Beating The August Grind

For me, August is the hardest month of the year. It’s the final home stretch of multiple wedding weekends, and the constant late nights, early starts and long hours on the road really starts to show its wear on me. My mantra of “Day by Day. Brick by Brick.” is really pushed to the limit.

But as I grow older and wiser in the wedding industry, I have learned to plan for “The August Grind”. I always keep the perspective that for my August clients – and for that matter, my September clients as well – they’ve waited all year to dance to “Uptown Funk”, “Can’t Feel My Face”, and other favorites at their wedding reception. And the same can be said for many of their guests. So, while I’m nearly over those songs, they aren’t. Keeping that in mind drives me to find new ways to keep it fresh and performing at a peak level.

And peak performance requires inspiration. And inspiration can’t be forced. Our brains are amazing curators of data, but when they are under constant stress, it is unable to make connections amongst all the data. As tough as it may be – and if you are stubborn like me, it’s even harder – we need to walk away and do something outside of the norm to allow the brain to make the connections amongst the data. Mindless activities allow the brain to work.

So back in June when a email popped up with a tantalizing pre-sale offer for an August event, I knew I had to force myself to do it despite knowing how busy I would be. And thus, last night my brother joined me for what I consider the ultimate in mindless, outside-the-norm activities: attend WWE’s Monday Night Raw.

Beating The August Grind | Tony Schwartz

“The Apex Predator” Randy Orton

And while I know pro wrestling isn’t real, the production of it all is anything but. And as I immersed myself in the experience from the third row – yes, I’m the guy in the Brock Lesnar Suplex City t-shirt and backwards MLB hat counting “1, 2, 3” at each pin fall attempt and chanting “YES! YES! YES!” with Daniel Bryan – my brain subconsciously picked up on the little things that the production and stage crew did. Many of them were things that if you weren’t purposefully looking for it, you would never have caught it.

But reflecting back on it after the event, I completely appreciated those little things. And this morning, while showering – another mindless activity – inspiration struck me as I began to think how I could better incorporate the “little things” into my productions. Perhaps, the most inspiring aspect of it all was watching the wrestlers when the lights were off and the intended focus of the room was elsewhere, typically the Titantron. Even in the dark, they never broke character and communicated discreetly with the crew. Even when nobody is supposed to be watching them, they still act as if somebody is watching them.

And that’s something I hope all wedding professionals keep in mind as we journey through “The August Grind”.

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