Skill vs Will

This past week I had to go through mandatory management training at work. I state it as if it were a chore that should have a big ol’ check box next to it as I quickly move on to the next task. Secretly, though, I majorly geek out for days like this. I learned a lot and I was lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals from the company in groups extremely different from mine. It gave us a chance to attempt to see things from the other side of the lens. Three things, however, were key takeaways for me that I think apply well beyond the corporate environment.

1. All situations can be addressed from two angles, with two different mentalities. Skill or will. To shed some light – does your staff need direct training on the task at hand, or do they need emotional support and reinforcement on the will and healthy mindset of their job in general.

2. The second piece that hit home was the first thing to come out of the instructors mouth, I believe. This was solely meant to be an attention grabber to get everyone super focused and hone in on themselves – and maybe stop chugging their coffee for caffeine support. It was a nudge in the right direction to help us decide to commit to the day. It wasn’t necessarily brought up repetitively, or ever again for that matter, but it definitely did resonate with me. The only thing you should ever focus on changing is YOU.

There is no use in saying that you do not have enough resources, enough people, or enough time. If you believe any of these to be true – rephrase the question. How can you more effectively utilize your resources? How can you get more out of your team? How can you make current tasks more efficient? You see, it all stems with what you do with exactly what you have.

3. What is your superpower? Just like all typical group classes we began the day by going around the room to introduce ourselves. This time, however, we weren’t allowed to say what our title was or what we did in the organization. The only thing he wanted us to share was what we believe we are best at enough to make a difference with it.

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All of these tactics translate far beyond the work environment. I hear so many people say that they wish they could do something that they see someone they admire do. Rather than saying I wish I could do what they do – rephrase to a question.

Skill:
How can I do what they do? What skills do I need to do what they do? Do I currently have those skills, or can I acquire them?

Will:
Do I have the will to do what they do? What will motivate me to get there? Am I willing to put in the effort to get the results?

Focus on what you can do. Once you focus in on yourself and determine exactly you need to do for yourself – the rest falls into place. No excuses, no finger pointing, no wishful thinking. Just concrete, attainable, fulfilling aspirations. The best place to start? Figuring out how to utilize your superpowers and those of others!

Just Start

We are women. We plan and we overthink to no end. And I feel like a lot of times we crush our own aspirations before we even let the world or other people do it for us. For some unknown reason we feel like we need to report why we are doing something or why we want something with complete explanations as to how this will be the best use of our time. Honestly, it hinders us. You want to know why? Because we cannot even begin to predict how something that we enjoy today can better us tomorrow. The limits are endless. There is absolutely no guarantee that what you are doing today will make your life better in the long run – so why not chose to do something that puts a smile on your face?

Let’s think about future you. When was the last time you were thankful for a decision you made that got you to where you are standing right now? Could you imagine your life and where you might be standing instead if you didn’t take that leap and make an ordinary (or maybe extraordinary) move?

I guess my point is – why can’t we just start something or just do something because it brings us joy or because it is the next lily pad we can see to jump to? Well, if there is anything I have gained comfort in during the last few weeks it is just that. I wanted to start Outrun Like a Girl to motivate myself through this next year and through the marathon. I also hoped to motivate one or two people along the way with me – and honestly, that would really be enough. I have come to realize that I am going to gain a lot more from this than I thought. After spending a few weeks connecting with girls through their blogs or instablogs I have found such comfort in a community of women who found something they love and are passionate about and just choose to talk about it – to share it. No strings attached. I’m very glad I started.

A bit of inspiration to “just go for it” from a book every runner should enjoy

“I should have been there when this ninety-five-year-old man came hiking twenty-five miles over the mountains. Know why he could do it? Because no one ever told him he couldn’t. No one told him he oughta be off dying somewhere in an old age home. You live up to your own expectations, man.”

– Born to Run by Christopher McDougal