Red Light, Green Light, 1. 2. 3.

My friend Mary told me that at her company they start off meetings with each person identifying their overall mood by colors. Green= Good. Yellow=Ok. Red=Bad. The idea is that if you understand you coworker’s mood, you can better cater the conversation.

Today I was red-ish.


I was red-ish because I had a stressful workday. When I think of where the stress came from, It goes back to a change in my mindset after college.


I had little to no direction with what I wanted to do. I applied to the most esteemed program in the business school, because “why not”. And I did the minimum needed to graduate with the grades that I needed to feel good about myself. I learned, played rugby, and had a pretty good time. I was almost never anxious or stressed.

But when I graduated I had no idea what I was going to do. The week after I graduated, I was in my father’s retail distribution warehouse unloading boxes from a truck, crying. I had no vision or direction.

So I made a conscious decision to be in the driver’s seat of my life. Which brings us to


Where I am pushing forward in many areas of my life, including work. At work, we have goals, direction, and plans. And things are moving forward.

But sometimes, like yesterday, things just don’t go smoothly. You planned, you had a goal, you had direction, and it didn’t work out to your expectation. And it’s stressful.

So how do you remove stress but still have direction? How do you have big, hairy goals and not be let down if you don’t reach them? Is stress a necessary byproduct of moving forward?

I don’t have clear answers. But after writing the previous 337 words, I have some clarity and ideas.

Stress is not always a bad thing; there are many times when I feel positive stress to get something done. A form of pressure and excitement rolled up together. Negative stress is usually just fear. Fear that things wont work out.

Maybe I should be working on reframing my stress. Instead of worried that my customers wont get their orders now, be excited that the process will be more seamless in the future. And work to get it there.


I am feeling green-ish now.

Red Light, Green Light, 1. 2. 3.

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