Jesse Jackson gave a speech many years ago that was shown repeatedly in motivational meetings. He called on his audience of black, brown, white, yellow children and adults to believe in themselves and yell out “I am somebody.” His message that everyone is unique and has something to offer came to mind this week when a very good friend of mine sent me a message with a link to his blog.
My friend started his message by apologizing for his actions of the past few weeks. He had been frustrated at work, was looking at other areas of employment and recently had asked me if I would be a reference for him. In my opinion he didn’t need to apologize.
I clicked on his blog. This is part of his explanation; “ I’ve never known anything but success, however I think this is the first year that I am transitioning to putting myself out there. I’m doing more and more to try and get more for the company and guess what I batted .000 this winter. I failed. And what did I do. I pointed my finger somewhere else; I blamed other people and things. It’s taken me some time but I realize it was my fault. I didn’t try hard enough. In the end of the day I could have done more, I could have, but I didn’t. For that and to those I blamed my faults on I am sorry. It’s me and I will be better.”
My friend continued that he saw a motivational video that touched him and he realized “it is not about who you are it’s about what you do”. The video made his day and gave him energy to tackle issues in a new way.
I read and re-read his message and watched the video he suggested. What hit me was this friend is one of the more innovative persons I know. He thinks differently and is wired to continually challenge everyone around him to improve what they are doing. It takes a lot of energy to do that. We need to recharge the batteries periodically or we begin running on empty. That leads to frustration. The “batted .000 this winter” is an example.
I wrote him the following note. I told myself to post it here so I can read it the next time I’m feeling frustrated. Please feel free to share bits and pieces the next time you or someone close to you is running on empty.
Until next time – all the best!
Hi XXXXX –
Thanks for the link to your blog and for the video on motivation.
A few thoughts from a person with a few more gray hairs than you. Some days I feel old but most days not.
- Remember that life is a journey it is not a destination. Some days we try, we put it all out there & we look in the mirror at the end of the day and think we batted .000. Realize that if we put in the effort we never bat .000. Sometimes we will not learn for months about the people we touched or the good that we did … hell sometimes we will never learn about the good that we did but getting credit is not what life is all about. Life is about the journey. Experience it. Live it. Love it. I’m sure you do.
- Remember that all of us have down days. It is a normal part of the process. Colin Powell, former secretary of state and retired general, has a saying, “get mad and then get over it!” It is OK to get mad. It is OK to be disappointed. Take as much time as you need and then move on.
- Remember sometimes you don’t know what the yardstick is. You think you are batting .000 but how are you measuring it? Are you measuring contracts signed or $$ in the door? Maybe the real yardstick is something else. Maybe by you going out there and taking a risk you were an example to someone else and fundamentally changed their life by showing them that they too can and should take a risk. This will help them grow and develop and potentially mentor others. What is more valuable? What is more long term? What will someone remember in 5,10,20 years?
- Remember that every day you learn something you didn’t know yesterday is a good day. Success is using that knowledge to improve yourself. Many times life is mixed up. Once the dust settles it will make sense.
- Remember that just about the time you think you have life figured out God will smile and throw you another curve ball. He will make life interesting.
Take a deep breath my friend. Pour yourself a cold one (or whatever you enjoy drinking) and toast yourself for trying.
Have a great day!