A few weeks ago, I was having a terrible week at work. I mean the whole thing was just a waste of calendar space. That Friday, my boss and I were getting coffee at the same time and he asked how my week had gone. For about a nanosecond, I considered a bald-faced lie. Confession: lying makes me feel light-headed. At that moment, I hadn’t even had my first cup o’ Joe yet; so, the risk of passing out or something equally as embarrassing was high. I opted for the truth. I admitted that had I been unconscious for the week, it might have been worse, but that was probably the only way I would have cratered more effectively. To my surprise, he laughed.
Now, this is one of the reasons I have come to like and respect this man: after I told him what I had done to address the issue, he took this opportunity to encourage and instruct me. He took a crappy situation and used it to make me a better agent and a better person.
He pointed out that I had done the three things necessary to truly rectify the problem:
- identify and acknowledge it,
- develop a plan to correct it,
- implement the plan.
As a result, my professional life has improved dramatically. By now you should know that I just cannot leave well enough alone and that my mind draws parallels between things – sometimes even unlikely things – in this case, between my current professional challenge and my personal weight loss one.
I had identified and acknowledged that I had gained weight – step one. I had developed a plan to correct it – step two. But, I had yet to fully implement that plan – misstep three. Without implementation, the first two steps were nothing more than a mental exercise which is great, don’t get me wrong. But I can do mental push-ups all day long, they ain’t gonna get me back into a size six, you know what I mean?
Step three renewed my zest for exercise which has lead me back into kickboxing. I do love that and can already feel progress. I had to lay out of class on Saturday to rest my fussy knee, but I’ll find the right balance there, I’m sure. Since my son is home from college, I’m doing some weight lifting with him. That helps me switch it up, keep it interesting, build muscle and respect the knee. It’s just all around good stuff.
Bottom line: using just two steps doesn’t work. As it turns out, Schoolhouse Rock was right – three really is a magic number.