Kicking “Buts” And Slaying Giants

gladwellFinish the following sentences.

I would like to read more, but…

I would like to exercise more, but…

I would like to go to finish my degree, but…

I would like to have a great day, but…

I would like to be happy with my life, but…

I would like to make an impact in the lives of others, but…

How many of those sentences were you able complete as is?  How many were you able to kick the “but” to the side?  The sad and true fact is that there are so many wonderful, positive things many of us want to do with our lives until that silly “but” creeps its way in.  All of a sudden, there’s an excuse not to do something great and instead stay in our current situation.

In the book, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell shares countless examples of people who faced seemingly insurmountable odds, the likes of which few overcame.  And yet a select few did overcome and proved to the rest of us that it can be done–albeit a different way.

Among the many amazing stories he shared was that of David Boies.  Boies struggled through his school years with dyslexia.  Determined to be a lawyer, he made it through law school avoiding the insane amounts of reading by leaning on something similar to Cliff Notes.  He has overcome his inability to read well by honing an amazing ability to listen and memorize.  He is an incredibly successful lawyer, winning cases in front of the US Supreme Court!

This is just one of many examples of people who took a disadvantage and found another route toward greatness.  The fact of the matter is that if you really want to do something, no obstacle is too great.  So let me take a stab at this one.

In the short term, “I want to have a great day tomorrow, but I haven’t been feeling well.”  Instead I’m saying “I want to have a great day tomorrow and am choosing to say at least five encouraging things to the people I work with.”

In the long term, “I want to write a book based on our customer service blog, but I don’t have time.”  Instead I’m saying “I want to write a book and I’m going to put my goal on the calendar now.”

Those are real life scenarios.  I barely scratched the surface of David and Goliath.  Give it a read and do share what buts you’re kicking to the side in favor of achieving a goal you once thought impossible.

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Jeremy Watkin is Director of Customer Experience and Support at NumberBarn. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service and contact center professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, product marketing, social media, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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