I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. We were talking about work and the possibility of working outside the home, or even volunteering somewhere. Her kids are all in school and she was looking for something to do. But as we talked, she admitted she was scared. Scared of the unknown. Scared of uncertainty. Scared of working and learning a new job. Scared of trying. Scared of failing. She’s been raising kids for the past 15 years and now she’s looking to do something else and she’s being held back by fear. It was almost as if she didn’t feel worthy or qualified to find a job or do some of the things she’s always wanted to do.
This conversation got me thinking about a book I read recently called “What to do when it’s your turn (and it’s always your turn)” by Seth Godin. Oh my word I dig anything Seth Godin writes. This photo of the first page sums up the point of the book (it’s a good one):
We live in a world where possibilities are endless. And we no longer have to wait for someone to pick us–for someone to tell us it’s our turn to do whatever it is we want to do. We don’t need permission. We get to do what we want to do. It’s OUR turn. Not because someone picks us or told us it was our turn, but because it’s always our turn. Inherently we each have the capability to do things. To “speak up, stand out, solve an interesting problem, write sing, invent, create….”
One of the hurdles we can face when trying to do things, accomplish things (ANY “things”) is being in the mood.
A similar scenario like this plays out in the book. Imagine you’re having a day. You know, a day. Anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. The weather is bad, you think you’re getting a cold, a friend stood you up for dinner, and your kids have been rotten all day.
You’re feeling entitled to the bad mood you’re developing.
But then a good friend you haven’t heard from for awhile calls. Just to say hello and how much you mean to her. You walk in your front door and your husband has dinner fixed and the house picked up. And your kids are bathed and ready for bed.
After such a scenario Godin asks:
“How’s your mood now?
Here’s the real question: if all it takes to turn a lousy day into a great one is a little dinner party and a phone call, why would you ever choose to have a lousy day? Even better, why would you let someone else have a lousy one?
The people who need you need you to fix their mood, even when you don’t feel like it. And we need you to learn to fix your own mood so you can be the one who fixes the rest of us. The mood-fixer is a precious resource, and you can learn how to be that resource.
Do what you should do. Your mood will follow.”
I think of that phrase nearly every day. When I’m not in the mood to do something. Something I know I want to do (or at least I want the end results that come from doing certain things) but I can’t quite get in the mood to do it. “Do what you should do. Your mood will follow.”
Sometimes I just have to repeat it over and over in my head as I plunge ahead on making things happen in my life.
It’s our turn to DO those things we’ve wanted to do. No excuses. Face the fears. Make things happen. Get our mood to follow our actions if need be.
It’s your turn. It’s always your turn.