One clever person once told me “It is not how you act when you are busy that differentiate you from the others. It is how you act when you are bored.” I would like to expand on that and further generalize. It is how you act when things are not going your way.
It is easy to stay on top of things and to work happily when things are exactly how you want them. However, what do you do when you find yourself down in the gutter?
You have essentially three options.
- Lie there and cry
- Get yourself up and continue walking
- Cause a revolution
All three options are valid. None is wrong. I sometimes enjoy a good cry and a good whining session. Most often I just choose to get up and continue walking as this is a good means of not falling behind, ensuring you are making progress, ensuring you remain active, ensuring that you are not considered a loser. However, there are times when you need to not only get up, but when you need to outrun, outdance, or fight whatever led you down into the gutter in the first place.
Sometimes I choose to fight. When I do not have time to re-build from scratch, I just stand up and fight for what is important to me and my goals. Too often I hold back, because I want to be liked. The moment when you need change for yourself is not the time to aim for being liked. Respected yes. Liked not so much.
There are goals that may be personal, where I just want to ensure I am getting the opportunities I need to develop myself. Whether it is a new project and new lead role, anything that is more than a new day to day task. Sometimes it is where I just know that my strategy will drive better results for the company. And I see the errors in other’s thinking.
And you cannot win new territory without fighting. Stay emotionally sound in your arguments, treat others respectfully, use facts, use data, but please, just fight!
No marathon has ever been run without people questioning their mental health or pleading with their shins, calves, and knees to just survive a few more miles as they approach mile 22. Pain is part of the game.
Play it right!