a red rubber ball, coffee breaks and other musings

I thought I would end this week talking about advice. Advice can be tricky. Everyone has an opinion but what really makes you listen to one person more than another?

I am not sure I have a "real psychologically proven" answer for you on that. I can only speak from my experience. I think that the advice we take is the kind that speaks to us because our inner voice was already headed in that direction to begin with. You have probably felt it before. It is that gut feeling you get that something is just right. You have those ah-ha moments that Oprah always talks about. 

man i love those moments

I had one of them years ago that feels relevant to what so many of the people who email into me are going through right now. Let me set the stage for you.

It was the late 90's, early 00's. I worked at Nike. Sounds like the dream, right? Yes and no. At this point I was working in customer service. If any of you have worked in customer service then you know how taxing that type of work is. You answer hundreds of calls a day and a large majority of those people are mad at you. I mean technically it isn't you that they're mad at but they are focusing all of that anger at you. The only way to explain it is to just say it.

it sucks

On a random Friday while I was on the job, our team was called in to a meeting in the Steve Prefontaine building. Most of us entering the room had a bad attitude. It wasn't that we wanted to feel that way, but the job had gotten to us. They brought in a man by the name of Kevin Carroll. If you have never heard of him before, don't fear. I will share one of his videos after this post. Kevin Carroll is an amazing person who's job title is simply "katalyst".

catalyst - noun
a person or thing that precipitates an event or change:

a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
— dictionary.com

Ok, first of all can we just talk about what an awesome word that is? My goal is to one day be a catalyst for change in this world. I want to make the world a better place. So does Kevin. 

Back to the story...

On this particular day, our managers had brought Kevin in to motivate us. He did that. He did it in a way that in it's entirety would not translate for anyone who wasn't there. But there was this one part...

I am paraphrasing but, he said some version of the following: "If you are unhappy with what is going on then you need to take a look at your situation and make a decision. Look at what you are doing and ask yourself,

"is this my life?"

"is this what I want to do?"

"is my job the whole of who I am or one part?"

or

"is this a coffee break on the way to what I want to do?"

It was that simple. Instantly my eyes flooded with tears. While I do enjoy a good cry, these tears surprised me. I was in the first row so of course Kevin saw my tears, which was quite frankly mortifying. In that moment though I felt connected to him and what he was saying. It wasn't even the meat of what he was talking about. It was this small side note that just resonated with me so strongly. The meeting ended and I am sure I eagerly approached him afterwards and blubbered something incoherent. Afterwards, I went home and I started to image...what if? 

Those words he spoke started me on a completely different path. Look, change didn't happen over night. Trust me, I still had a lot of battle scars to endure but this was the "CATALYST" for the journey. I am still on that journey but I have figured out what I want to do. I stopped taking so many coffee breaks and I am working towards my purpose.

So in an effort to be some small form of a catalyst for others, I ask you this?

is this your life?

is this what you want to do?

OR

is this a coffee break on the way?

what is your red rubber ball?

Put the coffee down, leave the coffee shop. It's time to get to work. It is time to do what you are are meant to do. Stay tuned because Monday we talk about the "naysayers, haters and confused admirer's" and learn how to fight them off as we chase our own "red rubber ball". Till Then, have a safe Fourth of July weekend.

 

P.S. Kevin Carroll speaks all around the world. His focus is on the idea of PLAY and how play can change the world. His mission surrounds a story of a red rubber ball and a never say never disposition. To learn more, check out Kevin's website

http://www.kevincarrollkatalyst.com/ 

P.PS. I want to clarify that I am NOT endorsing this Where Dreams Meet Reality group that sponsored these videos. I am not familiar with them in anyway and tried to research them but found no site available. So ignore the parts that speak to that and really listen to the message Kevin is providing. That is what I am speaking to.

SOURCES:

Image source: http://stephanieoduenyi.blogspot.com/2012/08/another-plus-for-oprah-as-her-favorite.html