They always tell you the same thing. “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”
Now, I have a real problem with this statement. When the going gets tough, apparently the tough never stick around. Therefore, the tough never gets any experience whatsoever in dealing with the tough going. If these tough folks have the reputation of being so tough, how did they even get this reputation if they have no experience dealing with any of these tough situations. I happen to think that if you really want to have this “tough” reputation, you need to stick around for at least seventy five percent of the time. You cannot always get going whenever the going gets tough.
If you stick around when the going gets tough, one of the side effects is that you may experience some crankiness, and even let out a CrankaTsuris along the way. This should not be seen as something to necessarily avoid, but rather, this experience is part of starting to embrace our crankiness, and even part of our development in being able to be effectively cranky.
Let me share a story that will show you exactly mean by all of this.
Once upon a time, there were two brothers. One brother was called “Timid Timmy”, and the other brother was called “Tommy Tough Nuts.” Timmy was called timid because he always acted in a timid sort of way. Tommy was known as “Tough Nuts” because he always liked to say:
“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. It would be nuts to stick around!”
Their mom would come yell into their bedrooms:
“Timmy!! Tommy! Please clean up your rooms right now!”
Timmy was feeling timid, and a little cranky. He decided that while he did not like the feeling of being cranky, it would be better not to make mom angry so he decided to clean up his room.
Tommy saw the time, and remembered that he was supposed to meet his friends outside. He told his mom;
“Mom. I promised my friends that I would meet them at the candy shop so I have to get going. And when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. It would be nuts to stick around!”
Whenever it was time to study for their exams, Timmy was feeling a bit timid. He wanted to do well, and was afraid that he was not fully prepared. He decided that rather than go outside and play, he would stay home and study. Timmy was not happy about staying home. He would much rather go out and play with his other friends. Timmy was feeling quite cranky about this.
Timmy asked his brother Tommy if he was staying home to study. Tommy saw the time, and remembered that he was supposed to meet his friends outside. Tommy looked at Timmy and laughed. He replied;
“That is so boring, and a waste of time. As I always say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. It would be nuts to stick around. Who needs to learn math anyway when we have computers to give us the answers.”
Both Timmy and Tommy had piano lessons. Timmy always felt timid, and made sure he would always practice and be ready for the next lesson. This made Timmy very cranky at times. Piano practice was always very boring. However, no matter how cranky it made him, he kept practicing.
Tommy never spent much time practicing. It was too boring. When it was time to practice, Tommy saw the time, and remembered that he was supposed to meet his friends outside.
When Tommy was asked about whether he was staying home to practice, he said to Timmy:
“That is so boring. As I always say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Our piano teach does not even care if I play well or not. It would be nuts to stick around!”
Years later, Timmy developed many skills. He was a successful concert pianist, and later went to medical school and ultimately became a well known surgeon. Whenever there was a tough operation, Timmy was the one everyone wanted. Timmy was even called “Timmy, One Tough Operator.”
Because poor Tommy never stuck around for anything, Tommy was never good at anything. He never accomplished much, and everyone said that he was rather timid. Not only did Tommy have a reputation for being timid, some people said that he also was a little bit nuts at times. He definitely had to experience a lot of CrankaTsuris.
Use this story to remind you what effective crankiness is all about. It is about growth, and opportunity. It is about taking on what may be appear to be difficult, and with some hard work, becoming a master at a craft. When you think about your crankiness with the possibility of what you can achieve, it puts crankiness in a whole new positive light.
And if you always got going when the going got tough, perhaps that is what leads to all that ineffective crankiness.
I wrote in a previous blog that we not only have to hope for the best, but we also have to prepare for the best as well. It is never more true than when you confront “Tough Going CrankaTsuris.”