Recently I watched my grandkids compete in a high school cross country competition. It was a
large event with over 100 boys running in the “B” group. Although I am proud of my grandkids,
I am not writing about them. Rather, I am writing about the LAST place finisher in the boys “B”
group. ALL of the other runners had finished when, about fifteen minutes later, the last place finisher came in view of the spectators. The cheers from the crowd were just as many and as loud as they were for the first-place finisher. This boy had given it his all to get to this point and was now obviously struggling to find that last bit of energy to finish the last 200 yards. Whether it was the cheers from the crowd, an inner prayer, or the vision of actually finishing the race, he pushed on and finished! He had done it! No trophies, medals, or ribbons. No articles or name in the paper the next day. But what a race for ME as well as this kid to remember. I will never see him again or ever know what his future holds for him. What I do know is that the determination and never-give-up attitude exemplified by him are the characteristics that lead to success.
As you struggle with the everyday challenges and issues in your business and life, remember the boy-with-no-name who kept going – in spite of the time it took with seemingly no glory in his results to look forward to. Keep pressing forward and you, too, will overcome the challenges and obstacles that threaten to hold you back from your goals.
Do you find yourself too often getting bogged down in negatives? Processing and dealing with negatives on the news, at home, and in the office zap energy and focus. Need help with re-gaining a positive mindset?
Suggestion: Set up two columns on a sheet of paper. On one column, list the negatives and challenges you have faced and dealt with in the past year. Then, cross off the ones that are no longer issues or are totally beyond your control. Next, list on the second column the positives that happened in the past year. Cross off any that did not help you to move your business forward. Now take at look at both columns. My guess is that there are more positives than negatives listed and that the majority of negatives were crossed off as now being irrelevant while the majority of positives are still relevant to the success of your business.
We spend far too much time and energy in wringing our hands over the negatives instead of recognizing and applauding the positives! Let go of holding on to the negatives and, instead, embrace the positives.
Remember “Hold On Tight” by the band Electric Light Orchestra in 1981? In
planning for your future and working toward your goals, it is important to heed these words. The
song tells us that, “When you need a shoulder to cry on, when you get so sick of tryin’” and
“When you get so down that you can’t get up” that we should “Hold on tight to your dreams!”.
Our plans don’t always go as smoothly as we hope for, so we need these words to encourage us to keep going when we are confronted with challenges and disappointments along the way. Do you remember the excitement and enthusiasm you had when you first dreamed about what you wanted to accomplish and dared to go after it? There was no fear, no doubt, no second-
guessing. Only optimism and energy to achieve. That is exactly what this song is reminding us to do – to hold on to that unbridled passion to go after your dreams.
So, give the song another listen as you think about your goals and dreams. Then “Hold on tight to your dreams”!
MAKE YOUR BED!!
How often did you hear those words spoken (in varying intensity) as you were growing up? Did you resent it and wonder. “Why?”? Obviously, our parents “encouraged” us to make our beds as a way to teach us responsibility, completion of tasks, and who-knows- what other life lessons. We saw it as something else we HAD to do. Therefore, if you are at all like me, making your bed ceased to be a priority when you were able to make your own decisions and schedule your own day.
That is, at least until recently.
I have found that making the bed is actually a GREAT way to start my day! Doing so gives me the satisfaction of having done something positive right out of the gate. That feeling of accomplishment, even completing such a small, rather meaningless task, seems to ignite a flame for completing my next planned task for the day. This energy then feeds on itself throughout the day. On the other hand – when I do not make my bed – my day seems to also start out as disheveled as the sheets and blankets on my bed!
Does this sound weird or juvenile to you? Before passing judgment, please try it. Or, if making your bed is not for you, start every day with completing some other routine task of your choice. Let me know how it works for YOU. Now…
MAKE YOUR BED!!
It happened to me AGAIN this morning! Seemingly the world was against me – plans going awry, my “to do” list getting longer instead of shorter, becoming overwhelmed with what to do and how to do it. I wanted so badly to just pull up the covers, go back to sleep, and not deal with life today!
Has this ever happened to YOU?? Am I not the only one that goes through this sort of scenario? What do YOU do?
Well, I reluctantly chose (important word) to start the day…but not without feeling a bit sorry for myself and not being motivated to do anything other than what I absolutely HAD to do. Yes…I was going to allow life to dictate my day and attitude.
I obligingly responded to a couple of phone and text messages and began working on content for our webpage. And then, without fanfare or even intention, something strange began to happen. I suddenly found myself completely immersed in what needed to be done and my attitude was changing from reactive to proactive. As I worked, I gained momentum and was accomplishing things that earlier in the day I had not even imagined doing. Life was okay again.
I began this article with, “It happened to me AGAIN this morning!” You may have thought I meant facing the day overwhelmed, fearful, and apathetic. What I actually meant was that…while those feelings were indeed present…by taking a step forward into the teeth of despair, I turned a potentially self-defeating day into one that was highly productive and energizing. It has happened to me before; therefore, there must be something to it. It just might work for you, too.