31 Jan Comfort is over-rated. What could you try for 6 days?
I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes we need to jump out of our comfort zones and try something new. Once, I suffered a crushing career blow that nearly led me to quit my job without notice. Nothing I did was working. Everything felt upside down, and my role had shrunk in scope and prestige. This, I think, happens to most of us, probably more than once.
I had enough self-preservation to not quit. And after spinning plans and rants and new career paths in my mind unproductively for an entire weekend, a radical thought occurred. What if I did none of those things?
What if I ignored the situation and focused on something bigger, brighter? What if I shifted my focus away from futile plans, unaligned strategies, panic, drama, and the daily grind?
And then I decided all I would do was show up cheerfully for the next 60 days.
Why cheerful? It was unambiguous and precise. I’m cheerful or I’m not. It was unexpected. And it was weird enough to require all my focus, focus away from the circumstances that made me want to pitch an epic temper tantrum, thus cementing career suicide.
I will not say that this was easy; I’m an optimist, but sometimes a moody one. But it wasn’t hard either.
Why 60 days?
The 60 days was arbitrary, but in hindsight, I’m not sure I could have trusted myself with anything less. So for 60 days, I practiced being cheerful in all sorts of settings. And to my shock, I was able to maneuver with freedom I’d never experienced before. I could say things – tough things – and people would hear them, and even agree. Agree.
Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner? Cheer and work? It was so counter-intuitive, so simple. But not simplistic, as you might expect. I’m not saying that you should try my “Six Steps to Being Cheerful at Work.” No one wants to read that.
But you could experiment. And instead of 60 days, how about six?
So here’s the prompt: What could you do that’s unexpected, unambiguous, and weird enough to require all of your focus for the next 6 days?
What could you try for 60 days?
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