This is my last name. It’s sort of an alphabet soup of a word, huh? Any guesses on how to pronounce it?
I’ve heard it all, believe me. Nothing offends me anymore. It’s funny actually. I kind of enjoy hearing how mangled it gets.
In reality, it’s not that difficult.
Civic. Just like a Honda. Or like the Civics class you took in high school. Or like your sense of Civic duty that drives you to vote each year. (Sidebar: I always wanted to write an opinion column called “Scivicque Duty” but it seems unlikely that people would get it…) The emphasis is slightly different, placed on the end of the word rather than the beginning, but Civic is close enough.
It’s in there — sCIVICque
Most people don’t see it on their own. They just see a jumbled mess of a name they can’t pronounce. In fact, some people want it to be more complicated than it is. When they hear how it’s pronounced, they look at me like, “That’s it?” And I kind of shrug apologetically.
As humans, we’re quick to look at things and make snap judgments. Whether we’re looking at a last name and guessing how to pronounce it or looking at a goal and wondering how difficult it will be to accomplish. We give it a glance and make an immediate assumption. We rank it on our own personal scale of difficulty and there it remains, firmly planted.
Here’s the problem: Once that’s been done, it’s nearly impossible to overcome that expectation. If you think accomplishing your goal will be a miserable, uncomfortable experience, it almost certainly will be. You’ve pre-programmed your brain.
Many things in life are just like my last name: easier than they appear at first glance. But you have to get past the initial overwhelm. Instead of simply looking and thinking, “That’s impossible!” you have to look a little deeper, past the surface. Strip away the fluff and see what’s really there. Within even the most impossible task, you will always find a speck of possibility. And that’s where your focus belongs.
I love my last name. For me, it’s like a tricky riddle that takes you by surprise when you hear the answer. It starts endless conversations and evokes the most perplexes responses. It never ceases to surprise people with its simplicity.
Remember this the next time you’re staring at a task that appears, on the surface, to be overwhelming; a challenge that appears insurmountable; or a goal that appears too great to even dream of accomplishing.
Look for that speck of possibility.
It’s already looking for you.
Photo Credit: …-Wink-…(Flickr)