My teenage daughter spent the last week at a youth camp in Cromer, Norfolk. She met a great bunch of people and had loads of fun doing a range of fun activities. Over the course of the week, her self-confidence grew as she tackled challenges head-on that she never thought she’d overcome. Things like the climbing to the top of a tall scaffold, swinging on the high wires and going caving in dark, confined hot and damp spaces. Activities she would have once balked at. All-in-all, she had the time of her life and has made some life long friends. And interestingly, none of it involved wifi! For those of you with teenagers – I thoroughly recommend it.
Anyway, on Sunday I drove to pick her up from the camp – it was a good 300km drive that took 3 1/2 hours. When I arrived I didn’t fancy getting back in the car straight away and driving home as my legs and back were stiff and sore. Instead, I suggested a walk around Cromer. It’s a lovely seaside town with a sandy beach and a promenade that afforded some fabulous views out to sea. We saw the lifeboat being launched and the crowning of the Cromer Carnival Queen. It was lunchtime and we wanted something to eat. The queue for the fish and chip shop went around the corner so we opted for the local cafe instead.
It was a busy day in the town which seemed flooded with holidaymakers and day trippers. We found a table in the cafe and sat down. The plates and glasses from the previous diners were strewn across the table top. I stopped a passing waitress and asked politely if she could help me tidy up and clear the plates.
“Oh”, she replied. “that’s not my job you’ll have to ask somebody else to do it”. And she walked away leaving me a little bemused.
And it reminded me of that lovely short story That’s Not My Job.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
You’ve probably seen this story before and had a chuckle. Behind the play on words though, there’s a very serious message about taking responsibility for what happens in your life. If you’re like Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody then it’s very difficult to create the life and success you want. You have to be true to yourself and take responsibility for what happens in your life.
Where do you begin? Well, you have to define what life and success looks, sounds and feels like to you. You have to strive to build the self-confidence and competencies to achieve success. What relationships will you need to build and nurture?
Knowing the path is not enough – you have to walk it too. In other words, you have to take action. You have to do the work and pay the price if you want to be successful. Taking action can be scary – but it’s important you do so, especially when you feel afraid.
Successful people take personal responsibility for what happens in life and they act. They have goals and they do whatever it takes to achieve success.
Do what you need to do to become the person you want to be and deserve to be.
That’s my take on the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. What’s yours? What will you do to make sure you are not a nobody?
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