Allow me to preface this post by explaining that my husband routinely refers to me as “The Orchid” because I have approximately a one degree fahrenheit range in which I am comfortable inhabiting this Earth. One degree warmer and I’m all “I’m dying in this house – is our AC even working?” One degree colder and it’s “God, get me a SCARF or something – it’s frigid in here!”
Beyond that, my ideal temperature is different during the day than it is at night. Yep, I’m a real peach.
As a result of my orchid-like existence, I am chronically freezing in coffee shops.
This may sound like a first world problem (because it is) but I work from coffeeshops a lot so it’s a first world problem which I frequently experience. I find that I have to carry a denim jacket with me on even the hottest day of the year or I cannot get warm enough to concentrate.
It’s an irritant – like having dust under your contact lens or a stray hair that keeps falling into your face – and it keeps me from doing my best work. There I am, wrestling with just the right words for a phrase or trying to give a client my full attention and all I can think about is how my toes are going to fall off any minute now.
A few weeks ago, I was meeting with a local life design client, a very strong, accomplished woman who has a big vision and who is boldly designing a new rhythm for her life that will better serve both her professional goals and her family. We were five minutes into our session when she said, “It’s freezing in here. Let me fix this.”
She got up, walked over to the barista, and politely asked him to turn down the AC.
AND HE DID IT!
Within about three minutes, our limbs had thawed and we were elbow-deep in a fabulous discussion about the project she was working on.
The answer is right there staring us in the face. The problem is well-defined. The person who can fix it is in the room. Other people are suffering right along with us. But we just don our proverbial denim jacket and gut it out.
What is that frequent irritant in your workday or in your evening schedule – the one that’s keeping you from showing up full on? Pay attention to what you are tolerating, assuming that it’s just the way it is.
What if it’s not? What if it could be even better? What if lots and lots of people would benefit because you noticed the problem and did something about it?
Take a minute. Find your irritant. Ask for it to be changed. Or get in there and change it yourself.
Maybe it’s just that easy.
PS – I’d love to hear from you if you identify an irritant that you’ve been ignoring. I’d really love to hear from you if you make the time to get it fixed. Share your stories in comments – maybe you’ll even inspire someone else with your idea!