I am not a big soccer fan. Even though I grew up in Costa Rica, where futbol (as they call it there) is something everyone needs to know and play, I was never a good player and so I’ve never really enjoyed seeing the game.
This does not mean that I don’t get to follow and even learn from some of the players.
For example, I had the pleasure of sitting with my oldest son next to Keylor Navas (goalkeeper for Real Madrid & Costa Rica’s national team) on a plane trip last year. And there I was able to see how someone who is a renowned figure can still be kind and patient with every single person in the plane who came to take a picture with him, and then (once we finally got to be airborne) he was placid enough to play with the 1-year old toddler of the lady sitting next to him – whom he did not know.
The guy with the suicide blond hair
But today I want to talk about Leo Messi and his hair color.
In case you live under a rock, Leo (Lionel) Messi is one of the 2 top players in the world today (I won’t enter into the discussion if he is slightly better or worse than Cristiano Ronaldo!) and some weeks ago he surprised the world by dying his hard blond!
I mean, crazy rock stars do that all the time, but if you follow Messi you know this does not really fit him…
Well, he finally explained why he did it, and actually it made perfect sense!
Sometimes you need external changes to drive an internal change
On a satirical interview Messi provided a simple and good explanation on why he colored his hair.
In case you are not good at Spanish, he said that he wanted to start from “zero” (as we sometimes say, start from scratch) and so he choose to make a change.
For those of you who do not follow him, lately Messi has been in a small slump where among other things he ran into issues with the law in Spain for tax issues, and he also blew up a penalty shot that cost his National Team the title for the Copa America – so much so that for a while he even quit the National Team.
Apparently there were other things also bringing him down, and so he decided he needed to make a radical change, to start from scratch, and this made him go and dye his hair blond.
Changes need to start from within, but a little help from outside can also help!
I am no Messi (not even in the field of Testing) but I can understand 100% why he did this, as sometimes I do this myself…
I have not yet dyed my hair blond, I am afraid that if I do this the little hair I have left will finally decide to leave me altogether, but I do sometimes change my annotations’ notebook, or re-position my desk differently in the room, or simply change my morning habits in subtle ways that only I can notice. And I do this in order to signal to myself that today is a new start, and I can leave all the stuff that was bringing me down literally behind me.
I know that this should not have any effect other than psychological in the way I behave. But you know what? Sometimes all the things that are actually bringing us down reside ONLY in our heads, and so this cheap psychological trick is exactly what I need 🙂
The guy who fired himself once a Quarter!
This actually reminds me of someone who I meet a numbers of years ago, and who taught me something important.
He was a little loud (he literally came once to the office with a loudspeaker and started screaming motivational messages in the Open Space), but sometimes he also had great ideas, and most importantly he was never afraid to share them with everyone who would listen – or who would not leave the room running for their life!
In one presentation he told us that as a rule he Fires Himself Every Quarter, and then immediately re-hires himself once again. Sounds weird, but it is actually very simple. He wants to get a clean start in his work, and what better way than to start fresh on your job.
Think about it, when you start your job you have none of your previous failures to bring you down, but you still have all the experience you gained to push you forward. And what this guy was actually saying was that once a quarter he turns a new page, leaves all his failures behind and moves forward propelled by his successes.
Not only does this make sense, but is actually genial!
Go and dye your hair purple, turn your desk upside down, fire yourself up, and then get ready to march forward
Each of us has the things that makes him/her tick.
For Messy it was dying his hair, for me it is shifting my desk, for others it is taking a vacation, it varies from one person to another. But what does not vary is the need we have sometimes to leave our past failures behind us so that we can keep running forward in this exciting race we call life.
So go and look for your external mechanism and don’t be afraid to use it!