I might have mentioned that I had my first little misunderstanding at work last week. I thought one thing, my manager thought another, and the resulting minor collision left me a little metaphorically bruised.
It’s been a few days since that little skirmish, and for the first two days I let my fears and insecurities come to the fore. As a writer I’m always playing out scenarios in my head, conjuring up all sorts of crazy stories from random coincidences. It’s a useful skill when I’m working on the plot of the new book (which I really MUST get on with!). It’s not a useful skill when I use that most powerful of all tools, my imagination, to think about the possible consequences of that skirmish.
And as we all know, how you feel has a direct impact on how you behave. How you behave has a direct impact on your results, and those behaviours and results lead to interactions with others. So clearly, allowing my imagination to get carried away with worst-case scenarios is not healthy. I needed to nip it in the bud quickly, before it started affecting my work. Luckily, those two days were the weekend.
A good chat and some excellent advice from my siblings (thanks very much guys!), led to a more reasoned assessment of the situation, which both agreed was trivial. They pointed out that after three awful contracts I was almost expecting something to go wrong. And they were right (don’t you hate when that happens?) – I was thinking this contract really was too good to be true. And so of course I was looking for something to go wrong. Luckily for me, that something was tiny, I’m rectifying it already, and my manager will hopefully forget all about it.
So what can I learn from this? Well, I think it might be this – if I change my thinking, it’ll change my attitude. If I change my attitude it’ll change my actions. If I change my actions, it’ll change my results. So I’m choosing to think it’s all going to be fine, or better than fine. I also came across Einstein’s Three Rules of Work, which felt particularly apt…
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity – Albert Einstein
So my plan going forward? I decided to take my own advice from chapter one of the book – here’s a little excerpt…
“What is important is that you take emotions and other people’s agendas out of it – make it only about the work.”
So that’s exactly what I’m going to do – make it all about the work. I hope that helps you next time your feathers get a little ruffled at work too.