Intended Shades of Gray

28 Jun

During my years as an undergraduate, I remember a story told to me by an art professor of mine. He was a tad esoteric, wildly passionate about painting, and adored color. The story  stuck with me all these years,  and I’ve never ceased to apply the lesson learned.  He told of a time when he needed a large quantity of gray to do some painting around the house.  The project started with a gallon of white and gallon of black. He proceeded to dump the entire can of black into a large 5 gallon bucket, and then dumped the entire can of white into the same bucket.  Guess what happened?

Drum roll please….

He was left with pure black paint–two gallons of it to be exact. Get it? 1 Gallon of Black + 1 Gallon of White = Black.  Now, if he had started with the bucket of white, and only added a few drops of black….well then, we wouldn’t have  a colorful analogy to be  shared here.   That gallon of black paint literally consumed the entire gallon of white.   It’s kind of funny how this basic kindergarten paint mixing lesson seems so obvious now, doesn’t it?

Think of the application this simple paint mishap offers our work, professional lives, and business. Are we inadvertently dumping all our white into the black and not getting the results we’d anticipated? Are we losing valuable resources because we’re investing in the wrong locales?  Do we need to reconsider better use of our people power, energy, and learning? Are we continually allowing our buckets of white  to be consumed by pots of black? So now that we know, let’s make the better use of our paint. Go forth with purpose, in using your time and resources, to masterfully create your intended shades of gray.

I wish you the best in excellence and instruction.


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