Word-Of-the-Week #776: Challenge

June 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Challengesomething new and difficult which requires great effort and determination.

Do you LOVE a good challenge? Or do you tend to dread it? When was the last time you felt determined to do something new or difficult? How long did it take you to handle the challenge?

I found this in the USA Today by Ken Fisher, Female executives offer some career advice to younger women: ‘Leave the comfort zone.’

“With the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death approaching, this Mother’s Day was wistful. She would have turned 100 in weeks.

Mom grew up tough in southwest Arkansas. Pre-Great Depression, before penicillin, where railroads and river shipping reigned. She married my father during World War II, moved west and never looked back.

Honoring her memory, I asked top women at my firm what advice they would give women seeking to fulfill their vision of life. 

  • Don’t settle for comfortable

Jill Hitchcock, a 20-year veteran, who heads our national Private Client Group, offers this advice: “Run toward the things that scare you, especially early in your career.

Too often, I see associates, especially women, seeking ‘comfortable’ roles instead of what really challenges them to build new skills,” she said. “Don’t close doors opting for comfortable or known roles that play to skills you have; move toward roles that build skills you don’t have.”

Carrianne Coffey, also 20 years at my firm, who runs our comparable overseas group, echoed this: “Feeling role-comfortable creates mediocrity and stagnation. Get a comfortable bed, some good sheets — then leave the comfort zone when you wake in the morning.”

She adds, “Be direct about your aims.” Her favorite advice comes courtesy of her older brother: “If you don’t ask for it, some other jerk will.”

  • Don’t expect to have all the answers

Take time to breathe and reflect, says Laurine Garrity, our global marketing head.

“Don’t expect to have all the answers early in your career,” she says. “I often see young adults seriously stressed thinking they need a long-term career roadmap. Life is unpredictable. You need to be flexible and resilient. So find out what you enjoy, what challenges you — then learn from those experiences and build on them. Over time, with work and self-reflection, you should land in a good place.”

Lane Jarvis, our human capital tsar, stressed avoiding burnout.

“Take care of your health. Don’t prioritize work over taking care of yourself. It will make you better and healthier so you can work longer.”

This week’s focus is on challenges. When was the last time you had your abilities tested? How did it make you feel? Does it make you more determined and want to put forth the extra effort?

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

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WOW Word-Of-the-Week #444: Challenge

February 7, 2013 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #444: Challenge 

Challengea test of one’s abilities.

Do you LOVE a good challenge? Or do you tend to dread it? When was the last time you felt tested? How long did it take you to handle the challenge?

Long time reader and friend Bernice had to say this about WOW #440 on Self Talk.

“I really related to this week’s word, self-talk. It was a big part of my success in the water. Being a goalkeeper you are “alone” half the game with just your thoughts. Especially after your opponent scores, if your self-talk is negative, the rest of the game would be a bigger challenge.

 Learning how to have positive self talk was a challenge. It is easier to dwell on the bad! Once you figured out how to boost your own confidence, the results were amazing. Positive self-talk is hard to teach, especially to young ladies. Thank you for writing on this subject to help remind me to keep up my positive self-talk!”

 Just to give you a little background on “Bernie” AKA “Bernice the Furnace,” I met her in 2001 when my niece Kellie got married. They both played on the USC water polo team and were team captains their senior year in 1999, when they won the Women’s Collegiate National Water Polo Championship. That same year, Bernie won the Peter J. Cutino Award as the top female college water polo player in the United States.

She was clearly destined for greatness in the water, as she played goalie for the USA water polo team and won the silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. She was an assistant coach and team manager for the Beijing 2008 games.

When I asked her how she got the name “Bernice the Furnace” she said, “It was bestowed upon me in 2000 at a tournament before the Sydney games by an announcer. He had asked earlier in the day if I had any nicknames and I told him in elementary school the kids would tease me by calling me Bernice the Furnace.” I also told him I did not care for it at the time. 

 Then all of a sudden during a game, after I made a save he says “Bernice the Furnace is getting HOT!” and he went with it all game and it was pretty funny. I went all those years in grade school hating being called “Bernice the Furnace” to now embracing it as a part of me.  When people pronounce my name the other way, I actually use “Bernice the Furnace” to help them remember how to pronounce my name.

When I asked Bernie what her WOW should be she said, “I like the word challenge! We need challenge! I like to tell my athletes, if it were easy, everyone would do it!”

And boy, isn’t that the truth! This week’s focus is dealing with challenges. How do you handle having your abilities tested? Do you like it? Does it make you stronger and want to persevere through it?

Reader Responses

“Challenges can also be looked at as obstacles to overcome, but the word challenges is more positive. It helps us to keep thinking positively of something that will help us improve our abilities and to grow. Whenever I am met with a challenge I usually say, “Piece of cake,” or “no problem.” I guess that it is something I relish because I want to improve. Obviously, none of us is perfect. It is important not to view challenges as obstacles because of the negative connotation. We have to look at a challenge as the glass half full, not half empty. If we do, the sky is the limit in terms of improving and moving on up in life. Let’s stay positive. – “Warrior” Joe