A Labor Day Challenge – to Get You through the New Year and Beyond!

Last week I popped into Gelson’s Supermarket to pick-up a loaf of bread. Walking by the bakery section, I spotted a bag of dinner rolls and also grabbed those. The check-out clerk rang up the bread and rolls and then asked me, “For here or to go?”  Huh?  Confused, I said, “To go – don’t think I can eat all this bread in one sitting!”  He smilingly assured me, “The register prompted me to ask – I wouldn’t have on my own.  I’m not that crazy!”  Really?  Given that he “obeyed” the register when prompted to check if I was going to stay and eat a loaf of bread and six dinner rolls does make me wonder if he isn’t a teensy bit crazy!

Next day, I met with a group of managers at Pine Hill Industries (names changed) who were frustrated with inter-departmental communication. At one point, a manager who’s been with the company twenty years, smiled and said, “Hey, it’s the ‘Pine Hill Way’ and there’s nothing we can do.”  Really?  You can’t develop effective methods?

As Thoreau said – and as I remind my communication coaching clients:

“There is nothing so rare as an act of your own.”

Several years ago my friend Sue threw a Labor Day party for folks she hadn’t seen in a while. With drinks flowing, Ella, one of the guests, mentioned she recently did something she’d wanted to do for a long time and hadn’t allowed herself to do – she started playing guitar again.  And she loved it!

Soon, each of us was confessing to what we had wanted to do for a long time and had simply not gotten around to it.

That’s when we challenged each other – before the year was out to commit to doing something we’ve put off doing for way too long.

I dubbed this the “Go Big!  Go Bold! Challenge” – and you didn’t have to have a bucket of cold water dumped on you!

A study at the Wharton School of Business found that people are more likely to pursue a goal after a major holiday (for reasons too abstruse to explain here). Based on Sue’s party, I think Wharton is right, so why not use this Labor Day to create your own “Go Big! Go Bold!” Challenge?

Get together with friends, family and/or colleagues and confess – what have you wanted to do for way too long and have been putting off? 

In your own life, in your relationship with your “tootsie-wootsie” or even with your team, or department?

Define your own life.

As my coaching clients come to realize – for as long as you leave your life in the hands of other people (or cash registers or company mottos), you’ll never truly live your own life.

Have a dinner roll and dare yourself:  Go Big!  Go Bold!

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