no standing still. Doing the same exercises at the gym may feel comfortable, but that’s not how we grow. Remember, it’s that last repetition that shreds the muscle and lays the groundwork for new growth to occur. Anyone can do hard things with no outside demands on their life.

Dr. Joe Currier:

Can you imagine reminding your kids, “Hey, it was not always easy when you could not go to school and dad and I worked from home, but we found ways to love and support each other during this chaos.” Or perhaps give yourself a thumbs up for how you manage business and build partnerships through such lean times and how you manage to prosper, not merely survive. During a pandemic, we can do anything and you can because your capacity’s grown, but it requires each of us to choose leadership. One powerful word with only one letter, the letter I embedded in questions like what can I do to add value now? What can I do to right a wrong? What can I do to support and inspire someone in need? What must I do now? You fill in the blank. When you fill in your blank space, please get busy, there’s no better time to choose it than right now. Thank you and blessings on your way.

Andrew J Mason:

We’re so excited to be able to sit down with Dr. Joe, after that inspiring segment and just follow up with a couple of questions. Personally, I feel like this pandemic is a giant why did the chicken cross the road question. The fact that we can’t find a positive meaning behind the why this is happening to us, it might actually keep us from seeing the how to get past it. Do we get to choose that or will it actually affect what we see when we do get to the other side?

Dr. Joe Currier:

That makes sense what you’re saying and I’ve heard this many, many times in the therapeutic seat that I’ve had the privilege of being in. The challenge I believe is that what can we control? Things happen in life many of which that we don’t do anything to initiate it to cause the problems. One thing that we’ve always been able to control, but often do not, is that internal voice, the stories I make up in my mind. Also in terms of do I stop take that breath and go forward versus get trapped in that fight or flight? One of the things that have helped us to survive as human beings is this wonderful fight flight reaction.

Dr. Joe Currier:

My sense is that pandemic that we’re facing now, possibly going back to other situations like the Spanish flu, et cetera, they have been there but we never took advantage of the things that we can do instead of the fight-flight, this post-traumatic stress syndrome, what I had called the post-traumatic momentum, that we take the negative and turn it into a positive. We create healthy tension either through an immediate stop action. The one thing I can do is the breathing, trying to get that sense of calm, trying to think clearer so I can come up with solutions rather than worry because worry again is a future event, and I’m continuing the very thing that had happened to me, now I’m becoming complicit in it going forward.

Andrew J Mason:

Talk to me, Dr. Joe, about where does self leadership begin? I think one thing that everybody can agree on is that leadership is important, but most of us feel this urge to say, yeah, it’s leadership but it’s out there, the politicians, the person running my school district, my boss, I need them to hear this message. What would you have to say to them?

Dr. Joe Currier:

Andrew, I think we’re looking at a different label here. It really isn’t leadership that we’re looking at, we’re looking at rank, role, the opportunity of those in power and authority. Real leadership always begins in the sense of self, what can an individual do to create some value in the moment going forward? So I think when we look at this concept, leadership always begins with an S, how an interval shows up in that moment versus when we say, he or she is the leader, we mean they’re the highest ranking officer at that moment and they can make certain types of decisions because of that authority.

Andrew J Mason:

I love it. Let’s say somebody is thinking to themselves, “That’s great Dr. Joe, but you have no idea what happened to me this year.” In the face of immeasurable pain, maybe I’ve lost a loved one, maybe that person’s job was just obliterated. How does somebody even lead themselves out of that? Where do you even begin?

Dr. Joe Currier:

I think there’s a number of things. One is that taking the word me to we, making that we have some support system. I think whether we have it now or we know that as we go forward, are there individuals that could help us just like we would be available to help others in difficult situations from the pandemic to whatever’s going on in our neighborhood or our own homes?

Dr. Joe Currier:

I think again, it’s the choices that we make. Remember, we always have to begin with a well sense of self, and then we start moving that me to we where we start building some type of Alliance, and there is such power and joy when we can lock arms good times and in bad. So it’s the isolation or the stories we make up where we’re feeling we had no sense of control over all of those things that come our way. Again, I think we can be there for each other to make sure that what comes, we will manage the best that we can do, and then we’ll get ready for the next chapter because there’s always a new adventure coming our way. Hopefully many of them will have the sunshine rather than just those dark clouds.

Andrew J Mason:

Dr. Joe, as always thank you so much for spending time with us today.

Dr. Joe Currier:

Thank you, Andrew, what a pleasure.

Andrew J Mason:

Mm-mm (negative) , pleasure is mine. Thank you all so much for listening to the show. Until next time, this was Thinking out Loud with Dr. Joe Currier. Leadership transformation, growth acceleration.