Leading Happy

Where Leadership and Happiness Collide

Tag: attitude

Broken Escalator or Stairs?


One of my favorite things is to watch comedians. Years ago, a good friend introduced me to late comedian Mitch Hedberg. He was known for making normal life issues, situations, or word, and putting a hilarious, witty spin on them.

Here is one of my favorites from him,

“I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only – Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”

The first time I heard this I laughed till I cried. But I also had another reality form out of the humor. Truth out of comedy.

Even though the escalator may not be running, the fact that it is still a usable set stairs is true.

You can still get from point A to point B on the escalator cum stairs. Maybe with more effort, but it is possible.

It makes me wonder about many of the setbacks we face on a daily basis.

  • When something goes wrong.
  • When we don’t get our way.
  • When it seems chaos is more normal than control.
  • When our world seems to be falling apart, tearing at the seams.

Our natural first inclination is to quit. Why is that?

There are always two sides to our human nature. Only one of them is prone to quit. The other is prone to do what it takes to survive. Not just survive, but find new ways to thrive!

It all depends on how we look at the situation. We often call it attitude. But attitude actual comes out of our outlook, our view.

How we see and internalize something is how it will form into a belief and then an action, which controls our behavior.

So don’t simply give into the struggle next time adversity stares you in the face. Instead, look at the broken escalator as a set of stairs – a challenge, an opportunity – to conquer.

View your issue as something that can be turned around for your own benefit, or maybe the benefit of those around you.

New view; new you. Sounds cheesy, but it is true. “Sorry for the convenience!”

Sorry. No, You Don’t Get a Trophy (Guest Post)


Think about this:

Imagine you are a parent and you are at your son’s’ final baseball game and your son is pitching in the bottom of the 9th inning and there are already 2 outs on the board.

He throws the first pitch. And boom. Strike 1.

He throws pitch number two. Strike 2. Now it’s all up to this last pitch.

He winds up and pitches! Strike 3! Hooray.

The kid batting is out and the game is over!

Your sons’ team just won!

Except something is amiss.

As they are passing out the trophies and awards they give every team the same “Great Job” trophy. Even though the opposing team just lost, they still got a trophy. Wait just a minute!


According to Mensjournal.com, “Trophies make kids feel like finishing in last place may be good enough.” Which is exactly true. Kids nowadays don’t have the same drive to win as kids did a decade ago. People would rather make their kids feel like a “winner” than for them to face the fact that they actually lost.

Where did William Edward Hickson famous quote go, which claimed, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” What happened to that? He clearly didn’t say, “If at first you don’t succeed, that’s okay you still get a trophy!” This alone teaches kids that by losing you will get the same reward as someone who purposefully works hard to do something. Something that absolutely doesn’t happen in life as an adult.

Now, yes, I do agree that getting a trophy can boost your self-esteem, like stated on mommyhastowork.com, “Glass awards and plaques will help change a child’s self-esteem for the better, encourage further development in a skill or quality that they have pride in.” So yes, they can help, yet in the end, getting an award for something you don’t really deserve can have a horrible effect on their work ethic and desire to advance in something. A pat on the back in adolescents  can potentially turn into a huge slap in the face in adulthood.

Now I’m not saying kids don’t need or deserve trophies, but I think it is better when they don’t get them simply for playing along.

Kids need motivation to work hard, and if they can always count on winning then they won’t learn important lessons that will stay with them into their adult life. They will continue to think that losing and being bad at something is okay. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work like that.

So No. You don’t get a trophy if you don’t actually deserve it.

Sincerely, clearlymakenzie


Makenzie is a mass communications major in Missouri. Follow her musings, fun research, and other postings at www.clearlymakenzie.wordpress.com.


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