Pump up the volume!
In the summer of 1993 I drove across country in my 1986 Honda Prelude; my favorite car of all time. I bought it used in 1987, and gave it to my daughter in 1996. I put over 250,000 miles on it. Of course, I believe about 100,000 of those miles were because I got lost so much. Amazingly, I still get lost today even with a GPS!
While driving I listened to Meatloaf’s “Bat out Of Hell” cassette tape. When I say I listened to it, I really mean I sang along with him – everyday; all day long. When a song I particularly liked came on I turned up the volume and sang at the top of my lungs. I was alone. After three days my voice was hoarse and my hearing gone. When my voice finally gave out I lip synced the words into my rear view mirror. Again, it is important to me that you know I was alone.
When we like a song we pump up the volume.
Now imagine there was something about yourself that you wanted to pump up the volume on. Not sure what that is, well, not too surprisingly I have an exercise that might help you. I want you to think of two or three individuals that you don’t like. If not liking is too strong, choose individuals that maybe just annoy you. They can be people you know or know about, or they can be historical figures, movie stars, politicians, etc. Then list the quality or qualities about that person that you don’t like. More than likely those qualities are underdeveloped in you. And, I want you to turn up the volume on them.
I first did this exercise in the early 90s, and I chose Muhammad Ali and a professional colleague. I believe that Muhammad Ali IS the greatest boxer of all time, but I couldn’t stand his bragging. My professional colleague was also a business competitor, and he was always OVERSELLING his organization. When I looked at those two traits, bragging and overselling, I realized that they were underdeveloped in me, and I was limiting myself.
For instance, at one point in my career I was in Philadelphia and my boss was in Dallas. The only way he knew what I was accomplishing was if I told him, and that was very difficult for me. My gremlin would say, “Don’t brag!” But being proud of what you do and celebrating your successes with others is really not bragging.
And, by looking at the annoying qualities of the professional colleague of mine I was able to identify another limiting belief. I was being too much of a team player, and I “sacrificed” myself and my organization for what I believed to be the greater good. Ultimately, that did not serve me or my organization.
Where do you want to pump up the volume in your life? Who can you learn from?
This is my last blog of the year. Elizabeth and I are going to Mexico in early December, and then I am going to take the rest of that month off. Part of that time will be devoted to working on a coaching book that Cathleen O’Connor and I are collaborating on. I have just finished my EBook which contains, “The Best of My Blogs”, and it will be available through my website soon.