We never know for sure where life is going to take us. Even when we think we do know, that very knowledge can be self-limiting. Let’s face it—has anyone among us always known exactly what we needed? Some of the time, yes, but not all the time.

Sometimes we carry preconceived notions into a new role. Not every one of those preconceived notions is necessarily accurate or realistic. Sometimes it is difficult to get over ourselves and come to that point where we realize we do not have all the answers. Moreover, not having all the answers is okay.

Bernard Tyson is the CEO of Kaiser Permanente. In 1992 (a long time before his present role), he became the CEO of the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Santa Rosa. He also had some preconceived notions. Reflecting on those preconceived notions, Tyson learned that he may have unpacked too soon (“How Did I Get Here?: Bernard Tyson” Bloomberg Businessweek, 9/28/15–10/4/15, p. 96):

I thought I had arrived—I never thought it would only last for a year.

We must choose to be flexible. That flexibility requires that we cast aside our preconceived notions. I was once asked to fill the pulpit of a church for just four Sundays. At least that was my preconceived notion. Those four Sundays turned into a successful two-year ministry as the senior pastor.

We never know how, when, and where opportunity will knock. If we are willing to dismiss our preconceived notions, then maybe we can enter into something new and exciting.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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