It’s been a contemplative few days as I’ve taken more time for myself to read, listen to podcasts, watch TV, meditate while also treating myself to fewer workouts, good food and decent sleep. Staycation ’17 – my personal annual retreat. Quite a few lessons and ideas are swirling around in my brain that I wanted to flesh out and record.
I started this period feeling unhappy and end it feeling content. The reason I felt unhappy was the weight of expectation and anticipation. Expectation – feeling like I had done something or accomplished something and therefore deserved something (recognition? money? love?). Anticipation – hoping for something positive but not really having a plan (hope is not a strategy).
I had expectations for what I would have accomplished by now. I had anticipation about what could come next in my life, but fear that I wouldn’t be able to achieve it as I felt powerless and not executing according to a plan… that the day to day was bleeding edge and not adding up (not “compounding,” in a specific sense of that word that I’ve previously discussed).
All it took was a shift in mindset to feel differently. Feeling like you deserve something and waiting for it to come is the worst way to get something. I can’t wait – I have to go out and get it every day. Furthermore, I must do it as a joyful act, not as a means to procure something else (“mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself”).
Some of this realization came from an NPR podcast with Barbara Corcoran, who’s now known as a shark on Shark Tank. She talked about how she didn’t start and grow her business to achieve some kind of goal or make money or get recognition, but just the simple every day joy of trying to see “how far I can go.” That’s all. How far can you go?
Another great lesson, from the same podcast, actually was to transform anticipation into execution by having a real plan. Brian Scudmore, founder of 1800-GOT-JUNK, talked about meeting a bunch of other entrepreneurs and being depressed that he wasn’t doing as well (sounds like me!). He then realized that he was an optimistic and sat down and wrote as many ideas as he could.
After setting really inspirational goals, he just went out and pursued them – made phone calls; pounded the pavement and eventually grew his small business into a giant franchiser. Which leads to the final concept – which is that persistence matters. I had a person call to work at my firm – after spending time on the phone with him, he never sent me a email to follow up or even thank me.
That was a definite killer. Persistence matters man – it’s the link between anticipation, planning and success. Persistence.