Do you know how the tea kettle works? It's simple. You fill up the kettle, leaving some room at the top. There is a small pour spout on top with a hinged lid. The water slowly heats up as pressure increases inside this closed pressure vessel. Once critical mass is achieved and the water is boiling, the pressure inside causes the kettle lid to crack and whistle. The water is ready for making tea. I won't mention the person, but I heard a story this week that got me thinking about the tea kettle. This person has a long commute to work, a mentally demanding job, an elderly parent to care for, and children in high school and college in this post-COVID world. This person is constantly in a state of work, like Vincent Pugliese mentioned in the previous episode, "My Greatest Ideas have Never Come from Being Busy " As this person was talking, I could feel the tension, stress, and internal pressure like the water in the heating tea kettle. I felt terrible, but also realized that once a person is in this state, they won't believe they can get out. They feel trapped because they are under so much pressure, with no mental margin, and no quieting time to get new ideas to change things. The image of that tea kettle kept coming to mind.
I was talking to my buddy Billy Altman after hearing this person's story. Billy and his wife Rebecca are missionaries with FamilyLife and have an incredible ministry helping marriages and families. I told him the story and the metaphor I was trying to draw. He immediately picked up on it and said this. "Ken, the tea kettle starts whistling when the water has started boiling. At some point, the tea kettle will start overflowing hot water. The whistle is the warning." I thought about this profound statement that Billy made. He was right. The whistle is a warning. It tells us when we're about to spill over or blow our lid! At some point, my friend will get stretched past the point of what her tea kettle can handle and it will be messy and take a while to clean up. I am praying for this person. If you relate with this story and you're living life with no margin, your whistle may be sounding soon if it hasn't already. Please, quiet your brain and give yourself mental, physical, and emotional space to decompress, depressurize, cool down, and have peace of mind.
I really struggle to give a personal business update after this amazing message, so I'll share a few wins from this week in my solo cleaning business.:
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."