Cheetah Know How Network

What Are You Mad About this March?

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen Medina, PMP®, Co-Author


“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.”


There is a lot of talk about madness in March. For one, March Madness refers to the infamous college basketball tournament that takes over every media outlet. Upon further research, it turns out March Madness can also refer to the main breeding season of the European hare – and if you are familiar with the word “twitterpated”, I suspect it is the main breeding season for many other creatures as well.

With so much talk about madness – what do we really mean when we say “mad?" One of the more positive definitions of the word madness is of having ecstasy and enthusiasm. This positive connotation is the one that I prefer when I think about madness. And with this definition in mind, madness is an excellent condition to have at times. Madness causes a complete devotion to a subject to the point of absurdity. Madness can consume you so that you can’t focus on anything else but what you are mad about.

As Spring approaches, consider what makes you just mad about your life. For some, it is watching tall college basketball players running around in pursuit of the win. For others, it is accomplishing a challenging goal. This Spring, consider: how can madness help you live a fuller life?

Get Mad About A Goal. Do you have a goal in your life that excites and energizes you? The best goals to get mad about are the ones that are challenging and yet still achievable for you. This part about being achievable is important, because if you don’t feel like you can accomplish the goal, you may just feel overwhelmed rather than excited.

In life, even if you can find a goal that is challenging and attainable, it may not always be exciting. To foster excitement and motivation for your goal, envision how you will feel when that goal is complete. Go ahead – close your eyes. Imagine that the big, hairy, audacious goal that you just set out for yourself has just been completed. How do you feel? How do others feel about you?  What can you do now that your goal is complete?

The more you can envision yourself in the end point of achieving what it is that you set out to do, the easier it is to stay inspired and to see your goal through to completion.

Get Focused. March is also “mad” because it signifies the start of Spring and new beginnings. And with anything new and exciting, there can be anxiety and a sense of urgency in March that destroys all productivity in favor of sheer exuberance and anticipation for what lies around the corner.

Don’t let unproductive madness destroy your focus. To tread this fine line between motivation and procrastination, learn to focus your excitement about your goal into specific activities and hold yourself accountable.

To get focused, great SMART goals  - that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Create a calendar on what exactly you will do every day to accomplish your BIG goal. Click here to download and use Cheetah’s Monthly Success Accelerator worksheet to help keep you accountable in reaching your goal.

Madness Controlled. There is freedom in boundaries. How can you create boundaries throughout your day to help you better accomplish your goals? Maybe your boundaries are in fact blocking out some of the madness that the world can throw at you. From social engagements to personal obligations, the outside world can ask a lot of us - and if you don’t set up boundaries for yourself, no one else will.

This Spring, be one with the madness. Get mad about a goal, turn that madness into a laser focus, and don’t let external madness keep you from reaching your potential.


About the Author:


Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 50,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.  

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle is recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network, is carried by over 400 publications.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management (OPM) program and holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.