Opportunities will come up now and again. They may even be lucrative.
But will they tear you away from what you’re really out to accomplish in the world?
Sure, short-term sacrifices do need to be made every so often based on the lifestyle you want to create. But it can be very difficult to pivot on a dime.
You may be working with the devil right now. But the devil you know is almost certainly more familiar and comfortable than the next devil you will surely encounter.
(Which isn’t to say the devil you know is always better.)
There are times to let go of whatever it is you’re working on in pursuit of something else. Sometimes, opportunities should be seized.
But you won’t seize every opportunity. You may look back and wonder “what if…” But you probably won’t if you were sure it wasn’t meant for you in the first place.
It’s not an easy decision when you’re in the middle of scaling a mountain, when whatever you’re working on right now isn’t quite delivering on expectations. But being torn away from it may not serve you either.
And I ended up speculating on numerous reasons as to why that is.
I thought to myself:
- Okay, maybe it’s because I just completed v0.7 of the Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook. Maybe I’ve been craving that feeling of accomplishment that comes from reaching a major milestone on a project like this.
- Maybe it’s because I’ve finally found some fantastic ways of repurposing the reams of content I’ve created in a more meaningful way… although I have been doing this since last summer.
- Maybe my actions are more in alignment with my intentions and goals.
- Maybe it’s because I’m less focused on income, and because I’ve been giving more. Giving has been freeing. I feel like it’s like saying to your brain, “there’s plenty, there’s always something left over, and there’s always more on its way.”
Then I remembered.
I recently declared the last phase of my business complete.
That’s the real answer. There’s no mistaking it.
Previously, I felt like the weight of it was going to crush me. I thought it might take a while to process it all. But it didn’t. Declaring it complete freed me very rapidly.
My level of enjoyment recently changed to such a degree that the difference was noticeable. And now there’s an opening where none previously existed. I’m free to engage in the new phase of my business.
Conventional wisdom says you need to do, have, and be to get anything in life.
First, act. Second, get. Third, have.
But if you’ve read enough personal development and spiritual books, then you know it works the other way around – be, have, and do.
The only problem is that this can seem a little abstract in practical reality.
What we must do is visualize and stand in the possibility of the outcome we’re creating. And we need to make that mental image as vivid as possible, with people, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch. Most importantly, conversations! What words would be exchanged standing in the outcome you’re creating?
“We did it!”
That much you already know.
What we want to do with that visualization is be abundantly clear on what it looks like to be it. To be the transformation. We’re not trying to get anything yet. We’re just looking to understand how we can create that outcome as a way of being. Because you can be that now. And that way of being is going to produce the outcome.
Be, and then the having and doing will sort itself out.
How much time do you spend thinking about what you’ve already accomplished?
Having gotten to know many of you, I know for a fact that you probably spend more time thinking about what you haven’t accomplished as opposed to what you have. But if you were to examine what you have accomplished, even just in the last 90 days, I think you might be surprised by all that you’ve been able to do.
The first time I came to recognize the significance of this was just two years ago, when I was about to complete a three-month leadership program.
Learning to acknowledge yourself and others was a significant focus of the course.
For the most part, ambitious creatives and creators feel unrecognized and underutilized, especially in Joe or Jill jobs. Human beings, in general, are starved for recognition.
One of the reasons we are so starved for it is 1) we’re hardwired to want it, and 2) acknowledgement is a skill, and it’s not taught in school.
So, when my course was nearing completion, my coach recognized me for all that I had accomplished, and even I was stunned, to the extent that I started tearing up.
On the last day, all participants were to give a short speech acknowledging all that they had accomplished, and the long list of achievements I had prepared was frankly surprising, even to me.
During that time, I also ended up dropping a lot of balls. But it seems you can’t always have breakthroughs without breakdowns.
What matters, though, is that I took the time to acknowledge all that I had accomplished, and I felt a sense of pride about it.
If you haven’t already established a routine around acknowledging yourself, I’d encourage you to get into the habit immediately.
Ambitious creatives and creators are always thinking about “what’s next,” and rarely if ever feel a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment around all they’ve already been able to create.
If you don’t recognize yourself periodically, then you will forever be stuck in the same cycle of doing more, not feeling worthy, doing more, not feeling like enough, doing more, not feeling like you’ve accomplished anything of substance… And on it goes.
I can almost promise you that you’ve had cause to celebrate, even this past year. But did you stop to notice it? How did you acknowledge yourself? Did you even take stock of all that you had to overcome and were still able to accomplish?
If you don’t get into the habit of celebrating now, you probably never will. Because there’s always something more to do. There’s always “next.” The to-do list is never ending.
Also keep in mind that you will never be great at acknowledging others if you can’t first acknowledge yourself in a way that leaves you feeling touched, moved, and inspired.
Remember – people are starved for recognition. Joe wants you to notice his haircut. Jill wants you to tell her she’s doing a good job. Bill constantly cleans up after everyone and gets no credit or appreciation for it.
Do you want to be a good leader? I know you do.
And part of becoming a good leader is what? Learning to acknowledge yourself, and then, others.
What have you done today that you could acknowledge yourself and others for? What about this past year? Do you have a system in place for acknowledgement and recognition? What would it look like if you were to create one?
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