Most of you know that I am a motivational speaker. I do a lot of teaching and training all over the world. I have already had several international trips this year and have several more on the calendar. I am not saying that to boast; I am simply saying that I travel and speak a lot. As you might well imagine, traveling and doing so much speaking has provided me with many challenging situations. However, one of the things that has helped me to stay calm in life is to realize that “glitch happens”.
Whenever I am about to speak at an event, I know that there is a good chance that the PA system will not work; the microphone may start to squeal; it may be too loud; or, it may not work at all. I have spoken to more “dead mikes” than an Irish undertaker! I have learned not to let it upset me though because I understand that more than likely, “glitch” will happen.
I was speaking in Dallas, Texas, at a large convention not long ago. After it was over, there was a young man standing in line who wanted to talk to me. Every time I looked at him to indicate that he was next, he would step aside and let someone else move ahead of him in line. I could tell he seemed a little bit upset and perhaps he wanted to be the last one so that he could speak to me alone. Sure enough, after everyone had finished talking to me, he stepped up and said, “I am so embarrassed!”
I said, “Why, what happened?”
He proceeded to tell me that he was in charge of recording my session, but that he got so excited when I first started speaking that he forgot to turn the recorder on. Then he asked if I would mind going back up on the stage and giving my talk again so that he could record it. I could hardly believe my ears! There were only two of us left in an empty room and he wanted me to do my entire presentation again with the same energy and enthusiasm that I had just finished! I gave him a pat on the shoulder and told him that would not be possible. I also encouraged him to realize that sometimes “glitch happens”, but that he could learn from the mistake and do better in the future.
I think because we live in the age of technology, there are just so many more opportunities for something to go wrong. Whether it is a microphone, a PA system, a CD or DVD that is supposed to play, a computer that is supposed to work, or a LCD player that is supposed to show a picture on a screen, everything is suspect. It can be challenging to face all of the variables that take place in technology when glitch happens.
The other day, I talked with a friend who rented a DVD and it wouldn’t work. When he took it back to the store, the person simply wiped it off with a soft cloth and then it worked fine. The next night, I wanted to play a DVD and it wouldn’t work. I wiped it off with a soft cloth and it worked just fine! I had learned a good lesson to use in the future. I also thought to myself, “Glitch happens!”
I have been right in the middle of an important phone call when all of a sudden we were disconnected from each other. For some reason beyond the control of any one human being, things sometimes just fall apart. It may be because of the weather, which interferes with technology; perhaps, a loose cable is why things do not work. I don’t know. But I do know that “glitch” sometimes happens!
We recently had a major problem with the speed of our internet because technicians were working on some wires one block over from our office and accidentally did not re-connect ours to the right source. Rather than letting those things cause me to have a heart attack or high blood pressure, I just say to myself, “Glitch happens!”
I do not believe in being negative nor do I believe in being stupid. I do think we should be efficient and try to stay ahead of “unexpected opportunities” in whatever capacity possible in order to minimize the chance of things going wrong. We cannot go through life like an ostrich with its head in the sand, ignoring the possibility of those kinds of challenges. If we do, we are going to have some big surprises in front of us.
This week, why not take a look at some of the things you have coming up. Ask yourself what could go wrong. What kind of glitch could possibly happen in that situation? Don’t wait until the last minute to check out the PA system. Don’t wait until the last minute to see if the computer or the LCD player works. In other words, head off glitches whenever and wherever you can before it gets you.
This Tip may seem rather silly to you, but I have found that by understanding that sometimes things will go wrong, I have been able to look ahead and see what I can do to be more professional and more efficient in my dealing with technology and people. I have not been able to stop every glitch from happening, but I sure have been able to keep them from surprising me as much as they used to. At least I now know how to respond rather than react when things sometimes go wrong.
I hope this helps!
Tip: Glitch happens!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm