Entrepreneurial Quote of the Day:
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Hello Fabulous Women!
Quite a few years ago, sometime in the late nineties, I made a decision. Looking back on nearly ten years of living by this decision, I have to say that it is unquestionably one of the smartest and sanest things I have ever done, and it will continue to impact me positively for the rest of my life.
It was a very simple decision, and I offer it to each of you now, and invite you to make the same decision for yourself, if you wish.
This is it: I decided that, from that day forward, for the rest of my life, I would never take it personally when someone didn’t return my phone call.
That’s all. From then until the day I die, absolutely everyone has been given, in advance, a full and inexhaustible pardon. Doesn’t matter if it’s business, friend or family. It’s a full pardon for everybody.
Do you have any idea how much angst, hurt feelings, irritation, judgementalness, frustration, uncertainty, isolation, anger etc., I have been saved over the past ten years? And therefore how much clarity, peace of mind, enjoyment, connection, understanding, acceptance and happiness I have been able to experience instead?
How does this work, you may wonder. What do I do when someone doesn’t call me back? (FYI, sometime along the way I had to expand this to include emails.)
First, here’s what I don’t do: I don’t make up stories about why they didn’t call or write back, thinking I don’t matter to them, telling myself they are selfish and inconsiderate, wondering if they are mad at me, wondering if they’ll be mad if I call or email again, making excuses for them – all that craziness, which I fully admit, I certainly used to do.
What do I do? It’s very simple, I just call them again.
Really, that’s it. That’s all that needs to happen, when you think about it and take away all the drama, so that’s what I do. One way or another, we get through to each other, which was the whole point of calling in the first place.
What I have found is that 99% of the time, there was absolutely nothing going on other than the other person was just as busy as I am and was grateful to me for being persistent.
On the extremely rare occasions when there was “something going on” — something the other person was upset or disturbed about — my willingness to just keep trying to connect without adding any additional drama or interpretation of my own has been even more important, both in business and in my personal life.
You may think this sounds too simple to have a big impact, or maybe too hard to actually live by. If you are someone for whom non-returned phone calls are a pet peeve, you may think this sounds impossible, but for you, sweetheart, this one could save your life if you really take it on.
So go ahead, create your own full pardon in perpetuity – or just for a few months if you aren’t sure and you just want to try it out. I expect that if you do, you’ll end up signing on for life as I have, and never look back. There’s something about granting absolutely everyone a full pardon for life that makes you realize you are a lot bigger than you think.
And that’s a good experience for all of us.