Friday, July 11, 2008

More About Big Tent Thinkers

Mississippi School of Law student Tripp Segars sends out regular motivational emails to a massive distrobution list of highly unique, ambitious and forward thinking people whom he has met and added to his ever expanding network of contacts. This week's email found him quoting ...ME! I thought I would share what he had to say about Big Tent Thinkers.

by Tripp Segars

What comes to your mind when you read the title? For me, I reminisce being under the “big tent” at the circus, a really big circus, where there were lots of people laughing, smiling, and thinking about the amazing things unfolding before their eyes. Can you picture such a circus…of course you can! Heck, as short as I am, I could be one of the twenty or so people who jump out of the small car (which used to be a Bug) that they drive into the first ring. Miraculous, huh?

Maybe I have a career in the making!

Now, take a step back and apply those thoughts to our daily lives. Could the car and passengers not represent a person, who has ideas spilling out into the world? What about the “big tent”? Imagine all of those people crammed inside at one time. Thousands of great ideas could come from the people in attendance.

Back in January, a good friend and mentor, Thom Singer, wrote a post on his blog, where he defined “big tent thinkers”. What is a “big tent thinker”? It is “someone who tries to keep an open mind, who is always expanding to accept new thoughts and ideas. They do not pre-judge and work hard to avoid putting everyone into a bucket without exploring all of the options.” (Thom Singer).

He further explains that “as a big tent thinker, you will not agree or embrace every idea that you run across, but you will always look for ways to find a nugget of knowledge of inspiration from everyone or everything.” This is powerful stuff! Does it explain the way you view your interactions with others? Can you take something from every conversation?

Let us expand this view of a “big tent thinker”. If you always have room for people under your big tent, and you should,then perhaps collaboration is something you enjoy…or need to learn. Benjamin F. Fairless responded to a question about a recipe for successful achievement with “just four essential ingredients: choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.” Why does he include being a member of a team?

Maybe it is because of the power a team has when focused on the same goals. When you share your goals and dreams with others, success becomes much easier to achieve. Also, your goals may benefit many other people, which both gives them more of an incentive to help and offers you more of an incentive to help others.

By allowing others in on your goals, your big tent may soon turn into a really big tent! Enthusiasm will increase when more people are allowed to give input, see the progression, and be directly involved with your aspirations. Since it is well-known that people achieve success through the help of others, think of your goals as a group effort. “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” (Vince Lombardi).

Let the following questions churn around in your head, as I believe they will help crank out some ideas on how you can utilize the above information: Who is involved with your current goals and could give you fresh input today? What decisions need to be made today regarding your plans and who could participate in those decisions? How often do you include others in your
decisions-making process? Do you share in making your decisions with the people who will be affected by them?

In closing, remember that “the man who gets the most satisfactory results is not always the man with the most brilliant sing mind, but rather the man who can best coordinate the brains and talents of his associates.” (W. Alton Jones). Think of your associates and friends as your entourage that helps you become a better “big tent thinker”.

To be added to Tripp Segars email distribution list, send him your contact info:

Have A Great Day.



inspirationcynic said...

Reading Tripp's post reminded me of the great words of Bo Bennett when he said "There is a misleading, unwritten rule that states if a quote giving advice comes from someone famous, very old, or Greek, then it must be good advice." So today, we'll look at quotes more closely. Instead of actually reading a book by Richard Kemph, google reminded me of the time he said "Quotes are nothing but inspiration for the uninspired." Sometimes we need to bask in the inspiration of others' thoughts taken out of context in order to motivate us to be douchebags during the day. "I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of mine either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted my meaning , or destroyed it altogether. " Alfred North Whitehead was certainly right when he penned these words. How often have you felt misunderstood by the twisting of your words? Today, try to be more clear with your words and careful with the thoughts you project. As Robert Byrne so eloquently put it, "Collecting quotations is an insidious, even embarrassing habit, like rag picking or hoarding rocks or trying on other people's laundry." When referring to Tripp, truer words by a great author, Rudyard Kipling, have not been spoken. "He wrapped himself in quotations--as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors"

WordSmith said...

Inspirationcynic, I could not agree with you more.

Not only is twisting another's words into statements of proposed inspiration, a sign of inadequent life experiences. A true inspirational person can divulge real nuggets that can truely inspire someone into action instead of stringing a few words together by one who has no words of his/her own.

Seriously, a nobody that decides to attempt to make a name for themselves by using Google to find a quote to pose as their own each day is a complete sham.

If your life is not interesting enough to tell your own story, and you have to find others' words to try and fill that void, you're probably in the wrong business.

Thom Singer said...

hmmm...i tend to think both comments are not grasping the whole idea of big tent thinking.

By jumping on someone for what they do, as in quoting others (that is not hurting anyone) in this manner says that you are superior to them. And a big tent thinker does not immediately down grade the next guy.

I have found that quotes can be amazingly inspiring and cause a big tent thinker to expand his own mind. Sure there are times when people do it for the "wrong" reasons.... but this was not one of those times