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Coach Jackie’s Life Lesson #1

As I look back over my life, one of the most  profound lessons I’ve learned was to not “catastrophize.”  The president of our company, L. B. McKelvey, one day told me that I “catastrophize.” I asked him if that was a word.  OOPS!  He said: “It doesn’t matter! What matters is that you begin to recognize when you make mountains out of mole hills.”

After that talk, I began spending time in an “out of body experience.”  I tried to watch my own reactions from an outside perspective.  Well, it didn’t take more than a day to recognize that he was absolutely right!  I did make a bigger deal out of things than was necessary. It’s almost as if I liked sharing “drama” with others.

So, I began to calm down and take things for what they were, and no more. 

Then I heard someone, somewhere say: “Whenever something happens to you that you didn’t want, didn’t expect or don’t appreciate, stop and ask yourself this question: Is this an inconvenience or a tragedy?  And then, respond (not react) appropriately.”

In the big scheme of things, 9/11 was a tragedy, a terminally ill child is a tragedy, but a driveway easement that was signed incorrectly and will hold up closing for 3 days is an inconvenience. 

That, my friends, has changed my life and the lives of many around me as I share that message in my teaching.

We should stop reacting and begin responding appropriately to the situation.  And, I would suggest, we need to STOP THE DRAMA.  We can actually destroy our own deals and relationships by reacting emotionally and creating drama.

I wish I could give credit to the giver of “Is this an inconvenience or a tragedy?” because it has changed my life.  I don’t know whether it was a CD, a tape, a book or a speaker.  But whatever it was, it was profound.

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  1. 3 Comment(s)

  2. By Kim Noble | Reply

    I loved this Life Lesson! Jackie taught this in Skill Builders class back in 2000 and it was a great reminder. Thanks for sharing this again, Jackie! You rock!

  3. By Galynn | Reply

    Love that lesson. So many times I take things personally I guess I am putting myself in my clients shoes. But I will step back and rethink the situation.

  4. By Pat Hackley | Reply

    Hi Jackie,

    Really enjoyed the webinar. Hope to see you in SFO. I get there on the 5th of November.

    Pat Hackley

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