Sid’s Sense- Inside Success
View previous post in this series, Sid’s Sense.
Sid’s greatest lesson of all. Maybe less profound but nonetheless powerful. I’ve heard this so much my entire life that I’m on my 5th or 6th elephant already! (of course, I don’t approve of the metaphor because I don’t eat animals:).
You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Ever had a challenge in your life? Felt overwhelmed, anxious, uncertain? Of course! Just remember the elephant. One baby step forward and then another and then another. The view can change with each step. Keep your eye on the prize- nope! Keep your eye on the path so you can see where you’re going.
Nothing can ever be attempted if all objections must first be overcome
“The surest way to failure is to try and please everyone”, says Sid. Stop trying to be a pleaser. Know where you are headed and head there. Listen but don’t react. Don’t be bull headed and think you know it all (another sure way to fail). Learn and pursue instead. Stay on target and realize everyone is coming from their own frame of reference.
Sid learned this lesson the hard way. As a young man, he was asked by a buddy late in the evening to go out for a beer. Hesitant to say yes, he agreed. My grandmother overheard the conversation. She asked, “Do you really want to go out this late?” He said, “Not really.” My grandmother was outraged. My Dad said, “All right! Sorry! I know I’m too young to drink beer.” More enraged she replied, “I’m not angry about the beer. I’m angry you said ‘yes” when you wanted to say ‘no!’.” (Not wanting to mention this “lesson” involved an ironing cord!).
Setting boundaries is not rejecting others or being selfish. It increases the power of your “yes” and gives you the momentum and energy to persevere with what really matters to you. Do you say “yes” when you want to say “no?” STOP.
Optimism is everything! There are 2 interpretations– one way makes you happy and the other makes you sad. Pick the one that makes you feel good!
Sid stops in a Hallmark store to buy a greeting card. He sees this black and white mug (pictured). The store only has two. Dismayed by the lack of initiative of the store employees to make a bigger sale by researching how they could get more mugs, Sid went home and called the corporate office at Hallmark. He burrowed through the corporate maze, found out where the mug was manufactured and ultimately placed a large order. He gave them all away–spreading the lesson to as many people as there were mugs.
While his mission was to purchase the mugs, throughout the process he educated managers about his purchase experience without ever getting angry. If this well respected Kansas City company is to thrive for years to come, top management need to be aware of what’s happening on the ground floor. Sid’s tasks, even when personally motivated, ALWAYS culminate in action for the greater good.
The Serenity Prayer
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
What I learned from Sid is behind the lines. When you have no control or can’t change the situation, what do you do? Get frustrated and angry? Get depressed or cry? Act impulsively causing harm to yourself or others? Sid does not cry over spilled milk. He accepts what he can’t control instantly and does not waste any energy fretting over it.
Let’s say you wreck your car. It’s done and you can’t undo it. What can you control? You can get it fixed so that is what you focus on.
Gratitude is the second remedy. What is good about this situation? Well, at least I have a car! On the other hand, if you do have control or power over a situation or circumstance, do you use ALL of your energy on eating that elephant? The next time you’re upset, see where your power lies and put your energy where it belongs.