Last week, I spent three days, 26 hours, and 15 minutes in leadership training. On the first day, the trainer asked each of us to write an anonymous secret on a Post-it and stick it on the wall.
Throughout each day (as an energizer), one of us was asked to pick a random Post-it off the wall, read it, and then select three of us who he or she believed could have written the secret. Once the three were chosen, the real person was asked to identify his or her self.
The exercise allowed me to learn a lot about the other trainees. I learned that they included cooks, certified yoga and massage instructors, somebody who didn't get his license until he was in his forties, a man who was a cheerleader in college, someone who had taken a summer dance course with the late Eartha Kitt, and so on.
Then it struck me. Although the assignment was to let somebody in on a "secret," no one really did. What we shared was information about ourselves that we didn't mind those in the room knowing. But a secret is something hidden from others; a secret is only revealed to a few. Secrets are things that have happened in our lives that most of us will go to our graves with; secrets are buried in the soil of our souls, enclosed in a casket with our bones decaying, hidden forever.
The "secret" I shared last week was not really a secret, and neither were those offered by the others.