“This can’t be late. I’ve promised the group.”
Perfumed with Coppertone, wearing bathing suits under shorts and t-shirts, we were driving around a remote beach town looking for place to fax the single page my friend held in her tan hand.
I was on my first vacation from my first 'real job' with a group of friends.
On the beach, toes in sand, my friend Carly raised her sunglasses, looked at me and said, "I have to fax something today by 6:00 p.m. Do you mind taking me. I don't have a car here."
That's how this started.
When finding a fax machine proved surprisingly difficult, she didn’t say, “to hell with it, let's go back to the beach," as I expected (and hoped.)
Even though we worked together, still, I’d never seen Carly so single-minded and determined before.
And she was no slacker. One of the top people at work, she'd been promoted fast, partly because of her work ethic.
This was different.
“Can’t you email it?” I asked, as we slow rolled my car through another strip mall parking lot scanning for a copy shop.
The subtext was, “We’re on vacation do we really have to do this now?”
“It has to be faxed.”
She replied with the muted ferocity of a bondsman stalking a bail jumper.
"Where was this coming from?" I wondered.
It was a hot, I wanted to be at the beach, butthere was no stopping her. We were doing this. Period.
So, I stopped asking questions and got on board with "Mission Find a Fax"
Turns out whatever possessed her is contagious.
Ideas started replacing reasons to quit.
“The company that rented us the house will definitely let us use their fax!” I offered.
Finally, we saw a store with 'FAX' painted in big red letters on the window. Jackpot!
As the beat up old machine dialed, hissed and beeped, I asked. "So, what’s this all about?"
"It's for my group. We agreed to submit this summary five days before we meet again."
"Must be some group" I said.
"It is." She replied.
Looking back, I wish I'd asked more about it.
Though I doubt I'd have really understood.
When you're young, ideas can light a fire in you, inspiring intense commitment to even questionable missions.
You don't realize this energy fades.
Those glorious fires that drive you forward stop appearing.
As the years pass, you have to work harder to spark them.
My friend knew this. I didn't.
She'd found a group of people who understood this and were doing something about it.
It's what was different about her that day.
Respect for the power this group created by honoring their agreements to each other and themselves.
Getting this page in by deadline, even on vacation, even if it took all afternoon and 20 miles of driving, was part of it.
That's why it was so easy to join her cause.
Sometimes people don't have the energy to run with you.
Instead of jumping on board, they offer you an out, a justification or excuse to drop it and "quit being so intense!"
When we commit, it alchemizes and changes us and almost everything in our world reacts to that.
It asks you to choose and act instead of wait and see.
If you're interested in creating this kind of group and experience, you can learn more about in this post.
There's information about a free training this Tuesday (tomorrow) - hosted by yours truly.
P.S. Did you know you can share any email as a post? If you know someone who needs to hear this message, share it.
The best thing you can do for your career is help someone else with theirs.