Revolving Door

Last week I was in New York City. I was blessed with a vacation by my in-laws. The thrust of the trip was rest, relaxation, touristing, and celebrating my sited-in-law’s college graduation. I believe I did these things well. During this trip we saw all the sights and did all of the things. Honestly, ask me if we did whatever thing it is you think we absolutely HAD to do and I’m guessing we probably did it.

Also during the trip, I had a couple days to myself to run around the city, see what I would want to see, and generally enjoy the city in such a way as I would prefer. I took some time to reflect about me and what I think and how I feel about life during these days. I was looking for the unexpected. Truly, looking for what I was missing about myself. Nothing struck me as I was sitting with a few strangers, all us relaxing in an 85 year old establishment titled, ‘Nat Sherman International.’ After a bit of relaxation, I departed the Nat Sherman and ventured around the city to go shopping. I found my way to my corporate coffee shop of choice to get a delicious iced black tea. 

On my way out of the coffee shop, it struck me. In the face, it struck me. The revolving door of the coffee shop struck me in the face *almost* and I had an epiphany simultaneously. Funny how often these two things coincide. 

I think the revolving door almost striking me in the face reminded me of the truest reality of life, teamwork, and success. The idea I was struck by was how a revolving door works. It is both simple and incredibly profound. When I step into the door, I am usually stepping in behind someone else. This person is probably pushing the door in front of them to keep the doors revolving. When I step in, I am unconsciously faced with a decision to start pushing right then or ride on the laurels of the person in front of me. If I take the latter of these two options, then I will be left in the turnstile after the person in front of me exits. Upon their exit, the revolving door will continue to move, centrifugal force; eventually, the door will stop moving with me inside of it.

I am then faced with my final choice, I can either stop here, count my losses, and wallow, or I can start pushing. It will be much harder to start pushing from the dead stop, I will have to build up the momentum again and there is always friction around me. But it can be done. I will push until I am all the way through the door. As I exit, I am faced with the last decision.

How hard am I pushing as I exit?

Am I pushing just enough to squeeze out a crack for me, a crevice through which I can exit? Or, am I sprinting through the exit? Am I pushing until logically beyond my capacity. The door is around the corner and about to hit me in the back of the head, but I am still pushing so the person behind me is able to build more momentum then I have.

In my life, I am not dying any time soon, as far as I know, however, there are a dozen different situations and contexts for my life. 

My vacation being one of them. As I left for NYC, did I leave pushing extra hard and farther than I needed to so the people still in the turnstile would be able to carry on the momentum while I was gone? Or, did I leave and they were left to deal with the leftovers as I snuck out of the crack the door provided for me.

As you are at work, as a parent, a friend, or a confidant you are growing and other people are filling in the gaps you are creating. Are you pushing the revolving door with all your might as you exit? What do you need to do to push a little harder, and make the door swing a little farther than before?