The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Those who continually seek that which they do not have – who reach for the stars without knowing whether it is night or day – who always seem to want what others have because they feel their own gifts or abilities are somehow inferior – will probably always be lacking in some way or another.  They will never “arrive” as they are always “seeking to go” in a different direction.  They are like seeds drifting upon the winds – moving from one place to another without ever taking root so that they might grow.  They may enjoy many starts and stops in life – travelling upon a multitude of roads yet experiencing much frustration for they seldom remain on one path long enough to find its conclusion.  Rather than living their own life and experiencing the richness it might bring they seek those things others have accomplished as they skim their enjoyment from the surface of life’s ocean – plucking only the floating debris left behind rather than diving deeply to find treasures not yet discovered.

Those who feel they have all they could ever need – who do not desire any reward beyond what they have
achieved – who always find comfort in “what is” rather than being the least bit curious about “what could be” – will probably find contentment in their life but may never realize their full potential.  People finding happiness in the “here and now” without ever seeking to expand their horizons often live lives that are “safe” yet uneventful.  They find that travelling a familiar path to a known destination provides a predictable life – an outcome that may not excite but that will never disappoint.  They seek to avoid disillusionment by holding tightly to predictability – to eliminate defeat by seeking only that which will provide ongoing rewards (regardless of how large or small the reward might be).  Though many find comfort within the familiar walls of a predictable reality, few find the joy of discovery.  Though many find contentment within a predictable world, few find their dreams fulfilled or their future altered drastically when they seek shelter from life’s storms within their established safe harbor – when they forfeit any thought of the possible for a deeply rooted belief in the here and now.

The secret to being all that you can be – to balancing your abilities against your capabilities while blending the
comfort of where you are with the promise of what you might wish to achieve – is in setting realistic goals that stretch your reality from what is to what has not yet been accomplished.  Intentional action must be initiated if change is desired – for to see or experience new things one must physically, emotionally or perceptually alter their current situation so the confining walls of “what is” can be broken down and exchanged for the limitless sea of “what could be.”  While one may never fail if goals are not established, how can one measure progress unless an objective – or destination – has been determined?  How can one move forward if they do not know when to stop – or even when to start – doing something different?  While one rarely tastes defeat when they choose to live within their familiar world, they cannot savor those things not previously considered possible until they decide to do act differently rather than simply expecting altered results without changing their predictable behavior.

Life is not a spectator sport – it is an interactive opportunity to transform the present into the future (but does not do so on its own).   It provides us with the canvas upon which dreams may become reality (but we must
act if we are to create such a masterpiece for it will not materialize on its own).  Knowing the right answers to questions asked by another might help us overcome obstacles that could hinder our progress as we seek to accomplish defined things.  Leveraging our knowledge and experience to ask the right questions is much like planting seeds – if nurtured and cared for, our ideas will be brought to fruition.  When we act upon the information we receive from the questions we ask our dreams will become seeds ready for harvest. Recognize, though, that as much as it might wish to become an apple tree, a cherry pit will not grow into anything other than a cherry tree.  In the same manner, our ideas and dreams must be plausible – we must have the knowledge, skill and ability to act once a path to success has been identified – if we are to enjoy the things found through our seeking, receive the benefits of our asking and achieve the rewards of accomplishing the goals we intentionally and deliberately set.

Seek to find – ask to receive – act intentionally upon the information found and the wisdom received in order to achieve!