Have You Been Voluntold?

Have You Been Voluntold?

Voluntold, it’s a funny word.

A combination of volunteer and told, to do something.

I couldn’t believe that this word is actually in the dictionary and means:

“When one has been volunteered for something by another person. Often against their wishes and desires.” (Reference: Unwords)

“The exact opposite of volunteering. Always used in reference to an unpleasant task to which you have been assigned by your boss.”(Reference: Urban Dictionary)

I’ve seen this used when the boss asks for volunteers for a task or special project. If no one volunteers, then the boss volunteers someone–telling them to do it. They have been voluntold!

One time, I remember a very tense meeting where a boss was presenting his vision for the organization, but at the same time putting down the status quo and everyone in it.

As one point, he asks for a volunteer to help with driving his vision forward (note: no one had bought into it), and no one volunteers.

The boss ask for a volunteer once, twice, and three times at the meeting as the tension rises.

Finally, a hand goes up and someone accepts the task.

He is the bosses new favorite and is told publicly at the meeting that he will be rewarded for “stepping up.”

The truth is he didn’t really step up, but rather succumbed to the pressure to do it.

Another victim of being voluntold.

In the end, he really didn’t perform much of what he volunteered for–not a surprise, since he never bought into it to begin with.

Sometimes, we do have to ask people to do things, but it shouldn’t be by force or undue pressure.

A leader builds his vision with his team–not for his team–and they move forward together to achieve their unified goals and objectives.

Telling someone to do something, and pretending that they are really volunteering fools no one and achieves nothing accept maybe calling out some pretend accomplishments to go with the pretend volunteers. πŸ˜‰

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Andrew Huff)

The Tiger Woods of Ping Pong

This 9-year old kid–Tom Spicer–from Australia is quite simply amazing.Hard to believe this is real–but I understand that it is!This kid throws a ping ball every which way into a tiny cup.

Straight shot, with a bounce and even 4, off the wall, rolling off a roof, behind his back and around the corner, out of a window, a backflip while laying down, with a flick of a skateboard, with the cup in motion, even while bouncing on a trampoline.

This kid is an inspiration with just a ball and cup, a million and one shots, and a big smile.

Tom has been practicing for 5 1/2 years.

Amazing discipline and creativity–seems right for America’s Got Talent.

Imagine what we can do if we set our mind to accomplishing great things too.

Everyone can score! πŸ˜‰

Accomplishing What?

Crown

What do you want to accomplish before you die?

Four university students in Canada developed a list of 100 things a few years ago and as of the publishing of their book on this called The Buried Life, they had accomplished 53 of them–including playing basketball with President Obama at the White House!

Also on their list was to “get in a fight”–and so a couple of them beat the h*ll out of each other. Uh, now you can cross that one off your list.

Number 100 on their list is “go to space”–now are they really going to make it there?Β  Maybe one call to CEO Elon Musk and they’ll get on the next flight of the new SpaceX Dragon capsule.

MTV made this into a reality TV show in 2010 and aired it for two seasons, and it was nominated for a number of awards.

The book came out in March 2012 and it hit #1 on the New York Times best seller list the very first week!

The premise of the book is pretty cool–they collected ten of thousands of entries on what people wanted to do before they died, chose the ones they thought best, and had an artist creatively portray these.

Some of the items in the book are things you’d expect from people in terms of becoming rich, powerful, famous, and so on.Β  Others are more intimate and from the heart like reconciling with estranged family members, forgiving those that have hurt them, understanding why bad things happened to them, and even finding true love.

What I find interesting is not so much even what people want to do with their lives, but how everyone is in a way (or actually many ways) imperfect and they seek to fill the voids in their hearts, souls, and lives.

Does creating a list of 100 things and checking off the list really mean anything or is it just a gimmick to get on TV, write a book, and earn some cash?

I think to me it’s not how many things we accomplish, but what we are really trying to achieve–is it bragging rights and fulfillment of our mortal desires, or is it to get a deeper understanding of ourselves, improve who we are, and give back to others.

I don’t have a list of a 100 things or even 10 things…I just want to live my life where I can look myself in the mirror in the morning for who I am as a husband, father, son, as a professional, and as a Jew.

I am not sure it is the big splashy things like the authors put down, including getting into the Guinness World Recordsthat is all it’s cracked up to be–but all the power to them.

My parents used to have a little sign hanging over the kitchen that said “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice”—yes, a little corny and cliche, but the point is well taken about setting priorities for ourselves that we can truly be proud of–and those things don’t necessarily make a list, a record, or get you an ovation.

Today, I read in the news about how Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist, may end up losing all 7 of his Tour de France titles for doping–just another example of what people are willing to do or give up of themselves to get what they want in life.

I say dream big, try your hardest, but don’t get lost in lists of accomplishments and stardom–stay true to who you really are and want to be.

And like the picture shows, it’s good not to take yourself too seriously.Β  πŸ˜‰

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)