Commentary

What To Do When You Hit A Brick Wall

If I asked you to move a brick wall, how would you do it?

Would you slam your weight against it until it began to budge?

Would you get a digger, rip it out of the ground, and drop it in its new location? Would you tell me it’s impossible?

Or would you inspect its construction, finding a way to take it apart and put it back together? Would you seek a natural break in the wall where you can gently extract the bricks and form a doorway?

Would you examine it, explore it, run your fingers over it like Braille, finding that brick that is ready to move oh so slightly, and nudging it just that teeny amount, and then the next one the next bit and the next one the next bit, never moving any individual brick so much that it fails to support its neighbors, always retaining the integrity of the wall while slowly, inexorably, shifting the entire thing forward as a cohesive unit?

Would you play it, like a piano or a harp, like Yo-Yo Ma or Charlie Parker, with your body and your being, listening and engaging to understand what it is ready for, how it is wanting to move, using your energy with the energy of the wall and not against it?

Would you dance with it, give and take with it, like Fred Astaire or Mikhail Baryshnikov, recognizing that your strength alone cannot force the wall to move until it is ready, leading it and guiding it and urging it in the direction you want it to go?

Would you bring together a team of passionate people, joyfully intent on encouraging the wall to move, prepared to work with each other and the bricks to accomplish more than any one person ever could individually, achieving the very thing so many people say can’t be done?

There are no simple ways to move a brick wall; there are only ways that take more effort and ways that take less effort. There are ways that destroy the wall in the process and ways that preserve it, ways that destroy the people moving the wall and ways that create opportunities for them to become stronger than they ever thought they could be.

I know which way I prefer. What about you?

5 comments about "What To Do When You Hit A Brick Wall".
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  1. Richard Gillam from DeskSite, May 11, 2012 at 1:22 p.m.

    Kaila,

    I’d first ask why I would want to move a brick wall (for you); and given the low probability of you providing a satisfactory motivational factor for me (given that we don’t know each other, etc.), I’d simply walk away from the request, as I have no desire nor need to move it in the first place.

    Too often, all of us engage in misdirected efforts wholly unnecessary to achieve our goals – when we should have spent a little more time evaluating the ROI of moving the proverbial brick wall in the first place.

    Richard

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 11, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.

    As a clever man once said, "When you see a fork in the road, take it." Just don't bang your head against that wall.

  3. Kaila Colbin from Boma Global, May 11, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.

    @Richard, ha! Excellent point. A better opening line would have been, "If you wanted to move a brick wall, how would you go about it?"

    :)

  4. Andrew Koven from Geoff & Drew's, May 12, 2012 at 3:51 p.m.

    Thoughtfully and in a manner if asked to move it again, would take little thought.

  5. Mike Mcgrath from RealXstream PTY LTD, May 14, 2012 at 1:44 a.m.

    If all else fails, wait, and hope that you are still around when the wall starts to move of its own momentum. Then, as an expert on the particular wall, you may have the opportunity to move with it as a wall consultant.

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