Knowing when to raise the white flag

Feb. 5, 2018
Surrender to the fact that you do not need to make others wrong for you to be right, that your truth about what is right or wrong, good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate is not the truth, it is just your truth.

There comes a time in every one of our lives when we need to throw up the proverbial white flag. Most people see that as weak or an indication of giving up. I submit there is a difference between giving up and giving in. 

At Discover Leadership Training, we conduct a four-day fully immersive, experiential leadership program, the Master Graduate Leadership Program (MGLP). The program is focused on helping individuals create a better version of themselves. 

Every weekend we conduct the MGLP, at least three types of people show up for the program. First we have the “Hostage.” Hostages are individuals who do not expect to learn anything. They are generally in the program because they felt it is a condition of employment. Hostages would rather be doing anything for those four days other than attend the MGLP and most of them feel they have forgotten more about leadership than we could ever teach them. 

The second group of people that show up for the program are “Vacationers.” Vacationers, much like hostages, do not expect to learn anything; however, they are happy to be there because it allows them to get out of the office and away from home for four days. 

The third group, I refer to as “Game Changers in Training.” They are looking for different ways to be a better person and develop higher performing teams. 

During one of our Master Graduate Leadership Programs there was a student that admitted he was a hostage. He said he did not want to be in the program, that he was closed-minded and didn’t expect to learn anything over the four days. 

This gentleman was in his early 50s and had experienced what he referred to as significant success in both his professional and personal life. He further stated he was content with where he was and did not see that there was anything wrong or that anything needed to be fixed in his life. 

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I said to him as I do to you, it is unfortunate most people wait for something to go wrong or break in their relationships before they work on the relationship. We spend a lot of money and time in therapy focused on fixing broken relationships. There is an opportunity for us to deliberately work on taking the relationship to another level before it is broken. The relationship that I am speaking of in this present moment is the relationship you have with yourself. 

When you improve the relationship you have with yourself, every relationship you are in will also improve. 

Most people spend their time attempting to “fix” other people in an effort to improve their relationships. I submit the only person you are capable of creating an authentic, sustainable change in is yourself. Others are waiting for someone else to change in order for them to be happy or fulfilled. 

Surrender to the fact that you do not need to make others wrong for you to be right, that your truth about what is right or wrong, good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate is not the truth, it is just your truth. Once you surrender to the fact that your perceptions and interpretations are just your perspective of what is happening in that situation, everything has the potential of changing. If you don’t like the way something looks, change the way you are looking at it and it will change. 

When you surrender, you are not being weak. Throwing up the white flag in this context is not giving up, it is giving in. You must understand that everything that you fight against weakens you. 

So why not surrender and fight for a better version of yourself? Once the gentleman in our MGLP surrendered and allowed himself to trust the people that gave him an opportunity to have the experience, he became aware that allowing himself to be vulnerable produced a positive result for him. He became aware that allowing himself to be vulnerable allowed him to learn things about himself that he did not know. By wiping the smoke off the mirror he was able to redefine for himself what he thought was his 100 percent. 

Many of you think that if you are “discontent” with your life, that means you are dissatisfied, unhappy or that something is wrong or broken. 

I encourage you to create discontent for yourself today in every area of your life. Creating discontent will allow you to create a better version of yourself with the awareness we all occupy the largest room in the house and that is the room for improvement.  

It is okay to be perfectly happy and satisfied with your life and understand there is an opportunity to make it even better. I do not need to wait for something to be broken and then focus on getting it back to where it was. There doesn’t need to be a frown on your face before you move, you do not need to be running from something to move from where you are, and you don’t need to be told that you are dying before you choose to LIVE. 

When you surrender, you will become aware there is even MORE to life than you have experienced; that you are worthy of an even happier, more fulfilled life, however you must be aware the same mind that got you to where you are today will not get you to the next level. You will need to surrender to get there. 

I encourage you to throw up the white flag today and surrender to create a better version of yourself.

About the Author

Mike Jones

Mike Jones is the founder and president of Discover Leadership Training, a next level leadership development solutions company in Houston, Texas. Mr. Jones has inspired millions to Create a Better Version of Themselves™ by using his gifts and expertise to develop programs where he helps people realize their untapped potential. He is a well versed author who has published countless white papers, hundreds of articles and six books. He is an accomplished TV host and had his own NBC segments for nearly 10 years and was also a talented radio personality on Clear Channel Radio for over 10 years. Mike is committed to being a positive influence on the world and remains active both inside and outside of the classroom.

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