Sunday, April 22, 2012

There Will Be Birds

Ethel didn't chase after birds today. 

Ethel’s been plagued by birds since the warm weather has hit.  During every walk, she lunges unexpectantly at a robin or sparrow that has the misfortune of pecking around on nearby ground, or a seagull with the nerve to fly in her "air space."

It’s a losing proposition.  The offending bird simply flies away, as Ethel lunges and leaps, strangling herself on her choke chain while painfully pulling my arm out of its socket.

For months on end, I made the habit of calmly telling Ethel, “Yes, there will be birds” when an aviary incident took place.

It seemed like forever for Ethel to get wise about avoiding this trigger to a negative reactive response.
But today, she got smart.  Despite the robins and sparrows rooting around in the lawn during our morning walk, and the seagulls zooming overhead, Ethel heeded that calm reminder “Yes, there will be birds” and responded in a more positive fashion – by simply not reacting.
It can be like that in the consulting world of business-to-business marketing, as well. 
Something unsettling happens, like a new client with fast-breaking projects, or a rash of proposals all due in the same week, or the feeling that it’s just one fire drill after another without break.  The temptation is to lunge wildly, get choked up, and let the unexpected situation trigger a negative reactive response.
Instead, like Ethel, perhaps it is wiser to remember the lessons of past situations, and realize that, yes, there will be birds.  The trick is to not let them get the best of us.   I’m slow to learn this lesson for sure.

This whole thought process reminds me of these wise words discovered many years ago:  where attention goes, energy flows.

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