Call it fate, karma, the universe, God, a higher power...whatever feels good to you; but, I believe that sometimes you are meant to be at a certain place at a certain time. I was attending the FORTUNE Leadership Summit and had to duck out before the final keynote in order to catch my shuttle to the airport. I was saying goodbye to my clients on break when Lucie and Caroline offered to take me to the airport. Win-win! I could talk more with our clients and not miss the final keynote.
I settled back into my seat when a speaker took to the stage who was not on the agenda. His name was Rabbi Stephen Barrs.
The Rabbi asked us to picture our favorite day of our lives and write a “10” down next to that day. Mine was my wedding day. I know I’m supposed to say the birth of one of my children; but, I wasn’t surrounded by everyone I loved while sipping champagne, dancing and lip synching during childbirth.
He then asked us to rate yesterday and today on the same scale. Finally, what would we rate tomorrow? I rated it an 8. I figured, I’ll be working from home; but, have a lot of catch up work to do.
Rabbi Barrs went on to say the one thing I was supposed to hear that day:
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
If, like me, you mentally rated your tomorrow as anything less than a “10,” your expectations will live up to your attitude.
He went on to say:
I changed my “8” to a “10.” I shouldn’t go into tomorrow lamenting on all the work I have to catch up on. I should go into tomorrow with the positive intent on being productive, adding value, helping others, and having a kick a-- day!
Recently, my middle son, Charlie, was considering running for Mayor of his 5th grades’ BizTown. He later decided he wouldn’t run because “six smarter kids” were also running. I explained to Charlie that, first of all, he IS smart, but smarter doesn’t always equate to being a better leader. He already demonstrates being a leader by relating to people at all age groups, his infectious personality and humility. I went on to urge him to run because we should always stretch ourselves and take risks. This will help him be a great leader one day. In the evenings at the conference, Charlie and I worked on his speech via Facetime and Google Docs. After hearing Rabbi Barrs, I decided to help Charlie envision a “10” on his speech. Why just settle for the experience of giving a speech? He still was a winner either way, but he needs to set his expectations on knocking it out of the park. I said, “Charlie, you’re going to rock tomorrow’s speech.”
Today, Charlie is the Mayor of BizTown. At the end of his speech, he said “swagger!” and glided back to his seat. Thank you, Rabbi, for giving Charlie his swagger.
The conference had some incredible speakers, but, Rabbi Barrs, in his 20 minutes of unscheduled advice, was the nugget I was supposed to hear. It was the attitude adjustment I needed, and just in case you are in the same boat of needing a shot of glass-half-full, I wanted to share it with you.