I listen to podcasts nonstop. I love listening to interviews with smart people, pioneers, innovators, and people who dare to step up and make the most of their lives. One of the best podcast interviews I have ever listened to was Episode 69 of Beyond the To Do List, where host Erik J. Fisher interviewed Alsion Vesterfelt on overcoming procrastination, building bridges, and taking leaps. I was struck by Alison’s courage on her journey to where she is now, how she created opportunities, and jumped forward to pursue her goals. One thing that really stuck with me from the interview, and was something I could instantly apply to my life, was Alison’s approach to the choices she makes in her life. She looks at everything that she “needs” to do, and sees her demands as choices, not chores or anything that is forced on her. By examining everything that we do, and being aware of the choices we have in our life, we open our lives, and find freedom in our actions.
Vesterfelt talked about her work, and the transitions she has gone through to get to where she is now. Along the way she had jobs she was not excited about, but once she was able to change her frame of reference, and shift her focus, she found more flexibility in what she chose to do. She began to understand that she chose to work because it would open future doors, or allow her to do things that she really wanted to do. She did not allow work to be an excuse preventing her from doing what she wanted. Alison worked hard to create opportunities, and as they grew, she found courage through her choices to go after her dreams.
By seeing my choices at work, and choosing to work the way I do, I feel as though I approach work better. By being aware that I chose to work were I do, I have a more positive attitude. I focus not on the job, but on what the job will allow me to do in the future, or what I will be able to take away from my job.
All of this choice connects to something I recently heard when working a basketball camp. Sean Farnham, a UCLA graduate and ESPN sideline reporter, was talking to a group of 9 to 11 year old kids about his journey and lessons, and told the kids about a coach he had recently met up with in the Los Angeles area. The coach gave Farnham a rubber wristband that he was wearing that day. The wristband said one word, “attitude”. When he was given the rubber band Farnham was told that the reason why attitude was the one thing the coach kept with him, was because attitude is the one thing we have complete control over, and the one thing we can choose at any time. Farnham talked to the kids about the importance of having a positive attitude not just with sports, but with every part of life. As he talked I could not help but connect the dots back to Vesterfelt’s interview on Beyond the To Do list. Choosing to have a great attitude at work, understanding the choices available to us, and being aware of the choices we make can help us be the best we are capable of becoming.
Since listening to Farnham and reconsidering Vesterfelt’s message I have worked hard to choose to have a great attitude at work, to choose to go to work and be a productive employee, and choose to grow and learn at work. By seeing what choices are available, and choosing to have the best attitude you can set yourself apart at work, and grow in any situation.