Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bad Reputation

joan-jettA good friend of mine posted a list by author Sue Fitzmaurice on Facebook of things to do to let go of your ego.  One of them was “let go of your reputation.”  Right away I thought of the song Bad Reputation, by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Though this song was released in 1980, I wasn’t aware of the song until 1982 after the release of Jett’s big hit “I Love Rock n Roll.”  1982, it was the year I started high school.  I was starting to become aware that my choices of friends, activities, boyfriends, even music was creating my reputation and this bothered me.  Labels.  Cliques.  No thanks.  But not an easy stance to take in high school when everyone wants to categorize and label everyone.

I thought people were done with labeling when I entered corporate america.  One day an older, stiff lady from my group thought she should sit me down.  She proceeded to tell me that I was an “exempt employee,” meaning, I was not eligible for over time and I had to wear a suit everyday.  She proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t eat lunch with the “non-exempt employees,” meaning the people who did get paid overtime and wear a uniform.  The puzzlement on my face lead her to tell me it was because of this “unwritten rule.”  She proceeded to tell me that the non-exempt had a fixed time for lunch and that if exempt employees are in line getting their food, then we are taking time away from their lunch break.

Well, I’m no rule breaker.  Heck, I almost went to the Naval Academy.  So for a couple of weeks I waited to eat my lunch at 12:30 with all the other exempt employees.  I was walking down the hall and one of the guys I used to have lunch with asked me where I had been.  Being young and naive, I told him about the unwritten rule.  He laughed and said that was a load of bull.  Man was I pissed.  So what did I do?  I went home and made a mixed tape with this song on it and I ate lunch whenever I was hungry.

“Bad Reputation”

I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation
A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s what I’m gonna doAn’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not meAn’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
Never said I wanted to improve my station
An’ I’m only doin’ good when I’m havin’ fun
An’ I don’t have to please no oneAn’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not meI don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
I’ve never been afraid of any deviation
An’ I don’t really care if you think I’m strange
I ain’t gonna change

An’ I’m never gonna care ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
Pedal, boys!

An’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
The world’s in trouble, there’s no communication
An’ everyone can say what they wanna to say
It never gets better, anyway

So why should I care about a bad reputation anyway?
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me

I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation
An’ I only feel good when I got no pain
An’ that’s how I’m gonna stay

An’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
Not me, not me

(azlyrics.com)

 

Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister breaking the world mile record and the four-minute barrier in OxfordIt was 60 years ago today that Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile.  Mr. Bannister’s story is one of my favorites.  I use it in almost every talk I give for two reasons.

Reason #1 – People Said It Couldn’t Be Done

When Roger Bannister was training to break the 4 minute mile, all the people around him were saying it couldn’t be done.  In fact, medical doctors thought it was physically impossible, but Mr. Bannister ignored those naysayers and did it.

Doesn’t it seem that the naysayers just come out of the woodwork when you want to try something new?  Sometimes the people closest to us are the worst.  At times it’s even hard to get mad at these people because their intention can be driven by protection.  They don’t want us to get hurt.  These naysayers can make it very scary for trailblazers like Mr. Bannister, but they thankfully adopted the the mantra of author Susan Jeffers: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Reason #2 – Breaking of Mental Barriers

Mr. Bannister broke the 4 minute mile in 1954.  According to, Motivating Yourself, by Mac Anderson, in 1955, just a year later in sanctioned races, 47 people ran the mile in less than 4 minutes.  Why?  Mr. Bannister demonstrated that it could be done.  Other runners said to themselves, if he did it so can I.

In our brain we establish barriers.  We decide we like this or that.  We are frightened of this but not that and when we do this we fire certain neurons in the brain and pathways are formed.  This relates to the fight or flight portion of our brain.  It’s a big filter called the reticular activating system.  The cool thing science is proving is these pathways can be re-written because our brain has something called neuroplasticity.  We can change the patterns our neurons have made when we change our beliefs.  We can use tools like affirmations, meditation and mantras to alter pathways.  Don’t ever call yourself an old dog because it is proven you can learn new tricks.

So on the 60th anniversary of breaking the 4-minute mile, I would like to say a big thank you to Roger Bannister.  Thank you for the inspiration, the motivation and a great story for me to tell.

 

Picture credit:  http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/may/05/roger-bannister-sixty-years-four-minute-mile

Saving Mr. Banks

Saving_Mr._Banks_Theatrical_PosterThose of you that have been reading my posts know that I am a big Disney fan, so you may think I’m featuring Saving Mr. Banks, which is the story of the making of the Mary Poppins movie, because I am under the Disney fandom spell.  Well, you would be wrong.

 

I loved the movie because I found it fasinating to watch the story telling process and for me there was one paticular scene that just sang to my soul.  Let me set it up for you.

 

P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, has left California and is back in her home in London.  Before she left, she tore up the contract she was supposed to sign giving Walt Disney the screen rights to Mary Poppins..  Walt has flown all night and arrives at Mrs. Travers home in London.  Walt realizes that Mrs. Travers rejection is not just to protect  the character Mary Poppins, but also the family patriarch of the story, Mr. Banks, who is loosely based on Mrs. Travers’ father who died when she was very young.  Walt says:

 

George Banks, and all he stands for will be saved.  Maybe not in life but in imagination because that is what we storytellers do.  We restore order with imagination.  We instill hope again, and again and again.

 

I believe that with all my heart.  We can tap into our imagination and change a situation for ourselves and others even if it’s just for a minute.  We all are storytellers.  You don’t have to write a book or make a movie to be one.

 

You know, Einstien said that imagination was more important than knowledge.  I hope you’ll give this movie a watch and let it inspire some imagination and the storyteller in you.