The Lesson

There are two things that I am allergic to: bee stings and spontaneous activity.

As a kid, I could often be found flailing my arms and running in fear for my life any time a member of the “stinger” species came within a 10-mile radius. However, thanks to hundreds of hours of therapy, today I am able to live normal life free from the fear of being stung. Unfortunately, I still flail my arms and run in fear for my life. But, it’s no longer because of bees, it is because of something much more frightening. A little something known as “spontaneity.”

I’m a planner. An organizer. An agenda-loving-checklist-making-to-do-lister who enjoys a structured routine. Take me too far from my well-worn path and I start going into anaphylactic shock. (Okay, maybe that’s not totally true, but there is some minor twitching involved.)

Spontaneity and I just don’t see eye to eye.

Like many busy professionals, I rely on planning and scheduling to keep my business and personal ambitions on track.
Over the past few years, I have developed a unique system that allows me to be extremely productive and focus my energy on the things that I enjoy doing most. And, since much of my work involves meeting deadlines for clients, getting off track simply isn’t an option.

But, a couple of weeks ago I was presented with an opportunity to break free from my agenda and set my to-do list aside.

A good friend who moved away a few years ago made an unannounced trip back home, and he wanted to know if I had a few hours to go boating. According to my calendar, I didn’t. And, I didn’t the last time he was in town either. This time, however, I decided to put my “schedule” aside and said ‘yes’ when I normally would have said ‘no’.

Saying ‘yes’ caused me to put in a few extra hours that night and I had postpone a lunch meeting, but the spontaneous experience was well worth the allergic reaction. The memories will last a lifetime.

(Perhaps my sudden change of heart had something to do with watching Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man” the night before. Who knows. If you haven’t seen the movie, below is a short clip to bring you up to speed.)

The Challenge

This week your challenge is to do something spontaneous. Say ‘yes’ when you would otherwise say ‘no’ and roll with it. See where life takes you.

The Reflection

When is the last time you broke free from your schedule? How could this continual practice of this challenge have a positive impact on your life?

You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

To download companion worksheets to use with The collector mentor Challenge™, please visit

About collector mentor
Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industry.

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