Posts Tagged ‘ Change ’

Change Your Timing, Change Your Attitude

My wife and I have both had it on good authority for a while now that an electric toothbrush is by far the way to go.  We are doing well, relatively speaking, but neither of us had any interest in dropping nearly two hundred bucks on a toothbrush for each of us…so we found just one base for seventy bucks that we could share, picked up a four-pack of replacement heads, and we were on our way.

Each of these replacement heads has a different little colored ring around its base; mine is yellow, and my wife’s is blue.  I woke up the next “morning” (actually afternoon because of my work schedule) to find my yellow brush head on the toothbrush, as it sat there on its little charger…and I realized that my wife had put it on there for me when she was finished before she left for work that morning.  “Oh, that was nice of her,” I thought.  When I finished brushing my own teeth, I returned the favor and replaced mine with the blue one, so hers would be ready when she needed it.

We’ve always taken the extra time to be thoughtful to each other, but it was about three days into this routine that it hit me:  The simple, small act of “giving” to my wife (having her toothbrush ready for her in the morning) and having it reciprocated put us both in a good mood, and it was literally the same act I would have to perform each day even if we hadn’t done it for each other.  Does that make sense?

Don't be THIS guy!

So, imagine waking up every day to find that you have to once again dig your own toothbrush head out of the drawer because your spouse has always beaten you to the toothbrush, and theirs is still there when you need to brush.  How annoying.  Now look at the fact that you choosing to do it for her somehow makes everything more bearable–even enjoyable–simply because the order and timing of things have been changed just a little.  Pretty small change, pretty significant gains in the long-term.  Think of it–because of this, brushing your teeth is a *little* less of a chore, your mood is improved, your relationship is stronger and happier, and you just got a promotion!  OK I’m kidding about the promotion, but those first three things might someday lead to one.  After all, no one likes working around the grumpy guy (or girl) who has bad breath.

What barely-noticeable change could you find to make your day/job/relationship easier?  Give it some thought, and share it with the forum.  There’s a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks for whoever leaves the best comment on this WP post.  I’ll decide the winner on January 30.  So get this–on MY birthday, I’ll give YOU a gift!



Change Vs. Momentum

Not This Kind, Silly!

From the time we are kids, we literally throw a tantrum in some form every time a change whips through our lives–particularly ones that alter the course of what we were expecting (Mom denying you a candy bar in the check-out aisle, for example).  As children, most of us don’t want a constantly changing landscape around us; we need consistency to be able to focus on the things that kids should be focusing on.  You know–school, developing social skills, character, and a decent work ethic, etc etc.

Later on as adults, when change comes through, we find that we have to be prepared for it:  For a big job opportunity that requires a move to another state, there is the house to pack, the movers/U-Haul rental to organize, the address change and forwarding services to request, and the new state ID and car registrations to get.  For a wedding, there’s the date, place, food, cake, invitations, liquor package, dresses, tuxes, and bridal party to select.  These days you can even customize your own ceremony.  Actually, in both of these cases, you have to factor in the management of people as well–if someone drops the ball on their task, the whole thing becomes more disorganized for you to deal with.

Consider now finding out that you have only a week to pack up your house and make it across the country for a great job, or only three weeks to plan and execute a wedding.  How much more of a pain would these things be to do without the luxury of being able to plan for them?

I had finally found a job out here.  It happened to be three hours away, but it was only a 60-day contract, and would get my wife and me somewhat caught up financially after being without a paycheck for as long as we have (last week of June was it).  I had signed the offer letter, spent an an hour and a half doing the paperwork, peed (cleanly) into a cup, and submitted to a background check.  I had a list prepped of the different Extended Stay places I could live through the duration of the contract, and had compared rates.  I even finagled a deal out of one of the property managers. This morning, I found out that the contract had been “indefinitely placed on hold,” which means I’m not moving down there temporarily any longer, and I’m still looking for work.  In this case, there was really no harm, no foul.  After all, I didn’t spend any money, and didn’t waste any gas.  But what I did have to do was spend the entire weekend with my wife giving me the puppy-dog eyes because I had to leave soon, and I had to mentally rally myself (after nine weeks of sitting on my duff) to get pumped to go out there and be the best damned employee they ever had.  (A first impression–a two month first impression, at that–will go miles for you.)  When I found out about the cancellation it was no big deal, except that mentally, I had to literally “shake off” the feeling of having to anticipate a long goodbye to the missus, being displaced, and being at work without my toolbox (wouldn’t fit in the trunk).  It got me thinking:  am I limited by the amount of change I dealt with to get here, or the lack of momentum I’ve built up so far?

Obviously, change is not hard to overcome and deal with, but it sure is a momentum-buster.  Donald Trump once said that you won’t be able to “Think Big and Kick Ass” like he does until you have enough momentum at your back to carry you through toward your goal. Think of it:  for the most part, change is only “change” because it forces you to reset your stance and plant your feet to head in a different direction–or to the same direction, but from a different angle.  Things that are pushing you toward your goal–a new location to set up your business’ headquarters, for example–aren’t really perceived as a change; they’re perceived as just part of the intended path despite that you have all kinds of new things to do to get settled there (like move stuff in, get an address change request service, rent the U-Haul if needed, staff your office, get registered with the state, put a sign with your name on it out front, etc etc etc).  These are the things that help you build the momentum you’ll need to succeed..and suddenly, you’re doing the same things you did to move out to that spot, but it’s exciting instead of frantic.

I want you, whoever is motivated to do so, to make a small list of the three or five things you are doing to build momentum in your life, and list them in a comment for everyone to contemplate.  You never know how your ideas may inspire others to find more efficient ways of reaching their own goals!

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