Standing at Jordan's door, Stephanie couldn't stop smiling. That started Jordan smiling, too — he couldn't help it. "Come in, sit," he said to Stephanie. "Spill."
"I wished, and it happened," she began. "I must have magic powers."
"I don't know about that, but tell me what happened." Jordan hated being teased, even a little.
"OK. Day before yesterday, driving home, I'm imagining that Marigold could somehow be kept alive. I'm wishing for the chance to tell Emmons how to fight for it. I work out exactly what I would say. Then yesterday — it's freakish — I get that chance. And today I find out it worked."
"Amazing," said Jordan, "you saved Marigold. Congratulations!"
"Emmons saved Marigold," Stephanie said. "I just wished him the will."
You do have
a wishing wand,
though you might not
be using it often.
Seen it lately?Stephanie did more than wishing him the will. She showed him the way. She was ready for the opportunity because she had used her wishing wand. You have a wishing wand, too, though you might not be using it often. Maybe a little user's guide will help.
- Wish for the possible
- Your wishes are more likely to come true if you wish for the possible. A wish to fly like a bird is less likely to come true than a wish for an airline ticket to Tahiti.
- Wish for the wonderful
- Within the range of the possible, there's plenty of room for the wonderful. Take ten seconds — right now — to wish for something wonderful. See how easy it is?
- Wish for good
- Wishes for harm to come to anyone are poisonous. The feelings you create while contemplating these wishes are your feelings. They hurt only you.
- Wish for yourself, for others, and for all
- Wishes in fairy tales are often self-centered. Try wishing for others, and for all of us. Whenever a wish comes true, you feel the same thrill, no matter who benefits.
- Not wishing doesn't help
- Some of us fear the pain of disappointment when a wish doesn't come true, so we don't wish at all. What a loss! Dealing with disappointment is a critical skill. Wishing gives you opportunities to practice your skill.
- If you know what you really, really want, you're a lot more likely to get it
- Deciding what to wish for is what does the magic. Deciding helps you focus on some things, and let others go. This makes you more likely to make the little moves that make your dreams come true, and less likely to make the little moves that keep your wishes wishes.
For more on achieving and inspiring goals, see "Corrales Mentales," Point Lookout for July 4, 2001; "Commitment Makes It Easier," Point Lookout for October 16, 2002; "Beyond WIIFM," Point Lookout for August 13, 2003; "Give It Your All," Point Lookout for May 19, 2004; "Knowing Where You're Going," Point Lookout for April 20, 2005; "Workplace Myths: Motivating People," Point Lookout for July 19, 2006; "Astonishing Successes," Point Lookout for January 31, 2007; and "Achieving Goals: Inspiring Passion and Action," Point Lookout for February 14, 2007.
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More articles on Emotions at Work:
- Conflict Haiku
- When tempers flare, or tension fills the air, many of us contribute to the stew, often without realizing
that we do. Here are some haiku that describe some of the many stances we choose that can lead groups
into tangles, or let those tangles persist once they form.
- Intimidation Tactics: Touching
- Workplace touching can be friendly, or it can be dangerous and intimidating. When touching is used to
intimidate, it often works, because intimidators know how to select their targets. If you're targeted,
what can you do?
- Responding to Threats: III
- Workplace threats come in a variety of flavors. One class of threats is indirect. Threateners who use
the indirect threats aim to evoke fear of consequences brought about not by the threatener, but by other
parties. Indirect threats are indeed warnings, but not in the way you might think.
- Preventing Toxic Conflict: I
- Conflict resolution skills are certainly useful. Even more advantageous are toxic conflict prevention
skills, and skills that keep constructive conflict from turning toxic.
- Quips That Work at Work: II
- Humor, used effectively, can defuse tense situations. Here's Part II of a set of guidelines for using
humor to defuse tension and bring confrontations, meetings, and conversations back to a place where
thinking can resume.
See also Emotions at Work for more related articles.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming February 21: The Ultimate Attribution Error at Work
- When we attribute the behavior of members of groups to some cause, either personal or situational, we tend to make systematic errors. Those errors can be expensive and avoidable. Available here and by RSS on February 21.
- And on February 28: Narcissistic Behavior at Work: I
- Briefly, when people exhibit narcissistic behavior they're engaging in activity that systematically places their own interests and welfare ahead of the interests and welfare of anyone or anything else. It's behavior that threatens the welfare of the organization and everyone employed there. Available here and by RSS on February 28.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.