126 – Lean into Chop

Life’s resistance points are like choppy waves. They can knock you off your personal watercraft or capsize your boat, but with time you can learn to read them, even read their unpredictability.

That person taking extra time in front of you at the bank, the guy in the lobby who keeps making noise while you need to focus on work, the bus driver who won’t let you put your feet in the isle to stretch after five hours—think of it all as chop.

The more you ride in chop, the better your skills. As a writer, I get a better idea what to write when I have some nuisance; it’s just part of a good writing environment. Sometimes I need quiet and peace, other times I need noise. My coding projects finish more quickly when I’m either under pressure or finishing them as a way of procrastinating from doing something else.

If you are trying to get anything done with your life, you need the frustration of chop to train you how the oceans flow to hone your skills. It always comes when you least want it and it leaves you tired, wet, cold, and perhaps minus a few articles of clothing. So, it’s always good to just button down the hatch and keep a victory cigar handy in case chop bestows upon you a lucky learning day at sea.

Don’t fall into the trap of saying things that begin with, “But, good service is…” That’s little more than an excuse to act like an incompetent royal. Demanding good service and providing good service are two different oceans. If you learn to expect smooth sailing—and you file a customer service complaint against an ocean for being choppy—you’ll end up at the bottom. Don’t complain, don’t give the bad review, don’t even go there.

There is a time for customer suggestions and negative consumer reviews, but never, never, never think that they will air lift you out of good, fun chop. When a wave comes for you, take it head on; never turn to the side. You’ll especially encounter chop on the “higher life” voyage of delivering excellent customer service to someone else.