She danced over my way with a huge smile! Well, she was ‘dancing’ – I was doing something that more resembled the infamous moves of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld.
“You are amazing” she said. I was pretty sure she was talking about my hair (not about anything I had actually done). I get a lot of comments on my hair; which I have to admit I really like. Most people do not know that I can be a bit reserved – even shy, and my hair allows me an easy way to chat with people. Someone might make a comment on my ‘do’, or like Courtney they might look at it and point, and that opens the door for me to smile, thank them for the comment, and then engage in a dialogue to get to know them.
Although I was sure I had not formally met her, she looked familiar to me. The it hit me. “Are you the girl that Ron Culberson mentioned today?” We were at the final night of the National Speakers Association Convention in Philadelphia, and earlier that morning, the National President Ron Culberson, mentioned Courtney Montanio in his morning remarks. “Yes!”, she said!
Ron mentioned Courtney because at last year’s national convention in Indianapolis, Courtney was the front desk clerk at the hotel that hosted the convention. She was so impressed with the energy from all of the speakers, that she decided to join us this year – as a participant! Courtney decided to seize the day – she saw something she liked, something she was drawn to, and she went for it.
I asked Courtney if I could take her picture. She exemplifies what I am capturing through the pictures I have been taking of positive, happy people at work. Courtney’s enthusiasm and joy simply erupts from her body, her eyes sparkle, and her smile seems almost permanent. She reminded me of how important it is to follow your heart, your gut, your intuition – whatever you want to call it – to take advantage of that voice in your head telling you to do something.
You might have noticed that sometimes, just as quickly as the intuition to do something kicks in, another sensation (or voice) also kicks in. That other voice is the voice of judgment. Some might say, it is the voice of ‘reason’. It is often the voice that says “Oh, don’t be silly. You can’t do that!” or “That person does not want to talk to you.” or “What could you possibly have to offer.” or “You aren’t good enough.” The voice might be saying many things, and it is often the voice that talks you out of carpe diem! And, that other voice, the negative one, is often a lot louder!
So over the next week, look for times that you can seize the day! Then just do it, like Courtney did. Don’t let the voice get in your way. Better yet, change the message to “Yes, you can do that.” “You have a lot to add.” “You are supposed to be there.” “You matter.”
As I reflect on the times I seized the day, I can say with confidence that I was always happy that I did so. What about you? Send me a ‘carpe diem’ moment from your life. You’ll be glad you did.
Deri Latimer is an expert in energizing the workplace! She is one of fewer than 10% of speakers globally who hold the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional). Deri combines a business degree with experience in government, health care, manufacturing, education, mining, transportation, agriculture, tourism, and the professional services sectors. Deri impacts individuals and organizations by offering practical strategies to move from overwhelmed to resilient, from absence to presence, from stuck to productive, and from exhausted to energized!