I asked someone about a work project and they responded with “you’re on my to-do list.”
I smiled and said that was kind of forward and a blush started to roll across their face with a series of words expressing their apologies for the confusion.
“Well, I did think that was rather bold of you, but I suppose I can let it go.”
The Cheshire cat grin that accompanied it helped them realize I wasn’t serious and I watched a deep sigh of relief issue forth.
I shifted gears slightly and mentioned that I had completed more than 50 percent of the items on my to-do list and received a follow up remark from someone just behind my left shoulder.
“No one is impressed when your list is all of four items long.”
I nodded my head and agreed, “true but there are an additional seven subheads for each line item so we’re actually looking at 28 items in total which translates to more than 14 items checked or crossed off.”
They cocked their head and said they didn’t know if I was that fast or that efficient.
“I am good at taking care of unfinished business. It is what I do.”
“Maybe you are just good at pushing BS.”
“Depends on who you talk to.”
I smiled and walked away, “time to get back to it.”
Spent a few minutes speaking with the younger Mr. Wilner about his job and gave him some advice and insight based upon 30 plus years in the workforce.
There was another one of those moments where I heard my voice and my father’s merge into one and two things happened.
First, I remembered this particular scene and thought about how I have often thought it could be interesting to experience it.
Interesting being the operative word because that provides room for it to be infuriating, irritating, exciting and interesting or all of the above.
But it brought some pleasant memories of sitting on the other side of that discussion and hearing my father’s opinion/advice on work.
When I was a younger man I often disagreed with it but as I aged I recognized much of it was solid and that my efforts to be my own man didn’t require my disagreeing with everything he said.
It helps to have held a variety of positions because it provides real life experience and insight that is hard to gather when you haven’t been doing things long enough to understand practical application of theory,
Anyhoo, I made a point to express the importance of understanding that success in life be it work or personal is a combination of Luck Meets Faith Meets Hard Work.
In simple terms it means hard work is the engine that you use to drive yourself forward.
Faith is the belief that your hard work will be recognized by coworkers and management and luck is the secret sauce that is sprinkled upon you that helps move things along.
Don’t mistake that to believe you never have to advocate for yourself or take steps to make sure you’re seen. Hard work doesn’t mean you don’t take steps to work smarter, not harder either.
The only thing you can control is your effort and how you respond to what goes on around you. Your effort can help drive “luck” but you have to recognize some people will secure opportunities you want to have faster than you do and or with less work.
You need to use your emotional intelligence not to let that stuff get in the way of your ability to perform. Life isn’t always fair so control what you can and keep pushing forwards.
More often than not the ability to move through your “to-do” list effectively and efficiently will yield positive results.
Per special request here is a quick set of links to previous posts.