Do the Next Thing

Awareness is the greatest agent for change.

As a part of my Leadership Greenville experience, I had to participate in a police ride along. Now, I am terrified of all things police; anything to do with a jail and criminals scare me. Seriously, this was not my idea of how I wanted to spend a Friday evening. I finally set up my time, took a deep breath, and drove over to the police station. My officer was super friendly and tried to put my nervous self at ease. He showed me how to use his radio in case something happened to him and how to unlock his rifle in case I needed to defend myself. And we took off.
The officer made several traffic stops in the first hour and I became quizzical. It seemed he was trying to find people with small infractions…headlights, tail lights, an expired registration. These items seemed to be a complete waste of time to me, so I asked him about it. His answer rocked me to the core. He actually pulled over and put the car in park. “Mrs. Newkirk, these are not frivolous traffic stops. You see, chaos breeds chaos. If people do not take care of their cars, then chances are, their lives are a wreck as well. These random traffic stops have produced so many arrests…drug possession, stolen guns, and kidnapping.”
I was stunned. I thought back to my own life when it was a “mess” and you can bet my car was too. Many times, I didn’t even have the funds to get the tail light fixed or the headlight bulb replaced. I can recall my life being in chaos and my car showing the signs.
This lead me to think about some of my customers. Many times, they are stuck. The chaos around them is all-consuming and they can’t decide what to do next. One person’s data is another person’s noise. When asked for my advice, I will remember this ride along. I will try to steer them in the direction of the next thing…doing things they CAN control like making their bed or fixing their headlight or even just making a grocery list and getting some food for the fridge. Sometimes to get unSTUCK, we just need to do the next thing.