Several years ago, on late night TV, I heard a motivational speaker. I believe her name was Rita Davenport, but I could be mistaken.
She was interesting, funny, and educational. Like many speakers, she used storytelling to make her points; some of those stories certainly hit home with me.
Especially this one.
One day she learned that that an old family friend was coming to visit for the first time in many years.
Wanting to be sure to please him, she telephoned the man’s wife and asked what the man liked to eat. Secure now in the knowledge that she was cooking his very favorite main course, she decided to also include his favorite dessert, chocolate cream pie.
Well, the day finally arrived and sure enough the dinner was perfect. He couldn’t stop talking about how good the food was and how nice it was of her to prepare his favorites.
Smugly, she went into the kitchen and appeared with the chocolate cream pie. His eyes lit up the minute he first saw the dessert.
He could hardly wait for them to slice it.
Being a well-bred Southern lady, she carefully removed his dishes from the left and served his pie with the tip of the wedge pointing directly at her guest. So she was startled when he reached out and immediately turned the pie around to face away from him.
Being a Southern-bred lady, she had also been taught never to question the table manners of her guests.
Her teaching lasted all of about ten seconds.
Exasperated, she asked, “Why did you turn your pie around?”
His reply was simple, “Rita, I smelled that pie as soon as I entered your house tonight. After all, it’s my favorite. But I hate pie-crust. So, I’ve made a habit of turning my pie around so that I can eat the crust first. That way I can really enjoy the rest of my dessert.”
Sometimes I think that more of us should be like that man eating his dessert. If we only would get through the things we don’t like doing first - handling rejects, setting appointments, returning client phone calls - we would have more time to enjoy those that we do like.
Procrastination is a powerful enemy. It’s so easy to put off something for one more day or one more week or, …OK, OK. I get it.
Remember that old television commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts?
You know - the one where the guy is always waking up really early and saying,“time to make the doughnuts”?
Finally, he meets himself coming and going?
Every workday is your turn to “make the doughnuts”.
One cure coming right up.Repeat after me: Eat your piecrust first.
It works, but I’ve got to tell you, it’s not easy.
*first appeared in Front Facing Solutions.