The late legendary coach Herb Brooks said in essence “change is something nearly everyone hates, fails to embrace but it is mandatory for success”. I find that daily I find in both our great employees or valued clients, we are always faced with that conversation: “What do we need to change? Will it be successful? Do I want to do it?”
Well I see change a lot differently than most. If you break down your day and the decisions we make, they likely account for less than 60 seconds of our time daily. Whether we decide what to eat, when to sleep or awake, exercise, work, work smart, work hard, screw off, blow off a new process, try a new route home, listen intently to our spouses, etc., the list is very likely very long. But the amount of time spent processing the go left or right is a fraction of a second. And this is where you as a leader, employee, spouse or aspiring “let’s get in better shape” adult succeed or don’t.
We all know that if we wanted to have a utopia life, whatever that utopia is defined as for your individual life, it comes down to our current life is a summation of our prior decisions and our future will be determined by the sum of decisions made starting RIGHT NOW. If you read the next sentence you purposely or subconsciously decided “I want read on – this is good stuff” or “I am going to read this as this guy is full of hot air and I want more humor”, or the last option, someone stopped reading this.
The reality is if you want to change your path in life, you are given infinite opportunities to start changing every day. You want to be in better shape and it is the middle of the work day? Decide you want water right now versus Diet Coke. Decide to stretch your legs right now and every 30 minutes so that when you get home you are ready to go for a walk rather than crash on the couch. Want to be more productive, decide not to check Facebook right now versus making that next critical sales call.
Reality is that there are infinite paths to walk on daily. Your daily resting point in the journey of life tonight is controlled by you. Don’t like your health, change it – if you have cancer that isn’t in your control but if you are out of shape, that is all you. You don’t like your boss, look in the mirror first and ask if he/she is the problem or does your attitude have something to do it. More specifically, is the choices you are making leading to poor performance that your “prick of a boss” is really doing you a favor? Or, is your boss or his/her boss simply an ass clown and it is time to be happy and pursue success elsewhere? A Harvard Business School study found 54% of the time someone doesn’t succeed at a job has zero to do with the employer: it resided solely on the poor attitude and attitude skills one brought to the job. Is the boss an idiot or are you?
The reality, if you are lacking success in any aspect of your life or business or job, the opportunity to change is immediate. And when your break it all down, if you can improve the 60 seconds a day of decisions you make, you will see immediate improvement.
Last, you may ask, how do I improve my decisions and make the change happen?
1) Slow down and breathe. Notice I said breathe, not think. Many bad decisions are made because people are not of a calm mindset to even think. Decisions made in this state are often influenced by anger, fatigue, being hungry or just being lazy. So, take a deep breath first and prepare to think and analyze.
2) Know the opposite effect of what you are about to decide. If you are seeking change, than your reality is the opposite effect you are seeking – what is the opposite of that? Know both, then make the decision based upon the desired outcome. Case in point: You are working on growing your sales but have had a lousy day in sales. Yet, you know your results have been slacking because you have spent more time on Facebook and fantasy football picks than working your lead management system. So no one has answered after 24 calls: you can hit Facebook or you can make the next call. You are at the intersection of success and not. You can stick with your current results and Facebook routing and enjoy your current paycheck or you can knuckle down and go after the next prospect?
The reality, achieving success and not is that simple. 60 seconds of change is not hard – make simple yet disciplined changes and you will see the results.
Create success today at every opportunity.