Who Moved My Peas?

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First, a status report. My cheese is fine. Nobody’s moved my cheese; my cheese is right where it’s always been.

Cheese, you see, is the reward you get for making it through the maze. It’s the fun stuff. Cheese is:

  • the glass of wine at the end of the day
  • the weekend movie
  • the summer trip to Italy

Cheese is the fun stuff. I’m not going to lose track of my cheese. It’s front-of-mind, and I know exactly where it is.

It’s the peas that seem to move. What are the peas? Peas are the things that are good for you, but that aren’t necessarily fun. Peas are the twists and turns in the maze; they’re the sweat that it takes in order to earn your cheese. They’re the hard work. Peas are:

  • the 30 minutes on the treadmill each morning
  • the sales calls you make to drive your business
  • the extra hours you put in because “good enough” isn’t good enough

Peas get lost all the time. They get lost in phrases like:

  • “I was going to go to the gym this morning, but I was just too tired.”
  • “My friend invited me to a long lunch, so I couldn’t get that report finished today.”
  • “I know that I said I’d call my parents today, but tomorrow’s fine; they won’t care.”

I’ve said each of these—and others like them—at one time or another, and I’m guessing you have too. And each time I’ve said them, it means that somebody moved my peas.

That somebody, of course, is me. Nobody else can move my peas, and nobody but you can move yours. You alone are responsible for your own sweat equity, both literal and figurative.

So my challenge for you (and me) is this: start making the peas front-of-mind. Rather than spend your day thinking about the glass of wine, rather than spend your week thinking about the weekend, rather than spend your spring thinking about summer vacation, focus instead on the job at hand. Focus on doing what needs to be done. And then do it—to the best of your ability.

Don’t move your peas. Eat them, enjoy them, relish them. Because when you do, the cheese will taste that much better.


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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