I was in the restroom at work this morning, putting on my Halloween costume and makeup for the parade of day care children that was scheduled.
One of our senior executives came in and I asked her if she was going to participate in any of the fun Halloween activities.
She replied with a sad Eeyore voice, “Nah, I’ve got a meeting.”
I told her I actually blocked the time on my calendar for the parade and trick-or-treating, to which she said, “You see, that’s it. I don’t control my calendar.”
And then she capped off the conversation dejectedly “I never get to have any fun at work.”
Sad that she never has fun at work.
Sad that she thinks she doesn’t control her own calendar.
Sad that she allowed responsibility to overrule her response ability.
You see, we humans have the ability to choose our responses to the events that happen.
People who understand this don’t blame their circumstances, environment or habituations for their behavior.
They recognize that their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice.
I could be wrong here, but I would lay money that the earth would have kept rotating had the senior executive said to her EA, “Clear my calendar from 10-10:30.”
But she probably felt that her responsibilities were more important.
Yet how much relationship building could she have accomplished had she spent a few seconds with some of her employees, remarking on how beautiful their children were, how much little Joey looks like his daddy or marvel at little Sally’s princess costume?
I propose that the positive affect on her relationships with her people far outweighed the importance of her meeting.
Yet she allowed responsibility to overrule her response ability.
Don’t despair if this sounds like you. Here are 4 things you can do tomorrow to take back or grow your response ability:
Stop the “haftas”. You don’t HAVE to do anything. You CHOOSE to do things. Sometimes you CHOOSE to do something to avoid a negative consequence, but still recognize it as your choice. Delegate one thing that you feel you hafta do, but have been choosing not to do.
What is one thing you’ve been meaning to get to? Schedule it tomorrow. Even if it is to have a little fun at work.
Choose a positive attitude. Let the first thing out of your mouth be positive with every interaction. Someone drops a crazy idea on you? Try “Well, that’s a unique way of looking at things!”
If you mess up, just say “I messed up” and make things right. No silly excuses necessary.
Tell me your story in the comments below. When did you blame someone or something for your situation? What was it? What might you do next time?
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: Photon walks into a hotel and the bellhop asks “Can I help you with your bags?” The photon replies, “Nah, I’m traveling light.”