I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve muttered this old saying. Sometimes it’s just an acknowledgement when someone says thanks for some extra effort, an aw-shucks shrugging off, “No problem!” kind of response.
And there are the other times. The times when it’s not me saying I get to choose Door Number One, with its fancy, top-shelf hootie-hoo whatever it is with a party to boot… it’s usually doing what needs to be done, even if it’s Door Number Three. The new word for this is “adulting”, which those in their 20’s often say with either great accomplishment or equally great disdain in their voice. It usually depends on whether they’re buying the spectacular shoes and big-screen TV, or they’re suffering through another bowl of ramen noodles so they can make the rent payment without having to ask their parents for help. The ramen crowd always gets props from me, by the way.
Funny sidebar: I’ll never forget one of my high school friends, when he’d break the rules, his dad would always say in his best game show host voice, “You’ve done it now, Mister… now you get to see what’s behind Dooooooooor Number Three!” Which was, of course, his funny way of announcing the grounding or whatever consequence was to follow. Funny to him, mind you… not to my friend so much. He never tipped his hand as to what was behind Door Number One or Door Number Two… we knew for sure Door Number Three was always going to be a major bummer though.
Okay, so that was a little bit of a rabbit hole, but kind of not. Usually Door Number Three was the result of the infamous “poor life choices.” So I guess Door Number Three was about the here & now – what often was, and still sometimes is, way more fun in the moment than doing the right thing.
It boils down to emotional intelligence, which completely fascinates me. Someone who can put their emotions in perspective within the greater situation almost always earns at least some measure of respect from me. I totally get that it’s not that they don’t HAVE feelings – it’s that they can keep them in check as the situation warrants… the old stiff upper lip. Not always terribly popular, by the way. I want Door Number One, or even Door Number Two, and I want it now. Bring on the ice cream sundae… with extra sprinkles. You too?
I also get that some of us are just more impetuous than others, and it takes serious commitment to stretch our emotional intelligence. Delayed gratification. Choosing to “do what you gotta do.” And let’s be honest, we all have those moments when we just want to take the easy way out – whether it’s a shortcut at work, putting off the groundwork that makes things happen down the road, or blowing off the 5am workout and staying in bed.
Maybe for you, it’s choosing to stop and take a deep breath when you get that snarky email from a bullying colleague. It’s logically rebutting their laundry list of demands and emotional spew, when what you really want to do is the old “eye for an eye,” repaying their snark with well-deserved sarcasm.
Someone asked me this week about my leadership style and how I establish respect. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think it comes down to EQ, and just “doing what you gotta do.” It’s choosing Door Number One when you sometimes want Door Number Three, if just for a minute. Staying above the fray. For me, when I don’t make it personal and emotional, I don’t get dragged into the drama. And I sure don’t need the drama.
Okay, so I’m moving on for now. I’m rolling up my sleeves and getting on with doing what I gotta do. Catch you next time – and thank you for reading.
PS – here’s a good recent read re: EQ, from Forbes.