Personal Development day has arrived at last and my life has been changed for the better!
There has been excited talk in the break room about this event for weeks. Everyone wants to be challenged, encouraged, and just generally feel really good about the school and the whole core values concept that we all support and care about.
Sustainablity and diversity are much better than tired old catch phrases like "Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity" or "Give me Liberty or Give me death," or even "Old Tippacanoe and Tyler Too," although I do have a soft spot for 52-40 or was that "54-40 or fight," or was it "if I were 52 I'd be a deck?"
But I digress...
This is a year of no raises, short budgets, and no field trips so it was a wonderful break to get Mr. Jim Smith Jr. as a motivational speaker.
Mr. Jim, who claim's "Energy" is his middle name, gave us a rousing pep talk and encouraged us to broaden our horizons.
The "if you are afraid of height's then jump out of a plane," school of motivational speaking has long been a favorite of mine.
It is a lot better than that old 1948 book, "How to stop worrying and start living," by Dale Carnegie that I've listened to on MP3 three times but then lost when iTunes upgraded and I can't find again...
See, I'm kind of negative guy and being told four times (after three close family members died in two months) that bereavement time is not vacation time, I may have been just a little on the peckish side.
But, just knowing that the college was spending top dollars to make us all feel good about ourselves (and reinforce core values of Diversity and Sustainability) made me forget my woes and shake everyone's hand that I could find.
I even did a couple hi-fives. I tried to hug a couple co-workers but they said they were not quite ready for that one yet. I said, push your horizons and show vulnerabilty and I'm thinking they will come around soon.
I'll trying hugging more people tomorrow.
But I was challenged. I'd even go as far as to say I've been "Jimpacted," (unless that phrase is trademarked
Here I was thinking that if I would have wanted to take risks and challenge myself I would have taken a high paying sales position, or driven truck, or done any number of jobs that would have given me more stress and higher pay. Frankly, I could have stayed a farmer and just borrowed more money.
But no, I opted out, I wanted a steady paycheck, free tuition for my daughter, insurance, retirement and a simple job close to home. I expected to work hard and to learn what it takes to do a good job as a groundskeeper. I wasn't thinking about getting much of a raise, I never expected the opportunity to be in management (even if I wanted to) and I thought I really don't need to talk to anyone outside my fellow groundskeeping crew members.
Now, I know that I've been holding myself back... The sky is the limit baby! In fact, that is even wrong, why set a ceiling? To Infinity and beyond. Heck, I'm ready to sell AmWay, Conklin, and Metaluka (or whatever the vitamin sale company is)
I picked up a lot of great catch-phrases like "Jimpacted," and a little bit of that watered down American Christianity with a faint hint of evangelicalism that we all do love. AND I got to hear him mention each one of his books which were of course, "on sale at the back table..."
As he ran around the room and challenged us to share our goals and dreams and be part of a team I just felt my whole world expand. I see my job in a new light.
I don't see weeds and leave blowing and lawn mowing as job, a task, a drudgery, NO! it is an opportunity, today grad green tomorrow the world!
I was able to reveal hopes and dreams to random strangers because being vulnerable and sharing and I do feel special, and boy howdy! we all are special.
The day was capped by the individual training classes. I had a good one one on conflict management which I needed to rationalize myself though the next JIMmpacted session and avoid another trip to HR. I wish I would have saved the speaker's handout but I drew rude cartoons on it and had to throw it away. He had a good acronym which gave rules for presenting and communicating about conflict. I am kind of frustrated that I can't remember half of it cause it was useful.
Lunch was healthy sandwiches with not much meat. I sure hope it was all non-GMO. I should have looked more closely. I got to meet a few more people which was nice because I wasn't required to talk about anything awkward and I could just get to know them in a natural manner.
After lunch we got diversity programming.
I'm so inspired by that section that it requires a whole separate blog post. Perhaps I will have calmed down a bit by then.
I tell you what...
I thought that being a groundskeeper and spending the day with full ear protection would just give me a little peace and quiet and give me a break from interacting with annoying people. After all, the secret to happiness is not telling all your personal information to every Tom, Dick and Harry you run into on the street but rather, CONTROLLED ACCESS...
But, I have been re-educated.
(I'm so not ready for the corporate world...)
(Another stream of consciousness post. You can proof read it yourself)
Here is a link so you can buy a book for yourself or for a friend, or get the whole set!!!
And now for some depressing news. I'm pretty sure my very favorite inspirational speaker has died. Click on my Zig Ziglar link and cry.
More dead in Venezuela as violence continues
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