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Thanks, Pam: Beach Games and Picking Yourself

Beach Games

I don’t talk much about my “day job” life on the Internet. Yeah, I’ve got a job that pays the bills and provides insurance like most authors, and frankly, I love it. I enjoy the work. I get to be creative with writing and with video promoting an amazing product. More than that, I work with amazing people with incredible values. They believe in work-life balance. They believe in family first. Most of all, they believe in me but want me to become the best version of me I can be.

It wasn’t always this way.

I’m not going to go into the past. That doesn’t do good for anyone. But I do have a story to share that I hope inspires someone.

Seven months ago, on the last flight I took with my previous employer, I watched what’s become one of my favorite episodes of The Office: Beach Games. It’s my favorite Pam episode of the series for sure. You know, the one where she’s asked to sit on the sidelines and take notes while everyone else competes for an opportunity to better themselves.

When Michael Scott challenges his staff to walk across hot coals and everyone else balks, Pam asks for an opportunity. Michael says no. Pam ignores him. She goes back. In the words of Seth Godin, she picks herself. It’s incredibly empowering and very inspiring.

Something happened on that business trip. That incident led me to send the email that led me to my current job. I didn’t make the correlation then, but Sunday night, the night before my first flight for my new job, I turned on Beach Games again. That’s when it hit me.

I did it!!

I chose myself. I picked me. I believed I could have a better opportunity – one that moved me forward and not back.

I’ve picked myself for years in other areas of my life: as a writer, a wrestling storyteller, a filmmaker. This was the first time I did it in my day job. It’s working out better than I ever imagined.

Sorry to be vague and not share gory or gossipy details. That’s not the point. The point is if you’re in a place where you feel like you’re going nowhere, maybe you should run across the hot coals. Ignore the naysayers. Pick yourself. Raise your hand. Why not you? Why not now?

Put on a smile. And run for it.