Be The Pro
Last Wednesday morning was my third opportunity to be on a local AM radio show. I had been a guest once, and then a co-host, and now I was taking another turn at co-hosting. Due to the fact that I had arrived 45 minutes early twice before, I figured I could leave the house a little later this time and still get there comfortably. Over coffee at home, I finished reviewing several articles published by the business author whom I’d be interviewing and felt well-prepared with my supply of thoughtful questions.
As I approached the entrance ramp to the highway and glanced at the thickening traffic, I made a split-second assessment and opted to take the back roads. Fortunately, my trusty GPS, Marge, doesn’t mind when I ask her to recalculate the route for me. I’m on my way, the music is pumping, and life is good.
Ten minutes into the trip and I’m asking Marge to recalculate for me again. Construction. Merging lanes. Blaring horns. Nightmare. By the time I’m on my third detour, I find a construction-free zone. I start to get nervous when Marge tells me I have 8.9 miles to go before even approaching the vicinity of the radio station. I pray for green lights out loud and notice I have the sound of a desperate gambler at the roulette wheel. As I calculate the MPH to see if it’s even possible to make it to the station on time, I teeter delicately between faith and panic. I hear myself say out loud, “The math doesn’t work,” along with the sarcastic judgment: “I’m prepared for the interview; I’m just not there.”
A New Paradigm Strikes
Then it hits me as my foot presses the accelerator to round another city street. I could work myself up into a ball of panic and arrive anxious and off my game, or I could be the pro who breezes in the door just in time, with confidence intact. I choose the latter.
Finally, I’m within a few miles of striking distance, and what do I do? Overshoot the building of course! By this time Marge was silent, not knowing what to do with me. One more broken U-turn. One more red light. And one dramatic sprint down the street wearing pumps! I’m laughing at myself as I breeze past the guy at the front desk whose smile lets me know he’s rooting for me.
The veteran radio host reaches out to shake my hand. “They said you’re usually early.” Yeah, except for when I’m not! He smiles when he sees my yellow-highlighted notes and, sensing I might have sprinted, gives me a bottle of water and a Ricola cough drop. Five, four, three, two, one and we are on the air. I am actually relaxed enough to enjoy it and am not even thrown when a technical difficulty creates 15 minutes of air space to fill toward the end of the show.
I was glad I had chosen to be the pro. Of course next time, this pro will leave half an hour earlier!
It's How You Look At It
On the way out of the radio station, I conveyed my “be the pro” paradigm shift with the nice man at the front desk. His response was: “That’s a good philosophy for life.”
“Human beings, by changing the inner
attitudes of their minds,
Here's to you,