Monday, December 24, 2007

If at first you don't succeed . . .

Sometimes you have to keep trying - with kids, work, training husbands, etc. And sometimes you accidentally stumble on a solution. So here are a few examples (of perserverance and accidental genius) to inspire or to reassure you . . .

- I hit the wall last week with general disrespect, messiness, bickering, complaining, etc. (you know, the usual) and finally got fed up enough to draw up a contract (listing privileges they now had to earn, and the behaviors I expected). The list itself wasn’t all that unusual, but what made it effective was that I posted it on the refrigerator – the thought of a friend or neighbor seeing it was mortifying, so now all I have to do is threaten to put it out again, and they improve dramatically!

- Post-it Notes came from an adhesive that didn’t work very well – things kept falling off, so the inventor repositioned it and voila!

- Meredith Wilson was a semi-successful bandleader whose biggest claim to fame was working on Tallulah Bankhead’s radio show and responding to one question a week with “Yes sir, Miss Bankhead.” He worked for 8 years on a little show about his hometown, and finally got it produced when he was 55. For non-theatre-buffs, the show was “The Music Man” – perhaps you’ve heard of it? – As someone approaching the big 5-0, I love this story of overnight success after over 30 years!

- One of the more memorable features of the original “Bob Newhart Show” was his distinctive fashion sense (using the term loosely – do you remember the orange plaid jackets with green houndstooth trousers?) Turns out the show had a wardrobe coordinator whom everyone adored, but who happened to be color blind – no one wanted to hurt the man’s feelings, and thus a look was born.

Moral of the stories: If I hang in there for years, I can turn accidents into success, and embarrassment is highly motivating!

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