“If we played musical chairs for one day and all switched jobs, which job would be your worst nightmare?”
Yesterday my co-workers and I were eating lunch together. Which should be a nice, pleasant experience.
Except we were each ready to strangle someone.
Our customer service girl was having difficulties putting her Patient Pants on (as we affectionately refer to them), and I was ready to blow my brains out from rewriting some webpage copy for the 137th time. Then I got in trouble for saying “blow my brains out” at work.
I shot my hand up. “Customer service!!”
“Kara, if you were customer service we’d lose all our clients!”
I am an argumentative person. Anyone who knows me can attest to this. Customer service was certainly not in my gene pool.
When I was in high school my coach announced to my entire team, “There are two reasons Kara is fast. Number one is her genes. Number two, is boy can she get mad!”
Thanks for that, Coach.
For the longest time, my coach was the only one who could pinpoint which levers to push, and which levers to pull, to somehow come up with the right formula for motivation. After I had graduated and gone off to college, I asked him, “Did you completely make stuff up just to tick me off so I would run faster?” I have yet to learn the answer to that question.
A few years ago my mom started coaching. My mom knows more about track and field than most, and should have started coaching years before. She always tells me stories about “her kids” (i.e. her junior high athletes), and once told me a story about a 400 runner who she always placed in the middle of the relay. Toward the end of the season, the girl asked my mom, “Del, why don’t you ever have me anchor?”
This girl ran fast. She did not race—there’s a difference. “She just doesn’t…fight,” my mom told me.
Last week I went back to Des Moines for a wedding, visited my Alma matter and caught up with my college coach.
To summarize my college practices, they primarily consisted of me arguing with my Coach every time she made me run 150s.
“Did you just want to strangle me!?” I asked her.
“No—because that is something I can work with. I can’t work with someone who doesn’t care.”
If I don’t care about something, it can’t get under my skin. Whether it’s my job, my workouts, or a disagreement with a friend—if it doesn’t affect me, that’s a sign there’s a problem.
This week a close friend was having a really rough time with her job. Everyone is motivated by something different. Some people need constant reinforcement, and a happy-go-lucky environment to commit to something. Not this girl. So I gave her the same advice I would have wanted someone to give me:
“Whatever it takes, you need to get really, really mad right now. You’ve been hit a lot. And even though you’re beaten down, you need to put the blinders on, have tunnel vision, and get after it. Let this be the biggest ‘Fuck you’ to every person who is doubting you.”
For every item you need to accomplish in a day, there is an unlimited number of ways to psych yourself up to do it. Sometimes looking at it differently, or finishing it for a different reason than originally intended, will do the trick. If I’m consistently telling myself, “There’s no way I can pull this off,” I can turn it around in my brain and say, “Do it because no one else thinks you can.”
Whatever motivates you, follow it. A temper could have easily been my biggest downfall, but I never would have gotten anywhere without it.