April Jeppson: There’s often more than 1 way to get a job done
Published 8:45 pm Friday, January 14, 2022
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
Have you ever read something and it just hits you? Like it really speaks to you and you can’t get it out of your head. This happens to me off and on, and I take it as a little sign. If I can’t shake that feeling, I believe that perhaps it’s something I’m supposed to learn from.
“6+3=9, but so does 5+4. The way you do things isn’t always the only way to do them. Respect other people’s way of thinking.” It’s very similar to the old adage, ‘’There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” I remember hearing the latter expression as a youth and thinking how gross that was. Why would anyone want to do that? I learned the real meaning, but it never hit me the way the first quote did.
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I’m a go-getter. I see things that need to be done and I do them. I prefer to be proactive and stop fires from happening. I used to work at a place and they operated in a reactionary way. Spending all their time and effort putting out fires and trying to fix problems after they already happened. It drove me nuts. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t my business and ultimately wasn’t my problem. And if you’ve ever had a job anywhere, it is crazy hard to mentally check out like that. So hard in fact, that I ultimately had to find a different place to work.
I also like to take charge. It’s not a conscious decision that I make, it just happens. If I’m in a room of people and it’s chaotic, I’ll either leave or lead. Once again, not an actual thought that I have, it’s just what I’m naturally drawn to do. My parents would tell you that I was kind of bossy as a child. I remember being super polite and awesome, but it’s not nice to argue with your parents, so I’ll let them win this one. This time.
I’m wildly creative. Not in the sense that I’m going to create a macramé sculpture out of toothpicks and dried leaves, but I have the ability to see things differently than others. I have an amazing imagination. Remember that bossy kid my parents have? Well what they didn’t see was that every time she was quietly listening, her brain was reimagining everything around her. In order for me to sit still in church, I would look at the structure and then mentally build in rooms and redesign it so that it would be a house that I could live in. I’ve remodeled churches, classrooms, gymnasiums, offices — anywhere that I’ve had to spend a significant amount of time at really.
I’m a fast thinker. Like previously mentioned, I prefer to cut off problems before they even start. However, in the event that something does arise, my brain goes into hyper speed. In a fairly short amount of time, I’ll have a multitude of solutions and alternative pathways so that we can continue to move forward with our goal. I do not see obstacles as a stopping point, I see them as an opportunity to find an alternative route.
These attributes that I enjoy about myself, have also hurt me from time to time. Not everyone enjoys working with someone who takes charge. People don’t like having conversations that jump from topic to topic almost spontaneously. I knew early on that not everyone did things the way that I did. However, it took years to realize that some people don’t care for the way I do things. And you know what? That’s OK. I can’t make anyone respect my way of thinking. But you know what I can do? I can understand that other people are going to do things differently, and their way might be just as awesome as mine.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.