On January 1, 2010, a post on Facebook from Polar Bears International reminded me of an old proverb I once read (and wrote down) from the chalkboard at a science center where I attended special classes:
There are three kinds of people:
- those who MAKE things happen
- those who WATCH things happen
- those who wonder WHAT HAPPENED?
For my whole life, I have longed to be the one who makes things happen. And for the last three years, I've been pushing new web design, new technology, and social media to a marketing department that is still firmly rooted in newspapers and "the big three" TV networks. As a geeky web-developer-turned-web-marketer, I encounter many frustrations with "the way we always do things," and I am continuously told to be patient and focus on change via "baby steps." Baby steps are very painful for a goal-oriented new-technology-driven overachiever. In the past it would have driven me right out the door.
Then I WALK out the door... and survey my workplace. I WORK at a ZOO. This is why I took this job. I am surrounded by the wonders of nature. I am continuously influenced by people who ARE working to make change. They give me faith that the world can be a different place - a place where we respect all living things and the world we share. When I start believing I'm useless, one of those people tells me he/she appreciates what I'm doing. It's inspiration to get up and fight for one more day. It's not hard to find.
A friend and fellow triathlete on Twitter sent me a link to read on New Year's Eve after we had a discussion about "inspiration." It is a blog article from Seth Godin: Seven Years Gone. It gave me hope. Hope that it's ok to respectfully bow out of the gossipy conversations, to put my headphones on instead of listening to "what happened on American Idol last night," or to not go out drinking just to have drinking stories to tell at the office. It may not get me promoted, but in seven years, will that really matter? My job, my passion, is to get our Zoo message to the people (and isn't that what marketing is all about?). And later that day, when I struggle to get my swim, bike, or run in, I'll remind myself that the alternative is to do nothing and watch my life go by.
It's 2010. Find your inspiration. And Happy New Year.