17 May 2013 They Only Remember The “No”
We are born helpless. Totally dependent upon others for our survival.
When my daughter was born she needed to have formula dripped into her mouth to avoid dehydration and death. This lasted for a few weeks until she could feed on her own. Will she remember my waking up every few hours to help feed her?
No, and not just because she was too young.
She is more than likely able to tell you about all the times I told her she could not have donuts for dinner, or ice cream for breakfast, or not play with shards of broken glass.
Like most humans my daughter is going to remember the times she was told “no” vividly, and less likely to remember all the times she was told “yes”.
In my book DBA Survivor I speak as to how this translates to our lives as adults:
“No one cares about effort, they only care about results.”
If someone needs a quick answer from you on an obscure topic and you deliver they are likely to walk away happy. If they come to you ten times in a row and you deliver 9 out of the 10 times guess what sticks most in their mind? That’s right, the one time you couldn’t deliver is what sticks; those other nine don’t matter.
And that sucks.
And it is so very….human.
It is also human for us to not want to fail, to not disappoint others, so we get in the habit of over-promising. This often leads to under-delivering. It’s eerily similar to how virtualization works (which makes sense, since virtuallization systems were built by humans). It’s not the over-allocation of resources that is the issue, it’s when your resources are over-committed that performance suffers.
And that’s when people complain. They only remember the one failure, they never think about all the times their applications ran smoothly. When was the last time someone called and thanked you for an overnight batch process running fast?
I touched upon this in my Someday talk. People never stop to think about all the Somedays that they have already accomplished. They tend to focus more on the things they haven’t obtained yet. Not enjoying what they have, when they have it. Instead they clamor for more, and for things to never go wrong.
Humans are needy. They have a default setting of “yes” for their needs. It starts at birth and never stops.
And that’s why we only remember the “no”.
At the end of the day the issue isn’t as much with you as it is with the expectations that others place upon you. This also means that you, as a human, are often placing expectations on others. It’s a vicious cycle.
That’s what needs to be managed.