I remember being asked this by a TA Supervisor, during a conversation about being stuck and wanting to make progress. She looked at me and said: ‘What can you do?’
An easy question to ask and often an easy question to answer, because it’s not inviting us to change the world; instead we can look around us and find a simple step to take.
For example, I went up to London recently to see my publisher about the launch of How To Keep Your Job and before our meeting I went to The Guardian offices to have tea with a journalist friend.
Lacking a copy of the new book to take with me, when packing my bag, I looked round the office and spied a row of My Boss is a B@$T@*D parked on the shelf. Instead of saying to myself ‘I can’t take anything as I don’t have a copy of my new book’ I had a think and realised ‘I can take my first book’ …so I stuck a copy in my bag to hand over as a gift.
Last week my journalist chum emailed and asked for some PR copy as there’s a new film coming out called Horrible Bosses, which she wanted to use as a peg to write about dealing with poor managers. And in doing so give a large mention for my book.
How happy am I?
By asking myself the question ‘What can I do?’ I was able to do something positive (in taking an older book) that has generated some useful PR for me.
The article is due out on July 23rd in the Secrets Of… column.
And this week, if you’re grumbling, or getting stuck with something… stop complaining and instead ask:
‘What can I do?’