Something Stinks – When There’s a Dead Mouse in the Wall

A mouse fell into a wall cavity in our downstairs and died. My wife bought apple pie air fresheners. There’s nothing like the smell of apple pie with a picante of dead mouse.

Air fresheners disguise stink, but never eliminate it.

We open the windows when it’s not too cold, but there’s frost on the deck this morning. Mostly we don’t go downstairs.

Stink wins.

There’s no need to sniff for stink. You wake up one morning and say, “Something stinks.”

Years ago, my wife wisely told me, “You can choose to focus on the bad, or you can choose to focus on the good.”

It’s hard to smell the good when there’s a dead mouse in the wall.

When the world stinks:

#1. Manage things within your control.

Don’t complain about things unless you plan to make things better. We aren’t going to tear the walls apart to find the dead mouse.

We live in the country and in the Fall mice look for warm winter homes.

  1. Set mouse traps. Try to prevent problems before they happen.
  2. Open the windows. Let in a new perspective. The answer is often WHO, not what.
  3. Buy air fresheners. Make the best of nagging issues when you don’t have control over them.
  4. Don’t go downstairs. Avoid issues you can’t change, if you can.
  5. Wait it out. Continue bringing value while you wait for stink to pass.

#2. Maintain optimism without delusion.

Pursue audacious goals while remaining cognizant of current challenges.

When something stinks, you can’t pretend it doesn’t, but dead-mouse-stink isn’t permanent.

  1. The new person on your team isn’t performing, but with time, training, and practice they will.
  2. Your last meeting sucked, but with preparation, your next meeting will energize the team.

Stink tip: When possible, go to the source.

When is venting useful?

How might you show up with optimism today?

Bonus material:

15 Things Leaders Can Manage (and One They Can’t) (Jesse Lyn Stoner)

Perpetual Optimism (Colin Powell)