Monday, March 8, 2010

What I've learned. Yo.

So the Olympics ended 8 days ago, and Vancouver is still here. Who'd've thought? Life continuing on past the Olympics?

So there are a lot of topics I want to cover in this blank page, as it were. Life lessons. Meeting and moulding the goddess within. Fear of living in creativity.

So where do I start?

I don't know. But what I can say, is that my life lessons over the past month have been the opposite of "few and far between": they've been copious and constantly happening. I was the AM supervisor of this kick-ass team that Coca-Cola assembled for their Olympic Pavilion, called the "Happiness House". It was comprised of 138 staff members, and a whole lotta awesome.

Also, a whole lotta HAPPENING. With 40 staff members on the floor at any given time, 7000+ people walking through our doors daily over our 17-day run, there certainly was a huge learning curve. And I feel the need to share some key learnings with you. As I walk away from one of the greatest experiences of my life so far, the absolute worst thing I could do would be to walk away from analyzing (and blogging about!) the growth that has happened.

And even more of a travesty would be to not acknowledge the incredible character traits from my fellow staff members that I have watched and learned from. The ways that - one fellow Sup in particular - would deal with every single challenge with not just grace and wisdom, but with a sense of humour and an honest-to-goodness smile... not one of those fake, sardonic ones, but a real one, that suddenly makes the "Mountain" a mere "Pebble in the road".

Does that sound cliche? I think it does. But it's true. So I am going to share with you 4 pillars of growth I've encountered over the past 5 weeks of my life.

Patience is not just a song by K-Os. There are going to be a lot of weird things that happen, and there are going to be a lot weird people who react in even weirder ways to these things. And in the past, I've wanted to say rash things in the moment, make some harsh judgments, and promptly regret any words spoken out of haste.

In my next project, I pledge patience. I pledge to breathe into the situation, and to find the difference between "intuition" and "rage". To find that it is perhaps more appropriate to be empathetic than to yell at someone, or talk behind their backs.

Service with a Smile is not only at MacDonald's. One of my greatest inspirations throughout the Happiness House was an incredible lady from Atlanta, Georgia, who some of you may know. She happens to be one of the most shining, bright lights I have ever met... who also happens to be - hands down - the hardest worker I know. Her work ethic is unreal. I don't think she slept more than 3 hours a night throughout the entire time, but man -- was her smile ON. Always. And it wasn't one of those creepy smiles, the kind that Chuckie wore or Jack Nicholson in The Shining. It was a real smile. A smile that told the Universe and anyone around her that not only can she handle the challenge, but she will make friends with it and maybe we can all sit down and have dinner one day.

In my next project, I pledge happiness. Real happiness -- not fake happiness. I pledge real smiles... and to carry them through to everybody I meet.

Courage is not just for the Cowardly Lion
. About 2 days into the Happiness House adventure, I had a breakdown. "Whhhaaaa???" you ask, "Megan? feeling overwhelmed? NEVER". I know, I know. Hard to believe. but I did. And I was terrified. I felt totally over my head. Out of my league. In a world I had no business being in. There was a moment, about 3pm, where my heart started to pound and I literally saw stars. I had to sit down because my legs just about gave way underneath me. And I was like, "I can't do this."

But here's the weird thing -- the world didn't end. Just when I thought it was going to -- it didn't. And I proceeded to breathe, and function, and exist. Just ... the outside kind of changed a little.

So charging forward... I pledge courage. I pledge to not let down my ancestors - those strong ladies who pioneered into the New World and left behind all they knew - because no matter what, I'm still breathing, baby!

Endurance is not just for Olympic athletes. I figured this all needed at least one Olympic allusion. The last week of the Happiness House was - though happy - truly exhausting. Happy exhausting. But with very little sleep. And let me remind you... I do love my sleep.

Our hockey team won gold. We won gold against a team that beat us 2-0 not a week before. A team that was REALLY good. Near the beginning of the Olympics, when we were fresh, and more awake.

And then we played day in, day out... and one week later, the very last game of the Games, we played what could be the most incredible hockey game ever. We kicked it into overdrive, we followed through, and just when it looked like we were a shoe-in to win... they scored a goal and tied the game. WHAT?!?! Where did THAT come from?

So what did our boys do? Easy -- they could've thrown in the towel. But they didn't. They played as if their lives depended on it... and of course the rest is history.

So in my next project, I pledge to find the endurance to find the strength within to kick it into overdrive... and then to follow through and take it home... to stay with the project right to the very end.

And THAT is what I've learned. Yo.

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