Singer/songwriter Rick Astley announced that he will be releasing his eighth studio album this year which is entitled 'Beautiful Life'. I was listening to the conversation between Rick Astley and a well-known Radio 2 DJ about the album. More importantly about why Rick wrote a song called “Beautiful Life” and named the album with the same name.
Rick said something very pertinent in answer to the question “Why Beautiful Life? In his answer he explained that in fact he has had a beautiful life, with the exception of a few curveballs. Most importantly, he continued with words to the effect that it is all about how you look at life and how you regard things that are thrown at you and things that happen to you, and I might add things you do to yourself.
Personally I resonate with these comments. How you perceive something is half the battle of working with it, solving it and overcoming it. Do you look at “setbacks” in a negative sense, react emotionally in some way and fester on the consequences, or do you take the opportunity to understand the message, learn, grow and develop, thus moving yourself forward out of the adverse condition?
One of the most important aspects of working through perceived negative situations is the emotional side of the situation. In the case of “it”, what ever “it” is being done to us, the emotions experienced might be anger, frustration, bitterness, disbelief, shame and many others. In the case of us doing something inadvertently that back-fires on our self, emotions might include guilt, shame, anger and self blame amongst others.
Harbouring emotions is both unproductive and damaging mentally and ultimately physically. To be an effective leader we need to be able to rise above any situation and look at the cause of why something happened, rectify it with those involved through helping them understand why this particular approach was not constructive, give guidance on a more positive way to approach the particular situation, and agree on a way forward. Always avoiding the desire or need to blame someone or something, allowing those involved to take responsibility for their actions, change behaviour, and therefore grow and develop from the experience.
As Rick Astely so carefully and clearly put it – “Life is beautiful”. It’s all about how you see it? Leadership, whilst challenging on occasions is beautiful for all concerned, those being led and those doing the leading. It all depends on how we firstly see each situation and each person, and secondly how we react to it?