One Step at a Time

It occurred to me this afternoon that we tendone-step-at-a-time to be afraid to go for what we want because we can’t see all of the steps it takes to get there.  This confuses our brains so much that in many cases, it renders us helpless.

We become unable to move because without knowledge of what lies ahead, success cannot be guaranteed, so we then do nothing.  Sometimes for years on end we do nothing.  Then we wonder why Joe next door was so lucky to be successful and we aren’t.

Hmmm, is Joe really lucky or did he create his own luck by moving in the direction of his goal? Joe probably wasn’t able to see the path any better than we were.  He was just brave enough to take that first step.

And the only difference between those who get things done and those who don’t can be as small as just having the willingness to take the step.  If the first step goes well, take the second.  If the resources you need for the second are there and it makes sense to take the third, do it.  And so it goes.  We move toward success one step at a time.

There are no guarantees.  There is no instant gratification here, it takes time and focused effort.  It takes being able to listen to that still, small voice inside of you that says this path is good for you or not.  It takes being able to recognize the resources that are put in front of you.  It takes being able to make lemonade out of the lemons that sometimes appear before us.

When difficulties arise, we need to ask the question “What can I do differently to help this work?” In many cases, those “lemons” are really “dollars” or “hours” in disguise.  I’ve actually experienced this on several different occasions.

Something would happen that make it look like I was failing, so it forced me to look for ways to do things more effectively. The new way saved me time and/or money.

So, walk your path, be willing to listen and look for lemons.

Don’t Follow The Crowd

follow-the-crowd

Have you ever wondered why we, as humans, tend to follow the crowd?  My theory is that our education system teaches us to be followers.  It’s not designed to inspire free thinking or looking “outside the box” for solutions.

Generally, at school, there is only one acceptable or “right” answer. This causes us to look for the answer the teacher (or parent, friend, colleague, boss) wants and disregard any other way around the problem.  It teaches us to follow instead of lead, and that’s what most of us end up doing for the rest of our lives.

We finish school and go out to get a “good job”, where our boss is our leader and gives us instructions on company policy for doing every task.

And this follower mentality permeates into every other area of our lives…where we live, what toys we have, what car we drive, what clothes we wear, what TV shows we watch, how we spend our leisure time, etc.

We tend to look at what others are doing and copy them. This, in time, creates a life of quiet desperation instead of empowered achievement.  We’re running to “keep up with the Jones’”, which leaves us in debt to own things we really didn’t want in the first place.

I challenge you to look for areas in your life where you can buck the trend and use your thinking skills, areas where you can sit quietly and determine what you really want, without thought of what someone else would think.

Attachment

letting-go-of-attachment
In our culture, financial success is applauded. People who have more material wealth are recognized and looked up to. Business owners, particularly, are held in high esteem. They are sought out to serve as community leaders, as directors on the boards of nonprofits, as people who get things done. And with good reason…business owners, generally, have accomplished something big. They have achieved the American Dream.

But, being attached to the business can create some big issues. A business can be viewed as a big, sleek, beautiful, luxury yacht, loved by its owner as a testament to their great business acumen and financial wherewithal.

That’s all well and good until the economy turns south and the business starts to falter. Or the need for that product or service produced ceases to exist. What then? The owner typically starts losing their self-esteem.

They try to hold onto the thing that they’ve created and hold dear. But no matter what they do, the yacht is sinking! OMG! Now what? When the owner of the business is emotionally tied to the business (yacht), he/she sinks with it.

I see it all too often. When the business collapses, the owner sinks into a deep depression that is most difficult to recover from.

But there’s a better way. Instead of sinking, what if the owner wasn’t anchored to the boat and could swim to shore or be picked up by a passing freighter? That owner still possesses the skills necessary to rebuild.

He/she is quite capable, through their years of experience in building the first business, of becoming more successful, much faster than before. Not the best case scenario, but certainly better than being dragged down by a sinking ship!

How would you feel if your business collapsed tomorrow? Any amount of bad or sad is too much! It’s wasted energy to commiserate about what could have been or should have been. Let it go and move on.

This applies to anything…a lover, a car, a house, etc. Attachment always causes issues.