It was Tuesday the week before we hosted our first event of the season, and it just boiled over. Farmer Hugh’s a pretty nice guy most of the time, but he remains completely imperfect. I boiled over. I sharpened my words and darkened my tone.
I lit into the crew of teenagers who had worked all summer getting the fun park ready. I was venting frustration I didn’t even know I had on a good group of kids.
External pressures and circumstances. We are all under a new set of external forces during this incredible change in circumstances with Covid-19. Without careful attention to our internal dialog, those external influences begin to change our internal mindset.
You’ve seen this in kids. When they don’t get to hold the toy they want, an external circumstance, they cry. When a teenager flunks a pop quiz, they rage about the ‘terrible teacher’ who ‘can’t communicate ideas.’
There I was, a full-grown man, behaving like a moody teenager. I had let the external pressures rule my emotions. Management FAIL.
Luckily, I have someone in my work life who will call me out when I drop the ball. Do you have someone you can count on? A friend, spouse, coach or advisor? After I listened to a recap of my behavior placed in perspective, I realized what I needed to do.
Even at my advanced age, I realized that you never stop growing up. I’ve written books on management, and still fumble the ball each season! It doesn’t mean my book isn’t helpful. (Here’s the link if you don’t have the book yet.) Instead, it reminds me that you never stop growing up.
I apologized to the crew. The angry person I was briefly had nothing to do with their efforts. My outbursts had no basis in coaching and improving their performance. The team just happened to be in front of me when I boiled over from everything building pressure inside me. It had nothing to do with them.
How to guard your grown-up self. It can happen to anyone. Pressure must eventually be relieved one way or another. Here are some tactics to make sure you are guarding your grown-up self:
- Give yourself time. Just 10-15 mins a day to think through how you are feeling, and how you were feeling throughout the day. Talk things through in your head to figure out why you felt how you felt.
- Give yourself a break. One of the most effective messages I heard was “what if you didn’t have to push everyone, everything and every project so hard all the time?” I am ambitious and internally motivated. If I find a spare minute, I try to fill it with the next thing and the next thing. All that drive is great, until it eats you alive. You are not and cannot be master of the universe, so give yourself a break and allow yourself some mental margin.
- Limit screen content. There aren’t a lot of good movies and TV shows, people. There’s a lot of content, but most of it is not uplifting. Try limiting your screen intake to 1-2 hours, so you can go to bed.
- Get some sleep. Just stop it. Business people are always comparing workload, “Yeah, I put in 18 hours today on that grind.” Friends, sleep is the new luxury. I think people should start comparing the hours of sleep they get like they compare hours worked. “Oh, yeah. We get 8-9 hours a night. It’s pretty amazing.” The easiest, cheapest way to pamper yourself is to go to turn off your TV and go to bed an hour earlier.
You never stop growing up. I thought by now, I would have mastered living, mastered being me. It would seem, however, that I still have some growing up to do.
Be well, my friends,
PS Sunflower Festival is coming Aug 7, and we’re opening. If you didn’t know about our Sunflower Mastermind program, I’ll share that it has been a great source of help and support throughout this pandemic. We can go deeper in that group than we can on a Facebook group or with an encouraging email. Consider joining next year if you are holding a festival.
PS Want to know how we SOLD OUT our festival? Each day we’ll send you a one minute video with an encouraging thought to set your day out right. We call it 30 Days of Positive Energy and it’s completely FREE.
PPPS Need some personal encouragement? Each day we’ll send you a one minute video with an encouraging thought to set your day out right. We call it 30 Days of Positive Energy and it’s completely FREE.