Last week I found this quote on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Instagram feed:
“Make it happen. Shock every single one of them.”
Think about it. What if we went through our day and thought how am I going to shock someone today? Much of the time we try to just make it through the day, but what if we raised the bar and made things happen? What if we went into each meeting or presentation and were completely focused and wowed folks because we pulled it off? What if we did the impossible? Or maybe it is not even impossible — maybe it is just something that left a wow factor. It could be the smallest, slightest moment that left a mark and was remembered.
The funny thing is the moments that are remembered are often the ones that are actually easy and often free to pull off. You might have made an effort to actually listen and remember key details from someone’s life. You asked about it the next time you see that individual. So easy, and just requires pure listening, and yet it has such an impact. I always notice when someone has taken the time to get to know me and then later (sometimes even months later) remembers a piece of our conversation. I try to do the same to others, but it is hard when you go from meeting to meeting all day. And yet, doing so shows true connection, relationship building, and care.
I am a get-it-done woman. I rarely let anything stand in my way. As Chris would say to me, “There is no changing your mind when you have made a decision you are going to do something.” He is right. I like to approach life with conviction, persistence, and, as I often say, by sucking the life out of each day. I want to bring that same zeal when shocking and wowing others. Think of all the times you have been wowed by amazing customer service, by friends and family who surprise you, or a stranger that does a random act of kindness. The key ingredient: someone showing you they care.
I have often been called tenacious. I never really liked it. I find it is a word that people do not really know the true meaning. Having a tenacious grip, a strong hold on something, not easily letting go or giving up. Yes, I would say that is me, but I always felt those definitions spun the word with a negative hint to it. That it meant you were more inflexible or strong-willed more than anything. So when I recently read Seth Godin’s 5 sentence blog post on tenacity and persistence, it was an eye-opening moment. He says:
“Tenacity is not the same as persistence. Persistence is doing something again and again until it works. It sounds like ‘pestering’ for a reason. Tenacity is using new data to make new decisions to find new pathways to find new ways to achieve a goal when the old ways didn’t work. Telemarketers are persistent, Nike is tenacious.”
It makes sense doesn’t it? Godin makes persistence almost sound like the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results). It makes me wonder, are we all actually more tenacious than we think? Has the word had a bad rap, or is it just me that has associated negative connotation to “tenacious?”
So often (as I mentioned in my blog on change last week) we get stuck in the rut of old ways and forget that each new project deserves a fresh look. It might not make sense to follow the same process anymore. It is always appropriate to ask yourself, are we doing this because it is the way it has always been done, or because we have not stopped to update and change? If the old way is not working, change it. If the newer ways are stale, change them. My old way of viewing tenacious has been changed. Check.