Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why it’s OK for people to circle the block for parking when they go to the gym

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Every few months or so I see people posting in blog posts, on social media and sometimes face-to-face something to this effect:

You're going to the gym. Why does it matter if you park a few spots farther away?

And I used to laugh at that and then I start wondering why is that even anybody's concern how far somebody else parks away from the gym? There could be all kinds of reasons why somebody wants to park closer:

  • It's not a cardio day. LOL but seriously they're there to lift. 🏋️‍♀️
  • Maybe they're also dropping off their toddler at the gym daycare and don't want to walk farther with the kid.
  • Maybe they have an injured knee.
  • Maybe they have to haul a bunch of stuff inside.

I don't know what the reasons are and maybe it is just laziness but why is it anybody else's concern? At the very least they are going to the gym. Or maybe they're not going to the gym and they're just going to the gym location to go sit in the hot tub or steam room. We don't know.

But ultimately it is up to them and really why are we judging? I know some won't stop judging but something to consider.

The point is that we really don't know all the details anyways. If you personally want to park closer to the gym be my guest. But don't take my picture and post it on Twitter to judge me. ⬅️ That's a hypothetical example.

Here's another example of potential judging that's not gym related:

The other day I went to a store to buy make up for video shoots and conferences. Of course since I was there I ended up buying a bunch of other things too. Since the make up is actually a business expense I asked the cashier to run it separately so it would be on a separate receipt.

I'm sure the cashier could've cared less whether it was on the same receipt or not but think about that scenario and all the thoughts that could've come to mind and all the unknown information that existed. Why would a man buy women's make up and then put it on a separate receipt? Maybe it was for his girlfriend and he is cheating on his wife. Charging it like this would ensure that his wife didn't see the charge on the credit card receipt. We can spin so many stories and reasons and judge – that could be a full-time job.

The final example that comes to mind is the debate around when to use your iPhone and when not to.

Some people get on their soapbox when other people use their iPhone at dinner in a restaurant. Why wouldn't they look at their family? But meanwhile those complaining are also not spending real quality time with their dinner partner because really they just complain about somebody else doing something that has really no impact on them at all.

I use my phone at dinner when we're out at a restaurant. Sometimes I do it to look something up and sometimes I do it to reply to an email and sometimes I do it to reply to a tweet. Sometimes it's highly relevant to the dinner and sometimes I'm wasting time because all three of my dinner partners went to the bathroom at the same time. Kind of silly that I have to explain that – really!

The final example comes back to the gym. I hear the studies that your workout isn't quite as good when you use your phone and you shouldn't be on your phone, etc.

But I use my phone at the gym all the time. I don't think I need to apologize for it unless I run into somebody else he was lifting and me tweeting cross the collision. Fingers crossed that that won't happen. But I use my phone at the gym to:

  • Blog while riding a bike
  • Listen to music
  • Check the time
  • Sometimes skip to a better song
  • To respond to messages

I try not to take phone calls but have done that before when necessary. For example the picture above was an early morning call with somebody in a different time zone who could only talk at that time.

Really my point here today is that let's be understanding of other people's stories and let's remember that we don't know what we don't know about them. There could be plenty other details and there probably are to what they're going through that we are not exposed to.

Let's live our own stories, share them and allow others to live theirs without constant judgment.

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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