Mary Abbajay, President of Careerstone Group, isn't afraid of a challenge. When facing a fork in the road, she told me she chooses the path that excites her, but also scares her the most. One of those paths recently was writing her first book Managing Up.
Mary joined me for a Minute Motivation conversation about how her career has developed, what motivates her and what she would tell her younger self.
Here's her story that ran on WUSA 9's Get Up DC.
Plus, the highlights of our full conversation!
Surround yourself with people who think differently than you. Surround yourself with people who challenge you, push you, and will ask you why... Why do you do that? Why do you say that? Why do you believe that?
If you only talk to people who are like-minded or people who only say yes to everything you do - you won't know you're full potential or the reasons behind your convictions.
When you’re in your own lane, there’s no traffic.
Are you every afraid that everyone else is doing the same thing as you? Do you worry that they will take your idea and do it even better than you can do it? Are you concerned that the market is saturated and it's too tough to break into it?
Then know this: there is room for you. There is a place for your story. No one else can do what you're doing because there is no one else who has lived your life.
Stay in your own lane and no one else will be able to keep up with you.
No award or critique changes your work and its message.
I loved the introduction for the award for Best Director at the Oscars on Sunday night. The presenter said no matter who's name is inside the envelope as the winner, no one will be able to change the film you created. It will be the same when you walk out of the building as it was when you walked in.
Your work and its message does not change when it receives an award, just as it doesn't change when it is criticized.
You can't control everything. Some things in life are just out of your hands.
Certain events, other people's choices, etc... you can't control all of it. No matter how much you overthink the possible outcomes, life will still happen and other people will always be free to make their own choices.
What you do have control over is how you react in every situation. You have control over your actions and responses. You have control over the internal dialogue you have about the event or a person's choice.
I hope you eventually get to a place where you find peace in the chaos. Whatever it is you can't control, stop giving all of your thought. Take that weight off your shoulders and remember, some things are out of your control.
Some days you just don't have 100% to give. (Perhaps that perfectly describes you this Monday morning?) When you are too worn down to give it your all, give it your half. Or give it your 20%.
Doing something is better than doing nothing at all.
I'm applying this to my workouts this week. Recently, I've been pretty sedentary. My excuses include working on other projects, the weather and watching our dog. (Hahaha! Even the dog is getting the blame.)
Part of my mindset says, "If I don't have time for an hour workout, I might as well not workout at all." (Insert eyeroll at yet another excuse.)
Doing something - like taking the dog for a longer walk or doing yoga for 10 minutes in the morning - those are all very possible. Or like this morning, I walked up the six flights of steps to work instead of taking the elevator. It's better than nothing.
When you can't give it your all, just do what you can.
There are times when I reach for my phone and my thumb automatically opens up Instagram. I scroll through a few photos before thinking, "Wait. What did I get on my phone for again?"
We are so easily distracted... and so connected. Do you also feel pressure to give an immediate response to emails, calls and text messages? Add these two together and if you are trying to get any real work done, say goodbye to your productivity.
You have to find a time of day when no one will interrupt you. For me, that's been waking up at midnight (aka: a couple hours before work). For my mom, her uninterrupted time was after she put us girls to bed. For my colleagues, it's after the 11 pm newscast when the demands for the show are finished.
I find working intensely without interruptions for a couple hours a day creates great results. It takes discipline, but it's worth it.
Carve out time to work without interruption.
“Silence your critics. Ignore your haters. Delete your cynics.”
I saw a screenshot of an article yesterday that in the title read, "Patriots will regret hiring Belichick." When I looked into it more, it turns out he wasn't the only sportswriter who felt this way when Belichick was hired by New England in 2000.
This USA Today article describes Belichick's coaching timeline really well.
Pay no attention to your critics. They have their opinions, but you don't have to listen to them. You stay committed to your dream and play your game.
Want to join me this February for a 10 minute fitness challenge?
It’s been a good time in the past (remember last year’s arm challenge?!). Basically, we pick out a random mid-level fitness routine and encourage each other with comments on my Facebook page.
How often do you complete the routine? Every other day throughout the month.
I found this full body workout for February: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I6t0quh8Ick
Want to join me?!
Be so good no one can deny your greatness.
Every year when the NFL season kicks off, the team I want to see play in the Super Bowl the most is... not the Patriots. Anyone but the Patriots! We've seen them win so often.
However, even I cannot deny that they are incredible. The Patriots have proven themselves in so many Super Bowls that no one can say they don't have something special.
I can't believe I'm typing this... but be like the Patriots. Be so good no one can deny your greatness.