by Maureen Killoran
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 another 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. When all seems to be doom and gloom, there are still positive possibilities; you just have to look for them. Too often, we only focus on the negatives.
© Maureen Killoran, SpiritQuest Coaching, 2004