What a year it has been! I’ve embraced many new adventures and eliminated, turned off and let go of what no longer serves me. I’ve met tons of new people, challenged my introverted self to get out there more, and even took on random things to expand my horizons.
Why do I do this to myself?
To Shake Up My Chi!
When you do the same things over and over again, you grind into a routine. Without realizing it your Chi becomes the same and before you know it, you’re grooving into lopsided Chi, otherwise known as a habit, and BAM!, ten years goes by.
I recently met up with a dear friend of mine, Terry Lancaster, that I haven’t seen in close to two years. He and I had coffee and tons of laughter ensued. You see, he was the one who gave me a chance on a very odd job, during one of my moments of shaking up my Chi. He went out on a limb and said YES to me, because of one trait that few people have: Positivity. And this trait is only possible when you have a growth mindset. One that’s enthusiastic and ready to say YES!
One thing I encourage everyone to do each year is to shake up your Chi. Take on something new that challenges and pushes you. For example, something really random that I did one year to shake up my Chi was I applied for a job to write car ads.
Yes you read that right!
I went to an online hiring agency and printed off twenty part-time jobs that could be done from home. I folded them all up, placed them in a basket and randomly pulled one out. It was a copywriting position for a marketing company that specialized in car ads. Had I ever done this before? NOPE! But I’ve been writing for years so how hard could it be?
To my surprise I got an interview! When I met the CEO, Terry, I was calm but excited and enthusiastic. He asked me if I had any experience and I was honest, NOPE! He said he had forty five highly qualified leads, so why should he even consider hiring me? Here’s what I know for sure I said, I’ll work harder, go the extra mile and I will do it with a smile. Not to mention, I’ll take this seriously. I’ll learn everything I need to learn on my own time and on my own dime. And I was exuberant because this position both excited and terrified me! Ummm, hello! I was shaking up my Chi!
Guess what? Two hours later I got the job!
It was suppose to be a 6 week contract job that turned into 18 months. The job was insane! I’d start getting emails around 11 AM in the morning from dealerships all over the country after their “pump up” sales meetings. “This week is a gorilla themed mega sale for CHEVY.” We need it in two hours!! Then the next one would come in, “Monster Truck Extravaganza for DODGE.” We need it by end of day!!!! Then another, “Superman has landed at Folsom FORD,” we need 30/60’s and a 90 TV by tomorrow!
I’d be in a frenzy writing 30 and 60 second radio and TV ads for dealerships all over the country. They couldn’t be more than 60-175 words so it taught me to get to the point, FAST! It also taught me how to get to the point, stay focused and get sh*t done! I’d be hyper focused on gorillas, monster trucks, and then Superman. haha
Terry loved how hyper focused I was, but more importantly I always had an incredible, crazy spin on my ads that none of the other male writers had: POSITIVITY and a lot of ridiculous humor. For instance, “when the wife comes to the dealership don’t be surprised to see her leaving in a FORD with Superman.”
I started out making $10 an ad, but the dealerships immediately took notice of my work and started requesting me. By the time I left I was making close to $250 an ad. Who knew I could write car ads?
I did. Well, not exactly, but I was willing to try!
It was an incredible journey and I had no intention of staying as long as I did, but Terry didn’t want to lose me. He of course was making a lot of money because of me, and had never had dealerships request a female writer! Unfortunately, I didn’t want to make a career out of car ads. I needed to find new ways to shake up my Chi and move on because at this point I knew the routine and it was no longer challenging me.
But as I sat with Terry over coffee a couple of weeks ago, we laughed and laughed about that “one time” a girl responded to an ad she had no business responding to, and a guy who said yes because she had “something.”
Since that adventure, I’ve written a book on the environment, learned to sew (yeah didn’t pick that up so well,) took improv classes and this year I became a real estate agent! Each journey challenges me, pushes me and forces me to expand my horizons (AKA shake up my Chi). Just try talking to someone by only asking questions for one minute and see how you do! (learned that from Improv)
As you approach the New Year, and a new decade, where can you challenge, push and expand yourself? What wacky thing can you say YES to that pushes you waaaaaayyyy out of your comfort zone? Every year I try to pick something new and now that we are presented with a new decade, it’s time to go big or go home!
- What can you say YES to that really makes you uncomfortable?
- What’s one thing you’ve wanted to do but have procrastinated to do?
- Where can you place yourself to see another perspective?
Many, many years ago when I was first out of college I took on the challenge to do contract work. I did this because Professor Lin said to honor everyone at every level. Always be kind. I wanted to have an understanding of people’s perspective. How does a waiter feel? How does a maid feel? How does your landscaper feel? In the course of a year I did seven different jobs and that experience has stuck with me to this day. Especially when I see someone looking down on a maid, or screaming at a waiter. At the end of the day we are all one and all the same but we ignore our Chi and let the ego run the show.
As we enter into this new decade I challenge all of you to shake up your Chi. Do something wild and uncomfortable. Break through those old habits and old routines and make new friends! Terry and I are still great friends and since my time with him he has become a contributing writer for Forbes magazine, did a TED talk, and became a New York Times Bestselling author! Holy Bananas! Say YES!! You never know, you may find yourself in an ocean of gorillas and monster trucks and making a ton of new friends a long the way!
Here’s to a joyous and monster truck New Year!!!
Love, light and Shui