It is nice to hear rumblings of the recession coming to an end, but we’re not yet in a “Take This Job And Shove It” economy.
While things at work may not be – shall we say – optimal… You know you’re not going to get sympathy about your “crappy job” at Friday-night drinks when at least one of the others sitting with you wishes they had a job – crappy or otherwise.
So what do we do?
What advice or inspiration can we rely on?
If this were the 70’s, I’d recommend putting up the “Hang In There” cat poster. Or for the guys, a “Keep On Truckin’…” sticker would have done it.*
We do have President Obama’s recent “Yes We Can!” slogan.
Once you start to look for motivational statements to thwart discouragement, you realize there is plenty of advice out there.
Grin And Bear It. If At First You Don’t Succeed. Persistence Pays.
While they’re all true, they also serve to remind us that life keeps cycling through good times and ungood. (Sometimes they’re doubleplusungood).
I wrote a piece a while back inspired by Tom Kelly’s book The Ten Faces Of Innovation and a Walt Disney-ism: Stick-To-It-ivity
One of the “Ten Faces” Tom describes in his book are Experimenters, people who, “strive for inspiration but never shy away from perspiration.”
He provides examples of those who didn’t let set-backs and short-term failure defeat them.
“We celebrate the Wright Brothers’ success at Kitty Hawk, but we often overlook the fact that they tested more than 200 wing shapes and risked their lives crashing seven different flying machines in pursuit of a practical airplane.”
“Few people stop to consider where the name for the ubiquitous spray lubricant WD-40 came from, but it refers to the thirty-nine failed experiment in coming up with the perfect water-displacement formula before the company finally achieved success.”
“British entrepreneur James Dyson reports that he built 5,127 unsuccessful prototypes of his cyclone vacuum before he hit on the design that made him a billionaire.”
Not mentioned in the book, but… Thomas Edison and his team… In searching for a material for the filament of the light bulb prepared and tested thousands and thousands of different materials before finding one that would burn, but not burn out.
Walt Disney had to approach more than 300 banks for loans to build the Disneyland theme park in California.
Walt told amusement operators he was going to build a clean, inviting park, where he would charge admission, and staff it with friendly people.
They laughed at predicted he would go broke within a year.
“You can’t keep cleaning restrooms all day! That’ll cost money!” And you can’t charge admission – nobody will come! And you don’t hire ‘nice people’ – you hire people who work cheap!”
He demonstrated what he called “Stick-To-It-ivity… dogged determination and persistence in the face of obstacles and opposition.**
So what am I suggesting?
Hang in there, baby!
- * The Keep On Truckin’… artwork – a comic panel from a series by artist Robert Crumb. He was illustrating the lyrics to the song “Truckin’ My Blues Away” by “Blind Boy Fuller.” He hadn’t secured a copyright for the art, and that led to it being used on bumper stickers, t-shirts, posters, 18-wheeler mud flaps, and a tattoo on Tony Danza.
- **How To Be Like Walt by Pat Williams
- Walt Disney photo, © Life Magazine