“There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration.” – Richard Branson
There are many things that get me annoyed in life. There are many pet peeves that irk me. Things like standing in line. When people don’t drive the speed limit. Over-eager sales people. Loud commercials. The TTC. People on the TTC. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
I’ve been learning to let a lot of that go, as the only thing I can control in life are my reactions (or proactivity) towards other things. I have become pretty good at being calmer in these situations and not playing the victim the majority of the times that I can feel myself getting annoyed.
Until this week, it was always just life. These things happen, you log it in your mind as something to learn from, and you move on. Then I had a delicious vanilla tea with a good friend of mine. As we were chatting and brainstorming, a flood of ideas came to me and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. It started with us complaining about a topic near and dear to us since it’s essential in building a business – networking. We were tired of old-school networking events and how daunting it can sometimes feel to meet new people, and how draining it can be to talk about the weather 20 times. Then we both looked at each other and we knew we had an idea of how to make it better.
Change is good.
I have spent countless hours complaining about the many things in the city of Toronto that annoy me. I have spent many hours feeling my blood boil when someone makes me wait in line (Please note: this is not when I choose to buy something. This is usually when there is a guest list involved and there is no one inside, yet they make you wait outside anyway to make it look busy). I have chosen to feel helpless when it comes to making change in the world. But the truth is that your hatred (or annoyances) can fuel change. Many of the things that we access every day (smart phones, transportation, digital cameras) were invented by people tired of the status quo.
So you mean to tell me that my annoyances can help me change the world? In a word, yes.
I truly believe that you need to be the change you want to see in the world. I wrote about this in a blog post a few weeks ago, but let me example this for you. If you want to receive more love from your spouse, show him/her more love. If you want people to smile at you, smile at others. If you want someone to reach out to you, reach out to them. Be the example you crave in your life.
Here are three things that you can do to get on the path of being an example:
1. Note Annoyances
When you get into a situation where you feel annoyed, note it and move on.
2. Best Case Scenario
What would you want to see from this? What would be the ideal situation if you could change it? The bigger your ideas the better. Just be open to possibility. Think big. No answer is stupid, and someone didn’t just break the speed of sound record by thinking in terms of what’s around right now.
3. Bridge the Gap
What could be done to bridge the gap from where you were annoyed to what you want to experience? What would be the ideal situation for you. Chances are, if you think something is great, other people will too.
You could brainstorm with a friend. Or you could speak to the manager at a store where you received horrible customer service. You could write a letter to your city councillor. You could just invent your own solution and become an entrepreneur. Whatever the case is, you have the power to make it better.
Remember, you are creative, resourceful and whole. You have the power within you to create whatever it is you want to create. So get creative and make the world a better place. Or even if you just want to make your life better, you can start small. I would love to hear about what you are working on changing. I definitely plan on sharing once my idea takes more shape!