This post is a set of random musings from about 30,000 feet. I’m on my way to Budapest to do some amazing work with a fantastic client (Holy crap! My company is now an *international* leadership development firm!).
Since there’s nothing better to do than sleep, eat, or watch movies, I figured I’d simply write this when I’m in a state of mind that enables some deep thoughts. I’m going to discuss trust, taking care of yourself, and other topics as they pop to mind. If you’re a new reader to the blog, just accept that this randomness happens every once in a while. Let it go and enjoy the ride.
Would you trust a perfect stranger with your life? And I’m not asking this as an off the wall question. Would you? Someone you’ve never met before. Would you put your very life in their hands? Would you leave the question of whether you live or die completely up to someone you’ve never even seen?
No, right? Wrong.
There’s a coupla folks up in the cockpit of this plane and I’ve never met them. I’m thousands of feet above the Atlantic. No matter how many cool action movies I watch that make me think I can do an amazing water landing without a parachute, if they screw up, I die. Period. Not pretty. Actually kinda scary. And I’ve trusted them with my life without a second thought (and if you’ve been a reader of this blog for a long time, you know what I think of airlines so this is a huge leap for me).
The nature of this trust is based both on capability and intent. I trust they have the capability to fly this plane. I trust they intend to get me to my destination (not my *final* destination).
So what does this mean for you? Do you trust your boss? Your team? Your peers? Don’t bother answering because I know sometimes you don’t. More often than not the lack of trust is based on your assessment that you don’t trust their capabilities. It’s rare we don’t trust their intent (and if that’s the case, you need to run far away from that situation because it’s not healthy).
What’s my point here? We need to take a step back and get perspective occasionally. If I can trust a total stranger with my life, you can probably trust your teammate to finish that PowerPoint on time. Get over it. Trust someone. They’ll be happier. You’ll be happier. Everyone will be more efficient. No one will die (most likely). Go trust someone. Right now.
Taking Care of Yourself
This is one of those balanced lifestyle points we occasionally discuss here on the blog.
Normally I’m incredibly frugal. Sure I occasionally splurge on a new Scrubs DVD but beyond that, I am usually pretty Spartan (not like the six-pack-and-abs-The-300-Spartan… I’ve packed on a few pounds during the holidays).
But occasionally I decide I need to take care of myself. In this case, I ponied up a nice chunk of change (at my wife’s behest) to plant my portly behind in a lovely seat in business class. She accurately pointed out that I work very hard and it’s a long flight to Budapest. I deserved to splurge and have a wonderful flight. And I’m glad I did. I’ll enjoy myself, sleep well, and my client will get better performance out of me this week.
When is the last time you took care of yourself? I know who you people are – you’re all overachievers and bust your butts to move your careers forward. How do I know this? You’re here reading this blog in an effort to learn and better yourself (or you’re just chronically bored and you find me mildly amusing). My bet is you haven’t done something nice for yourself in a long time.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It can be as simple as letting yourself sleep in one day. Or maybe taking a vacation day. Or even going out for a nice meal. Remember – you don’t live to work – you work to live. Go take care of yourself in a selfish and pointed way. You deserve it and it’s been too long since you have.
– You can’t control everything. When stuff goes wrong, realize there’s often nothing you can do about it. Sitting there and getting mad only wastes minutes and hours of your life. Learn to accept it and enjoy the moment as best you can. Example: my flight was delayed an hour. I bought myself a hot fudge sundae to pass the time. WIN!
– Be you. Regardless of the odd looks the world throws your way, be your weird unique odd self that makes you smile and laugh. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, don’t cave to the pressure to conform – be you. Example: I’m pretty sure the German lady sitting next to me is trying to figure out what’s weirder – me watching Clerks or simultaneously banging my head to Rammstein while writing a blog post… and all that while wearing a Wonder Bread t-shirt… Yeah. She’s shooting me looks but I’m having fun so… WIN!
– Learn. Constantly. If you take but a second and think about everything you DON’T know or understand, it will make your head explode. I love that you’ve read this far because it points to an inner desire you have to learn new things and read new perspectives. I’m thrilled to learn and always look for opportunities to do so as well as recognize arenas where I lack experience or knowledge. Example: I just finished a great book (while waiting on my delayed flight and eating a hot fudge sundae). I’m realizing I don’t know much in the way of foreign languages (as the lady next to me reads how “Du kannst dich nicht mehr verstecken” on her newspaper). I’m very much looking forward to exploring a new city I’ve never been to (Budapest). Learn. All the time.
Gotta go folks – my Courvoisier just arrived…
(DISCLAIMER: By the way – the additional costs for my flight and treating myself well are coming straight out of my personal pocket – not my client’s. I would never conceive of having a client pay for me to be cozy. They pay for high quality content and it’s my job to overdeliver on that promise. I want to be completely transparent on this point).