Hang Out With Eeyores

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They’re some of the most important people you can have in your life.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Fire Side Chat with Beth Comstock, CMO at GE, who is one of the most most humble and insightful people I’ve ever heard speak. The advice and wisdom poured from her microphone in a very smooth way. Nothing was forced, and her lessons were from personal experience.

There are many points she made that I could be writing about, but one piece of advice stuck with me even more than the rest:

Be sure to have a couple “Eeyores” in your life.

Let’s dissect that a bit. Eeyore is a character in Winnie the Pooh who views the World in a much different way than our old friend Winnie does. He’s pessimistic, depressed, crotchety and generally anhedonic. He’s a downer. He doesn’t think he can do it, let alone you. He’s that guy.

But Ms. Comstock drove home the idea that you need people with that mentality in your life. It keeps you sharp. It keeps you trying. It keeps you working hard.

Eeyores give you something to work towards.

She mentioned how one Eeyore in particular motivated her to do some pretty amazing things. With a constant “can’t do” attitude, he pushed her to work hard and prove him wrong. He was her motivation to take her work and personal life to the next level.

And that makes a lot of sense. I’ve never been more driven than when someone told me I couldn’t do something or that I wasn’t qualified enough. I was immediately taken back to last summer when I met with a recruiter in downtown Toronto. From the moment I walked in the door, she looked disappointed to see me. Her body language SCREAMED you’re not worth my time. She rushed through her shoddy presentation and eventually showed me the door.

That was the exact push I needed to take it to the next level.

I had a brand new job within two weeks of that moment.

We should appreciate everyone who’s in our lives, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the most negative people can have the most positive influence on your life.

Title Photo Credit: flickr