I made the right decision this weekend to travel two hours to attend a meeting in person, rather than the more convenient option of conference-calling in. It was a tough decision and I almost didn’t go. In fact, I was talking myself into a scratchy throat just to have a legitimate excuse for not attending. But you know what they say…..80% of success is just showing up.
“I have learned one thing. As Woody says, ‘Showing up is 80 percent of life.’ Sometimes it’s easier to hide home in bed. I’ve done both.”
– Marshall Brickman, quoting Woody Allen
So I went and attended a board meeting of my volunteer organization, Soroptimist International of the Northeastern Region, where I serve as fundraising chair.
I thought I could slip away after the board meeting, but then all these wonderful people starting showing up…with food. Okay, I thought, I’ll stay for lunch.
Then the program kicked off and our region governor, Dr. Bernice Szafarek, starting telling her famous stories….stories that not only motivate, but also make a clear and relevant point. So I stuck around some more.
Governor Bernice shared her beliefs on the topics of communication and leadership. She did so in a highly engaging way. She told us that communication is not about giving out; but rather it is about getting through. That compelled me.
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
– Sydney J. Harris, American Journalist (1917-1986)
She then shared a very funny story about one of her mentors in the dentistry field who helped her to not get distraught when clients didn’t act upon her recommendations. He asked her what her ultimate goal was. She answered. Then he encouraged her to always be guided by her vision, values and goals, even if some people don’t follow. In those cases, he encouraged her to repeat the mantra, SW SW SW – which stands for Some will. Some won’t. So what? What a wonderful way to reframe rejection, to maintain your motivation and to carry on!
That’s when I knew I had my blog topic for the week. It’s just pithy enough to engage my writer’s mind.
Upon further research, I found a modified version of this quote from Jack Canfield. He added one more SW – that is, Someone’s waiting.
How can you apply this wisdom?
- If you are in a job search and are getting depressed because recruiters don’t get back to you, just say to yourself. SW-SW-SW-SW. It’s true, someone is waiting, maybe just not this potential employer. Carry on until you get through…
- If you are pitching new business, and the prospective client doesn’t choose you, just say to yourself, SW-SW-SW-SW. There’s plenty of business out there. Resilience is your middle name. Learn what you need to learn from this experience, and then move on to the next potential client.
- If you inviting people to your fundraising event and they unsubscribe to your evite, don’t take it personally. People are busy and so are you. And there are plenty of other generous people just waiting to be invited. Say to yourself, SW-SW-SW-SW and send out more invitations!
- If you are managing a project and some team members are not responding and not actioning their responsibilities. Smile, breathe, and remain calm. Repeat silently to yourself, SW-SW-SW-SW. Then go and have a respectful conversation with them.
- If you are selling a product that no one seems to want, do not fret. SW-SW-SW-SW. Keep on sharing the opportunity. Maintain your enthusiasm and belief in the product and how it can help people. Someone is waiting and needing what you have to offer. Find more people.
- If you are giving a presentation and notice that some people are paying more attention to their Smartphone than you, smile as you repeat inside your head, SW-SW-SW-SW. Direct your attention to the people who are listening actively. Engage the engaged.
- If you write a blog or publish a newsletter and see that people are unsubscribing, do not lose heart. Your thought-leadership matters and is playing an important role in someone’s life right now. Repeat the mantra, SW-SW-SW-SW, and keep blogging!
Getting through to yourself
It’s not just communication that is about getting through; it’s also true of motivation. You first need to get through to yourself. You can’t allow your inspiration to be deflated by what other people think or say or do. It’s what you think, believe and do that really matters.
So go find a mirror look at your reflection, and say out loud:
Some will. Some won’t. So what…Someone’s waiting.
Now…….back to working toward your dream!