Getting what we want. It’s not always what we want.
In the series The Chronicles of Narnia is the book entitled The Horse and His Boy following the adventures of Bree and Cor. Cor had always wanted more attention — until he didn’t.
“Then Aravis told it. And Cor, who had very much wanted the story to be known, though he felt he couldn’t tell it himself, didn’t enjoy it so much as he had expected, and indeed felt rather foolish. But his father enjoyed it very much indeed and in the course of the next few weeks told it to so many people that Cor wished it had never happened.”
Isn’t it interesting that, whether fiction or our own lives, something we so desperately want and desire with all our strength isn’t always what we really wanted in the end? Sometimes we were short-sighted, sometimes we simply miscalculated, but sometimes we were dead wrong. We thought something would give us joy or happiness — we though fame and fortune and luxury would provide us the feelings and “things” we wanted, but they didn’t.
Later on, Cor learned much about what he wanted. He learned to be brave, and that it was better to love and be courageous for others — such as saving a life from a lion — than it was to save his own skin and be infamous. He learned relationships matter. People matter. His own pride and vanity began to fade as he realized those were not merely not the source of happiness, but so frequently the obstacle to joy.
This is Cor’s story arc.
As leaders, we can learn the same. We can see look at our own desires or put them aside for friends, family, and compatriots. The interesting thing is we may find our story very similar to Cor: that those relationships are much deeper and more valuable than our fame. That can be our story arc.