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Give It Some Thought

Aug 12, 2011

by Emily Mathews, TSSA Director of Education and Meetings

Do you ever just sit perfectly still and do nothing but think? Not while you’re driving.  Not while you’re in line at the grocery store.  Not while someone is talking to (or at) you.  No multitasking.  Just thinking.

As I pondered what to blog about this week, I did just that: sat perfectly still and did nothing but think.  I turned my chair away from the computer, put my feet up on my desk (I know, I know) and just thought.

Sadly, two minutes hadn’t passed before I started to feel guilty for “wasting time,” plus my mind wandered all over the mental map.  And what if someone passed by my office and assumed I was slacking (I guess the feet on the desk wouldn’t have helped)? Unfair! I wasn’t slacking.  I was thinking.  About work.  About my blog.  No slacking here. 

My anxiety mounted anyway, and as I took my feet down, I was reminded of a couple of lines from one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, The Fugitive (the 1990s version, of course). 

Staring into the distance and contemplating where his fugitive (Harrison Ford, looking dreadful with a beard) might be, the horribly grouchy and abrasive Tommy Lee Jones - as U.S. marshal Sam Gerard - says to one of his underlings, “Newman?”

Newman, also gazing off somewhere, replies.  Gerard then asks, “What are you doing?” in a tone of voice that doesn’t bode well for Newman.  The doomed young man makes the mistake of telling the truth: “Thinking.” The reply? It could have been worse, but it was still pretty bad: “Well, go think me up a cup of coffee and one of those donuts with sprinkles, would you? While you’re thinking?”

Newman complies.

Poor Newman.  If he’d been left alone to think, maybe Dr. Richard Kimble would have been caught much sooner.  Of course, we wouldn’t have a movie in that case.  But you get my point.

Back to the scene in my office.  Naturally, my nervousness was without merit: TSSA employees are completely free to think! I’m sure you are, too. And some of your best ideas and solutions just might come out of actually taking the time to do it.  I mean, did Thomas Edison Facebook (yes, it’s a verb) while inventing? (Putting aside, of course, the fact that there was no Facebook.)  Doubt it.  Did Albert Einstein brush his teeth and worry about the stock market while he concocted the Theory of Relativity?  Unlikely.  (He didn’t comb his hair, either).

While you’re thinking, don’t forget to think about how much you stand to gain from attending the Texas Self Storage Association 25th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show in Austin this October.  I guarantee you’ll get to thinking (no pun intended) in different ways about your self-storage business in general and specifically, your marketing plan, your taxes, your use of social media, your relationships with customers, your rent rates, and so much more.  And when you get home, don't be a Newman: let not even a grouchy U.S. marshal interrupt your thinking time (also, please don't get shot by a double-crossing Robert Downey, Jr., as Newman did in the sequel).

I promise that if you join us in Austin, I’ll think you up a cup of coffee every morning.

But no sprinkles on your donut.  (And get your feet off the desk.)


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