Saturday, 21 January 2012

It Only Takes a Spark

I had one of those amazing days on Thursday this past week that gave me energy instead of draining it and inspired me instead of discouraging me. What changed? My attitude! I have been pushing myself to take a new project to greater heights and feeling very overwhelmed and lacking confidence. I knew that it was my project and no one else was going to get it off the ground but me but I dragged out the pre-project planning, avoided making the phone calls and found myself pacing the hallways. I finally decided my time was running out and if I didn't do one thing positive that was it!

With fingers poised I started sending emails, digging deeply into my personal lists of people that I needed to attend a focus group in a few weeks. I had talked my way out of this before believing that my colleague would have better contacts, more qualified people in his pocket and a more charming manner to approach them. That did not pan out well (that's another story) and now it was up to me.

I was so excited when I received my first "yes". Then I got more and then more as people forwarded my request to others they thought might be interested. I found out, once again, that fretting alone in my airless boring corner is the worst place for me to go and action begets action, no matter how small you start.

I finished off the day attending an event where one of our previous students was sharing her own experinece. She was amazing and, low and behold, she stated that attitude is everything. She shared a story about how she had started in a retail chain and had decided that even though it was not the greatest job in the world she made the choice every day to go with a positive attitude and an assurance that she would make this a great day! She noticed how many of her colleagues answered their phones with a solemn, bored, "Canadian Tire - how may I help you?" She decided she would do her own thing and push it up a notch. She made sure she was smiling before she picked up the phone and started answering with this - "It's a great day at Canadian Tire! How may I help you?" Customers laughed and joked and, before she knew it, she had been commended by the Canadian VP for her efforts. She has applied that to every job since and it has worked well for her and her new career.

So, I floated home in a happy, content little bubble knowing that within all of us - even me - there is enough spark to ignite a fire if we aren't afraid to open a window even a tiny crack and let a breath a fresh air waft in from time to time.

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