They Call Me Mellow Yellow…

I am currently enrolled in the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Rockford Program.  The program is absolutely fantastic – it gives you an inside look into the workings of Rockford from different points of you and then allows you to discuss what you’ve learned with a group of about 40 other individuals in the class who are dedicated to leadership and the progression of their companies and Rockford in general.  I highly recommend the program.

On our first day of the program, we had a retreat.  A facilitator from the University of Illinois Extension came and lead the group through a personality analysis called “Real Colors”.  Basically, you look at pictures, statements and questions and determine what “color” you are – gold, green, blue or orange.  It’s a lot like a Cosmo quiz but more professional and yields results you can actually use.

I love things like this.  I would take personality quizzes all day long if I could.  I absolutely thrive on learning why people act a way they do and how they interact with one another.  I find it absolutely fascinating!  I excitedly finished the assessment  and found out that I was a gold.

Here’s a few characteristics of a gold according to NCTI who put together the Real Colors booklet our class used:

  • Golds are esteemed for being dependable
  • Golds are stressed by lack or order
  • On the job, we are organizers
  • Our highest virtue is responsibility and our key characteristic is being prepared
  • We’re a big fan of structure (in other words, we LOVE rules.  After rules, we LOVE lists!!)
  • We seek security and we need to provide stability and order and be in control
  • We strive to foster traditional values
  • We trust authority and tradtion

This picture reminds me of my OWN to do list... LOVE IT

So what does this all boil down to?  Golds are big fans of rules.  We like things in order.  We create lists and constantly are checking things off.  We even go so far as to add things we have already completed to our to-do lists just so we can check them off (which, apparently, is weird to other colors)!  We hate line cutters and we think things need to be structured. We live on Post-its.

This, was an epiphany for me both in a good and bad way.  First, it put some stock into my organizational skills- I have a natural want to organize.  Seeing what you naturally like to do (follow the rules and not take crazy risks) you can usually capitalize on them.  You can then also identify your weaknesses and decide if you are able to improve them at all.  These all were good realizations.

The bad realizations?  EVERYTHING ANNOYS ME.  I found that as the class spoke I was annoyed by the other colors.  This is partly because the other colors don’t care about the rules. – annoying.  Other people do things in different ways – annoying.  Other people are carefree and la-dee-da – annoying.  This, my friends, is a problem.  Apparently, golds hold grudges for a long time and we’re not big fans of people altering the way we do things.

I realized that I have to let some more things go.  I have to relax about life a bit more and let things flow.  This, unfortunately, doesn’t come naturally to me.  It’s totally out of my comfort zone and I hate every second of it.  Basically, I’m anything but mellow yellow…

I always liked the quote “Life isn’t about the destination – it’s about the journey.”  I tend to lose sight of the bigger picture and focus on the details, the pitfalls and the stops along the way.  I’m so busy paying attention to the rules and keeping score that sometimes I forget to take in the little things and even more so, know when to let them go.

When I looked up the above quote, I found it actually to be a bit longer:

“Life isn’t a destination – it’s a journey.  We all come upon unexpected curves and turning points, moutaintops and valleys.  Everything that happens to us shapes who we are becoming.

And in the adventure of each day, we discover the best in ourselves.  As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not hurry there.  You will arrive soon enough.

Wander the back roads and forgotten paths, keeping your destination in your heart like the fixed point of a compass.  Seek out new voices, strange sights, and ideas foreign to your own.

Such things are riches for the soul.

And if, upon arrival, you find that your destination is not exactly as you had dreamed, do not be disappointed.  Think of all you would have missed but for the journey there, and know that the true worth of your travels lies not in where you come to be at the journey’s end, but in who you come to be along the way.”


That quote almost brought this gold soul to tears.  This quote is what I’m striving to be.  It’s against my nature and at times, it’s uncomfortable but, in the end, I know it will be so worth it.

So, be glad to have me in meetings.  I’ll keep everyone on task, have a list to share and always willing to take on the extra responsibility.  But, in my actually life, I’ve gotta let a little of the gold go and become a bit more of a mellow yellow.



~ by caitlinludwig on November 2, 2010.

3 Responses to “They Call Me Mellow Yellow…”

  1. I didn’t realize that quote was actually so long. I really love it. It reminds me of one of my recent guilty pleasures: Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” The first time I heard it, I nearly started crying — especially the part where she says “there’s always gonna be another mountain; I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle. Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose …” It was kind of a wake-up call that focusing so hard on the end result makes you forget to enjoy the journey to get there. Great post, Caitlin :).

  2. Um…this gold was nearly in tears also. Although, I am a little better at letting go and/or budging in line 😉 – I too get sick of the journey at times. I have traveled the back roads and I think I am ready for the main roads for a bit – lol. Great post, Caitlin, very inspiring for this challenging Tuesday that lies ahead 🙂

  3. That’s why you all this green (green-gold actually) to keep you in check 😉

    It’s funny you say you find a lot of things annoying. Not to be overwhelming corny, but there’s a really good Mother Theresa quote that ends with, “What you spend years creating, someone could destroy overnight. Create anyway…In the end, it’s between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

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