Seth McColley Headline Animator

Monday, November 30, 2015

Motivation Monday: Let's Go Sailing!

"A smooth sea never yielded a skilled sailor" - English Proverb


Today I'm sharing one of my all-time favorite quotes. This one has come in handy, on so many occasions, over the course of my career. It's a reminder, to me, that nothing worthwhile comes easy and that the trials and tribulations that we endure (and overcome) make us better professionals, better employees, better managers...better people. 

I've found that the hardest part of becoming a "skilled sailor" isn't actually surviving the tough times and the twists and turns, but rather learning from the mistakes of my past and finding a meaningful way of sharing that wisdom with others. Weathering the storms of our lives and our careers is something we've all got to do. Whether we want them or not, the storms are going to come. But what are you going to do with that wisdom, those experiences and those lessons learned...that's the real question.

I'd encourage you to seek out one person this week, to mentor, and do your part to help them become a "skilled sailor". 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Motivation Monday: Let's Get This Started (Again)!

About 15 years ago, I started sending out motivational quotes (you guessed it, on Mondays) to my colleagues at AT&T Wireless. What started out as a small, simple thing in the Chicago/Detroit markets blossomed into something bigger and better than I ever imagined. Initially, I just sent an email to the group distribution list for the two markets I was supporting, with a pledge to stay away from two topics - politics and religion. Simple enough, right?

As the weeks went on, the feedback started rolling in. For the most part, people appreciated the quotes and I got a ton of encouragement to keep it going. Some folks weren't as into it and asked to be removed from the distribution list. No harm, no foul. But now I had to create a custom distribution list in order to remove individual names. Pretty soon, I had a distribution list that I was curating, adding more and more people as the weeks and months went on. Over the years, my personal distribution list grew to about 150 names. Some of the people on my list were people I'd never met and/or connected with, they'd found out about my motivational messages from someone on my list and asked me to include them. This was, obviously, before tools like LinkedIn and Twitter arrived on the scene. Good, old fashioned e-mail.

Fast forward to today and there are no motivational messages on Mondays. My distribution list is a printed email, sitting in my desk at home. A few years ago, for no real reason at all, I stopped sending out my Monday messages. It wasn't a conscious decision, it just happened. Like some many other things in life, I got pulled in other directions, other priorities came up and the weekly messages fell off my radar. Until now.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed sharing the quotes I selected and quite frankly, the high I got from others when they told me how much they appreciated my message and why. So, I'm rebooting the Motivational Message and calling it Motivation Monday (#momonday). I hope you'll follow along.

Which brings me to my quote for the day. Actually, you'll get two for the price of one today. First, because they're both fitting. Second, because it's my blog and I can do what I want : )

I'm in the middle of a job search right now, which means that I have some extra time to think, to reflect, and...to do household chores that have been neglected. So as I was trimming my overgrown hedges yesterday, I got to thinking about my job search and how I've been blown away by how much a few, specific people in my life have helped me during this time. People who have humbled me by their eagerness to help, willingness to make introductions and their genuine interest in helping me out. People I would've never expected it from. Not because of who they are, but because of the relationship that we have. Some of these folks are long-time colleagues that I've recently reconnected with and some of them are loose acquaintances. Just proves that people will surprise you. I couldn't help but think of the famous Anne Frank quote, 

"Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart."

So, while this never started out to be an "I'm thankful for..." post, I am truly thankful for a few folks who have restored my faith in humanity and been a huge support these last few weeks. A good reminder, for me, to pay it forward as often as I can.

The second quote is one of my favorite and one that I think of quite a bit. As most folks can attest, being in the middle of a job search can be a grind. It's easy for some (not me) to get depressed and feel insecure and hopeless. The reality is that the struggles we're each going through are nothing compared to what others are going through. In a job search, you meet A LOT of different people, who are all in different stages and coming from different places. Every day I'm reminded of this quote below from Socrates,

"If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart"

We've all got troubles, no doubt about it. But when you compare your own struggles with what some others are dealing with, it tends to put things in perspective. It's also a good reminder to never assume anything about anyone. None of us have any idea what kinds of struggles, battles and demons another person is fighting day in and day out.

So, there you go. Two quotes for the price of one, a reboot of the weekly motivational messages and a healthy dose of gratitude and thankfulness this week.

Have an awesome week and a Happy Thanksgiving!

ps. I am 'job search' mode, so be sure to check out my LinkedIn profile and hit me up if you come across an awesome HR opportunity!