As we close out the year, I was reminded of a previous blog post that is well worth posting again. As many of us are thinking about the New Year, resolutions and what’s possible. Here’s a quick question for you to consider:
“Do you prefer the pain of discipline OR the pain of regret?”
Research shows that we regret those things we have not done MORE than we do the things we have done. Can you relate?
What I’ve experienced personally and observed in others is, procrastination blocks us from creating to the fullest the business and life we want. You already know, the main reason we procrastinate is that taking action can cause us a certain amount of “pain, a certain amount of discomfort.”
Coaching clients have shared with me, “I’m avoiding undertaking certain tasks because of the risk of shame, vulnerability or failure. Taking action means we might be making a mistake or we might fail. Let’s face it, it’s easier to not take action and avoid the pain of looking less than perfect. Thus, many of us instinctively retreat to our comfort zone and miss creating our ideal business. Basically, in trying to protect ourselves from failure it’s easier to erect our own barriers to success. Can you relate? If you’ve ever been in this place – as I have – how do you get out?
Psychologist call this a strategy of self-sabotaging. Research shows, that by creating impediments that make success less likely, we protect our sense of self-competence. And believe it or not, we as humans tend to do this more when the stakes are the highest.
So how do we procrastinate less and take action more? Practice… practice taking action faster and more often. Get an accountability partner and join a mastermind group. By taking more small steps that lead to bigger steps you’ll build the “take action muscle.” By creating an accountability partner and mastermind group you’ll have others who can help you discern what is an excuse and what’s not.
Consider these 5 action steps:
1. Remember a goal is NOT a system. A system will produce what a system will produce nothing less nothing more. Example, losing 10 pounds by September 1st is a GOAL. Learning how to change your eating habits is a SYSTEM. See the difference?
2. Make your goal tangible and specific. “Grow my business” sounds great but is also meaningless.”Land five new clients a month” allows you to determine exactly what you need to do to land those clients. Always set a goal that allows you to work backward and create a process designed to achieve it. It’s impossible to know exactly what to do every day when you don’t know exactly what you want to achieve.
3. Make it matter to you! If you want to get in better shape so other people will think you look better at the pool this summer, you’re unlikely to follow through. Ultimately, who cares what other people think?
Yet, if you want to get in better shape because you want to feel better, and feel better about yourself, or to set an example for your kids, or to prove something to yourself…then you’re much more likely to stick with it. Now your goal has meaning–not to your doctor, not to strangers at the pool, but to you.
4. Make it positive. “Stop criticizing other people in meetings” is a great goal, but it’s a negative goal. It’s a lot harder to give up or stop doing something than it is to embrace a new and positive challenge. Example, setting a goal like”stop eating sweets” means you constantly have to choose to avoid temptation and since willpower is often a finite resource, why put yourself in a position of constantly needing to choose?
When you pick positive goals, you’ll be working to become something new rather than avoid being something you no longer wish to be.
5. Focus on the process, the DAILY process. All incredibly successful people I’ve worked with have one thing in common… they set a goal and then focus all their attention on the process necessary to achieve that goal. Sure, the goal is still out there. But what they care about most is what they need to do today–and when they accomplish that, they feel happy about today.
So, I’ll ask again, do you prefer the pain of discipline OR the pain of regret? The choice is yours.
Do you have a question, theme or topic you’d like to see in a future blog? Let me know, until then #WinTheDay and remember what Abraham Lincoln said: “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Every picture tells a story, and that’s true of today’s blog post photo. Take a look… that image just may have hit home for you as it did for me.
I have few regrets… yet recently I happened to be in a business meeting where we moved the chess prices around the board yet did not address the true underlying issue. Instead, I chose the path of least resistance… the path of comfort instead of the harder truth. Conflict was avoided yet so was the real growth opportunity. Can you relate to a similar situation in your business or life?
While comforting lies can be, well, comforting, they won’t help us get through a challenging situation in a way that serves our mutual best interests. Comforting lies won’t help you grow. So, if your desire is to be the best version of you, switch the line you’re in. Move from the easy line of comfort to the more challenging line. The unpleasant truth will equip you with the feedback to make the best next step. The next best course of action given your circumstances, desires, and dreams.
As a mentor, coach and consultant here’s what I know: “a coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” Let’s be that person this week for all the people we influence.
Last Friday’s Success Hot Line – 973.743.4690 – reminded me of what I already know: the 5 words that kill more dreams, more potential and more happiness than any other 5 words spoken: “I don’t feel like it.”
I’m not sure of your dream, yet I suspect for many of you it’s more financial freedom, better health, stronger relationships and more connectedness with your community. Yet let’s face it, so many times when you are about to start something toward those dreams the onslaught of excuses flood your mind like water gushing out of a broken pipe. The theme of these excuses always traces back to the same root… “I don’t feel like it.”
How many times have you said, “I don’t feel like it?” How many times have you listened to that thought, allowing it to alter the course of your actions? What if you could make a different choice?
Here is what I know, “I don’t feel like it” is the universal human condition that silently kills dreams. Yet you and I don’t have to accept this dream killer. We can all overcome the feeling and move powerfully towards our goals and dreams. It starts with intention… the intention to live on your terms not the terms of your moods and feelings.
Next time you say to yourself “I don’t feel like it,” consider this 4-step guide to snap out of that feeling and make a choice for action.
Step 1: Put Your Body In Motion
Emotion is created by motion. In other words, emotions are linked to movement in our bodies. Think about it… observe your posture when you are slouching, or happy, as opposed to when you are sad. Or what you look like when you are angry, versus when you are elated. Our mothers were correct, proper posture means more than just looking good.
Try this little experiment, right now: stand up smile and raise your hands above your head and say, “yes, yes, yes!” Did your mood change? When you are low on energy, I’ve found movement, any type of movement… getting the body in motion helps. Walk around your office building, if you’re sitting stand up, rub your hands together rapidly. Movement and breathing can change your energy level quickly.
Step 2: Hydrate More
Dehydration is one of the most common preventable medical conditions in the world, and yet it affects millions. For something so common, most of us are unaware of its dangers.
CBS reports nearly 75% of us simply don’t drink enough water. 10 cups per day is prescribed by the institute of medicine. When you function daily in a chronic and persistent state of dehydration you lose focus, you lose energy, you lose your attention span and you increase irritability quotient. Simply drink more water.
Step 3: Accept Your Emotional Level Then Redirect
Whatever you are feeling, give yourself permission to feel that way. Instead of denying the reality of your feelings acknowledge them. Consider sitting with them for a moment and then make an active decision to regroup. What’s that famous quote? “You can’t stop the birds from flying around your head, yet you can stop them from making a nest.”
Accept, reflect then redirect.
Step 4: Take Action Towards Your Intention
Instead of listening to “I don’t feel like it” now you are in a position to take a different action. To overcome your feelings and move towards your dreams. In business and in life, you state your goals and plot your course for reaching them. However, there will be many days when you don’t feel like doing the work, yet go ahead and do it anyway … “feeling like it” is not a pre-requisite.
Final thought… who’s in charge, you or your feelings of “I don’t feel like it?”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get stuck. When you get stuck what do you do? Here’s one idea… to consider:
What will you regret more… doing it or not doing it? Asking yourself this question cuts through the fears, the pros and cons and all that other stuff that clogs the decision-making process. Asking this question can get you out of your head and into your heart, revealing what you truly want. And once you know that, the details sort themselves out. Any testimonials?
Research shows that more people regret things they didn’t do than the things they did, even if things they did turned out badly. After all, with time and effort, you can fix almost any mistake… yet you can’t go back and do the things you dreamed of doing but didn’t. That means you can only think about how today would be different if you had only taken action.
Take a moment and write down that decision you’ve been procrastinating about… the one thing you’ve been thinking about, the one thing you’ve been getting ready to get ready. And ask yourself, “what will I regret more… doing it or not doing it?”
Research shows, we most regret thinking we didn’t reach our full potential. We most regret not becoming the person we feel we could have become…if we only had tried.
I suspect this is the case because it is the one mistake you can never go back and fix.
Yet it is the one mistake we all can stop making today.
Think about this… it’s easy to imagine that superstars in their fields were just born better equipped than the rest of us. When a co-worker loses 20 pounds, or a friend runs a marathon while completing a huge project at work, we assume they have more grit, more willpower, more innate talent, and above all, more motivation to see their goals through.
Yet that’s not actually true. Inc.com columnist Jeff Haden proves “motivation” as we know it is a myth. Motivation isn’t the special sauce that we require at the beginning of any major change. In fact, motivation is a result of the process, not a cause. Understanding this will change the way you approach any obstacle or a big goal.
Read more about it here, The Motivation Myth
What will you regret more… doing it or not doing it?
What if today was your last?
JP posted and sent an article out yesterday from Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford in 2005. As you know, Steve was an American entrepreneur and business magnate. He was the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and a co-founder of Apple Inc., Chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company’s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution.
What can we learn from Steve that applies to being the CEO of your real estate practice? Plenty… read on:
When Steve was 17, he read a quote that went something like, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on him, and since then, for the past 33 years of his life, he looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, he know he need to change something.
Remembering that you’ll be dead soon is the most important tool Steve Jobs ever encountered to help him make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
No one wants to die. Even people who – like me – want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. Our time, your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
So what’s holding you back?
What action have you been putting off?
What’s the one thing you know, if you took action today would make a positive impact on your business or your personal life?
Do that today, do it NOW as if today was your last.