The evening before a speaking engagement in Vancouver, I was in a hotel room on the 37th floor overlooking Stanley Park, English Bay, and The Lion’s Gate Bridge. After a pleasant dinner with a friend, I returned to my room. The sun was setting on a beautiful, warm spring evening. Wanting to enjoy the view, I took my phone out onto the balcony to check my voice mail. When I turned to go back in my room, I found that the sliding door to the balcony was locked. The latch had fallen into place as I closed it behind me.
I called the hotel on my phone and a manager was sent to help. He, however, could not get into my room, either. It seems the night latch had swung into place behind me when I entered the room. So he went into the room next door, came out on its balcony, adjoined to mine, and stepped over the small railing separating us so he could help me get back into my room and undo the night latch from the inside.
We tried lifting the door out of the frame or unlatching it. It would not budge. Ten minutes later, a maintenance man arrived bearing a three-foot-long flat steel rod. He unscrewed the frame from the sliding door, slid the steel through, and unlatched it.
It’s so easy to lock doors behind ourselves and not realize what’s happened until it’s too late. Whether we just accept our fate or find ways or help to unlock those doors depends on whether we’re green and growing or ripe and rotting. If we are stagnant in our same old thinking as the world changes around us we can become trapped.
The American author and humorist said, “twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Tomorrow we publish my April blogs into the May issue of The Leader Letter. This provides webinars, personal growth strategies, and leadership approaches that challenge conventional thinking and stretch growth in new directions. I hope it helps you to explore, dream, discover — and not become trapped by old thinking that latches doors behind you.