Back in the 1920's when Polish-American entrepreneur Leo Gerstenzang invented cotton swabs as a safer way to clean his baby's ears, he called his product "Q-Tip." Actually, his first name-choice was "Baby Gay" ? but that didn't sell, so the by-now familiar name emerged. Mr. Gerstenzang chose "Q" for Quality . . . and he must have been on to something, because Q-Tip has become a household word (and we've developed a whole 'nother set of connotations for 'Baby Gay.')
Which made Q-Tip a good choice for an acronym that's going 'round in motivational workshops these days: Quit Taking It Personally! I have a jar of those little white-tipped tools on my vanity, and every morning they remind me to use this quick-and-easy stress reduction technique: Q-Tip It!
? The traffic jam or the flat tire, or the keys that get locked in the car are not part of a plan to ruin your day. Q-Tip It ? Quit Taking It Personally!
? The keys that can never be found are just inanimate objects, and there is no moral value attributable to being able to find everything anyway. Q-Tip It!
? The computer that freezes just when you've got an important report to print really IS just a stupid machine. Take a deep breath and repeat the maxim about accepting the things you cannot change. Above all -- Q-Tip It!
? The supervisor who wants everything done yesterday has a problem with time management and scheduling. You're more likely to find a constructive way to deal with this of persistent stress situation if you Q-Tip It!
? The 5 pounds you can't seem to lose are just a ball of fat . . . not a moral failure. You know what to do ? eat less, move more. So get moving . . . and Q-Tip It!
? The kids who don't call often enough probably really ARE busy (and didn't you raise them to be independent?). Q-Tip It!
? The colleague who consistently says you're doing something all wrong is telling you more about her needs than about your way of doing things. Q-Tip It!
? Got a spouse (or friend, or child) who seems always to ignore things you say? Odds are she/he is hard of hearing, forgetful, or caught up in her own priorities rather than trying to drive you nuts. Q-Tip It!
? ______________________________________________ (fill in your own stressors ? and Q-Tip It!)
You get the picture . . . and the image, too. Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose.
So ? Q-Tip It! Let Mr. Gerstenzang's little white-tipped tool be a memory-hook, a way to ease the your personal stress reactions, the way YOU choose to respond to the happenings of your days.
(c) Maureen Killoran, 2005
Maureen Killoran, MA, DMin, is a Life Coach with a passion for helping people connect their strengths with their vision. Maureen offers dynamic individual and group coaching, work team empowerment training, teleclasses, and a free monthly e-zine, "Seeds of Change." Her articles are published on over 50 websites, and have been translated into several languages. Watch for Maureen's upcoming e-workbook, SpiritQuesting (tm) -- a non-sectarian path to personal deepening and growth. Why not contact Maureen for a complimentary coaching consultation? http://www.spiritquestcoaching.com