This past weekend, I was recovering from oral surgery that left it difficult for me to talk or to get much work done. As a result, I spent a lot of time sitting on my couch watching television. (Here’s a pic from my vantage point on the couch.)
As I caught up on my favorite shows and watched a few new ones, I realized that although we often think of television as a colossal, brain-draining waste of time, there are the occasional nuggets of wisdom we can pick up if we’re paying attention.
Here are a few I found that I think apply well to our work lives (and possibly our personal lives too). Let me know which ones are your favorites!
1. “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” - Game of Thrones
When we acknowledge and accept our flaws, we’re able to drop our defensiveness about them. As a result, they lose their power for those who would bring them up in an attempt to embarrass, anger, or hurt us.
2. “If you don’t like what is being said, then change the conversation.” - Mad Men
Plato is often quoted as saying, “Your silence gives consent.” If a workplace conversation is taking an inappropriate tone, a meeting discussion has diverted from the agenda, or you don’t want to be drawn into workplace gossip, there’s a simple solution– speak up and direct the conversation elsewhere.
3. “It’s so easy to do the wrong thing in this world. So, if it feels wrong don’t do it.” - The Walking Dead
I don’t think this one need any explanation.
4. “Change is neither good or bad. It simply is. It can be greeted with terror or joy — a tantrum that says, ‘I want it the way it was,’ or a dance that says, ‘Look, something new.'” – Mad Men
Let’s face it, most people are creatures of habit and don’t like change. However, change is inevitable, we can’t always control it, and the more we look at it negatively, the more painful the change becomes. If we choose to take a positive approach to change we’ll not only move through uncomfortable change more quickly, but we’ll also be better able to find the positive aspects of our new reality.
5. “I’ve never met a situation where I don’t have a choice in the matter.”- Madam Secretary
No matter the situation you always have choices. They may not always be great, but they’re always there.
6. “When the door you’ve been knocking at finally swings open, you don’t ask why. You run through.” - The Good Wife
We get a job offer and hesitate to accept because we’re afraid of trying something new or question our ability to be successful. Someone offers us an opportunity and we question their motives. The door to opportunity is open- something we’ve ALWAYS wanted, but when it’s right in front of us, we freeze. Too many times we allow fear and doubt to keep us from moving forward. Stop questioning and start moving forward.
7. “You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself.” - Mad Men
People don’t give you respect, you earn it, require it, or command (not demand) it. To get respect you have to give it AND you have to have it for yourself as well.
8. “Sometimes when people get what they want, they realize how limited their goals were.” - Mad Men
Too many times people set the bar low because they fear failure. Easy goals are easy to reach. Reaching your potential is much harder.
9. “Don’t try too hard to please everybody. You’ll only end up with regrets.” -The Night Shift
People who try to make everyone happy usually end up making themselves miserable. If we focus instead on doing the right thing instead of focusing on making others happy, it’s a lot easier to live with the outcome.
Have some other favorite TV quotes to add to this list? Let me know!