In Pacific Northwest, it takes quite a while for Spring to land and the temperatures get warm enough to shed our parkas and puffy vests and show a little forearm. Recently, my oldest daughter and I found ourselves at the Puyallup Farmer’s Market here in western Washington, one of my favorite places on a sunny Saturday.
One thing I love about that suburb is that you can see the majestic Mount Rainier from pretty much anywhere on a clear day.
There’s a saying in this part of the region – Live like the mountain is out.
In a place that averages 150 rainy days a year, plus plenty of dry grey days on top of that, when the mountain is out – it usually means it’s a sunny day. It feels like people drop everything and go outside. Parks fill up with families and friends for casual games of basketball or tossing a frisbee often followed impromptu BBQ dinners. Car windows get rolled down, motorcycles and bicycles fill the streets, and the walking paths and picnic tables near any body of water fill with college students, kiddos, and anyone not glued to their desk.
Residents of this region live life differently when the mountain is out.
To me, the saying is a call to embrace life; don’t wait for a sunny day.
It’s a call to take action and not miss the opportunity.
When it comes to work, sometimes we get into a state of waiting for the metaphoric clouds to clear to reveal the perfect conditions for us to really shine.
We might be waiting for the right project, or the right team team member. We let our meetings and e-mail drift into the evening, we put our heads down and work hard reacting to what is thrown at us instead of driving for results that matter to us.
We keep the plates spinning without asking if these are even the right plates!
As knowledge workers, we have an incredible amount of autonomy over how we work, how we lead, and the outcomes we produce. When times are good and motivation is high, we are rock stars at work anticipating needs and making things happen.
- We wrap up work on time and enjoy a meal with family or friends.
- We care for ourselves as we take time to move during the day, eat well, think well, and sleep deeply.
- We charge towards our goals, we work effectively, and use the time we save to invest in the people we lead.
What if we embraced this idea of living like the mountain is out in ALL areas of life?
More than donning boots and a jacket for a walk in the rain, I want go after the big goals, to complain less, to say yes more, to put more energy into my team, and to continue to optimize the way I work in service of living a full life.
How about you? What’s one thing you want to go after to improve your week? Let’s get it going!