MAWMonday Motivators 07/24/2016

runners-high2I don’t get people. Actually, I’m a student of human behavior. But, it’s getting harder to reconcile the actions of individuals with their statements. You want to write a book. But, you are NOT writing. You want to be healthy. But, you refuse to make the time to exercise.

It used to be that I would only have arguments about technique. Clients would say that lifting weights was not the way to get fit. They didn’t want to get bulky. Clients would complain about daily writing exercises or blogging. They wanted a book, not those other writing projects. Now, I see a resistance to anything resembling perseverance, learning, or humility. Sometimes, as I learned the hard way, you just have to trust a person who knows, and do what they tell you. Judge the advice by the outcomes.

This week, your motivators are in the form of a conversation you must have within yourself similar to the internal dialogue a long-distance runner would have. Technique, AND also perseverance, learning, and humility…BUT also rest, laughter, and confidence. It is all needed for your success. Trust me. I have lived the long game. I have coached the large project. I know the struggle and the reward.

1. The Difference
Playing small is just not going to get it done. Go big or stay home. Believe me, I have the self-questioning that gets to the fundamental question of ambition versus contentment. But, I always complete a quick check. Am I giving the most time and appropriate time to the things that really matter? Is there anything else I would rather be doing? Once I have answered those questions of contentment, it is time to ask the questions of ambition. Am I learning what I need in order to do what I want? Am I waiting when I should be risking? The difference is to answer the questions even when the answers are disappointing. It’s important to know where you stand in order to know where you could be moving.

2. Quiet Confidence
I want to play big. I want to promote the fact that I can. I want to tell the world about what I have to offer. Yet, quiet confidence wins the day. When you focus on creating value, making a difference, doing what is right, appealing to the greater good, you will find a tribe. The key difference is to monetize the transaction in ways that are both profitable and consistent with the value proposition. Once you figure out that emotional math, your social good proposition grows the potential to sustain itself.

3. Your Needs
Needs, like overhead, can conspire to diminish your impact AND possibly derail your progress. Wanting exclusively and selfishly tends to blend with the greed and entitlement of the larger population. It’s like that telemarketer who calls and asks, “How are you today?” because the script says that this engages the customer. The question is an attempt to gauge the mood and receptivity of the customer. It is a protection for the telemarketer, though the words suggest an invitation for the customer to share more personally. What if the question were actually, honestly, genuinely an interest in the experience of the customer? You will achieve more through honest and genuine interest in the other.

4. Accepting Self
First, let me set the record straight. The most creative among you, if you were not encouraged before age 14, will struggle to accept yourself. Your confidence will be a function of your commitment to positive self-talk and mantras that most effectively will be posted in your living space and recited daily. For the highly creative group, the challenge is to accept self. Flawed yet brilliant.

We spend a lot of time attempting to get less creative people to value the diversity of color, size, background, and experience that more creative people can’t live without. We request that the less creative at least tolerate the difference–that is to recognize that difference poses no threat to the status quo. But, that’s a lie. Difference will change everything. The challenge is to continue to create. The further challenge is to communicate to the less creative that their enjoyment of the variation in color, size, and background is due to the difference, in spite of their resistance. Realize that they accept the rewards presented in the variety even while dismissing the difference that created the beauty.

5. Laugh & Love
I’m resistant to the call to “work harder.” Work smarter is my standard reply. If I’m honest, I don’t want the “work” at all. I want laughter, love, and freedom. I want a life well lived. The revelation is that these two (work and life) are not mutually exclusive. They don’t have to be contradictory, contrary to popular models. Most will tell you to do what you love in order to solve this challenge. That is not always possible. The truth is that every pursuit of life, love, and laughter has tasks that you are not the most excited to complete. Beyond completing the drudgery with joy, consider it like the runner’s high. Rather than pasting a smile on your face, schedule and put in the time. Work smarter and diligently until you hit a stride that feels pleasant and enjoyable. Trust me. It comes as you balance work and life. It comes as you achieve goals you have set. It comes as you move forward on your path and experience the scenery along the way.