Saturday, January 8

Even Without Wasabi

There was a long line at the take-out sandwich counter at lunch today. When the woman ahead of me finally got in position to place her order, she said to the server in an annoyed tone, "I understand that you no longer have the roast beef and wasabi!" The server courteously replied, "I'm sorry, mam, but that is true." "Huuumph!" she retorted in a loud voice. Then she turned to the server standing right next to the first and repeated the identical statement, to which she got the same reply. He kindly offered to make her a roast beef sandwich with spicy mustard, since they no longer carried wasabi. She contorted her face, made an even louder sound of displeasure, and stomped out.

What causes someone to wait in line for 15 minutes for a sandwich she knew they didn't have, and prevents her from finding something acceptable from the hundreds of possible combinations they did have? When we are tired, hurting, needy, or off balance, any of us can focus on what we don't or can't have, rather than what we do have or can create.

I'm grateful to this woman for the reminder that there's always a varied menu of options, even without wasabi.

Wednesday, January 5

Sucessful Resolutions

Have you found yourself making new year's resolutions in the last week--or feeling guilty that you didn't? Why are they so alluring, when so many get broken? One reason is because, on some level, we are all conscious of the gap between our ideal situation and our current reality. The beginning of a new calendar year seems like a good time to make a fresh start in reducing that gap, so we pledge to "do better or different."

I understand this desire to be our best selves. For all of my adult life, I have been driven to help people and organizations do just that. Fortunately, a lifetime of study and experience has contributed to a better batting average that most people have with their new year's resolutions. What are some keys to successfully setting and achieving goals that you can apply, individually or with your team?

1. Create a sense of urgency. Why is this change needed? What will happen if it doesn't occur?
2. Be specific about the results you want. Write & post them. Visualize them. Make them real.
3. Enlist others. Build a team that shares your vision. Draw on their talents.
4. Produce short-term, visible wins. Showing progress will reinforce your drive.
5. Don't give up. Breaking old patterns takes time. Even if you have a temporary setback, never, ever give up!