Perseverance: Sometimes “Winning” is just “Not Quitting”

Sometimes it is just facing the direction you need to go and taking one more step.

Sometimes it is just standing back up…again.

Sometimes it is just knowing you will stand up again;. or knowing you will attempt to.

When you face a tough season it is easy to think “When I get through this things will be better.” How you react when one serious blow is replaced by another and then another and then another is the key.

Hoping, Praying for relief, rescue and resolution can be destructive when relief, rescue or redemption don’t show up in a form you recognize.

Studies of Prisoners of War seem to show that those who pinned their hope on intervention or external events to end their suffering through peace talks, rescue missions or escape attempts suffered the most psychologically when events eventually “didn’t pan out” the way they hoped.

Prisoners who were determined to “survive, no matter what” weathered the storm better. While they worked for better outcomes and situations, maintained a positive outlook and strove to improve or maintain their condition; they did not rely on external forces to determine their fate. They “Embraced the suck”. they did not like it, but realized they did not need to. They took on the attitude that “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.

It is not enough to tell yourself (or your team) that “things will get better”. Focusing on surviving the moment and preparing for the next storm seems to enable survival better than hoping for relief. This is especially true when you find yourself in an environment when challenges roll in one after another and sometimes pile on top of each other.

Like it often does in life.

This is another reason it is more important to know how far you have come than to focus on how far you have to go.

See you on the mat.

Resolutions and Integrity. Goals and Whys

resolution excitement
resolution excitement

Why are resolutions broken? Is it because we didn’t do what we said we were going to do? Are we that weak and non-focused that we can’t hold our resolve for a short period of time?

I think it’s about goals and whys. You have to use your imagination actively to set goals that stick. Top performing executives and sales professionals borrow from top performing athletes the ability to “Pump themselves up” to achieve greatness.

We usually don’t think about how that plugs into their goal, their resolution, their dream of what success looks and feels like to them.

They have a dream of what success looks and feels and smells like. They have accepted here there signhow crashing through obstacles (this play, this series, this game, this season) with all the preparation and pain involved gets them one step closer to achieving that dream and what makes it worth it. When you see a professional athlete or a top performer in business do or buy something extravagant, pause to think what it represents. Many people look at them as “status symbols”. Try thinking of them as mile markers along a very long and difficult road. Try imagining what that mile marker represents to them.

Do your mile markers need to look like theirs? Of course not! But they need to be things or experiences that you treasure. You need to be able to look with satisfaction at the mile markers you have built behind you to remember what you had to do to get past that point. OLD-OAK-TREE-SOUTHWEST-2014You must also have a clear vision of where you want to end up and what it will take to get there. You also have to plan your next mile post and how you will build it.

Integrity is recognizing the right path and taking it…no matter what. There are lots of paths to get where you want to go. How will you experience your journey? Are your resolutions Goals or Milestones? How will it feel to build the milestones you can use to complete that particular journey?

We will talk more about that in the next post.

What milestones are you building? How do you choose them? Please feel free to share with a comment!

How Can I help You? Customer Service Re-Visited

Recently, my Wife and I returned for lunch to a local restaurant we had been away from ttss_cinnamon_crumble_apple_pie_hfor  a while and we had a totally non related conversation with a good friend of ours that runs a successful financial Planning/advice service.

My conversation with our friend was awesome, the dining experience… not so much.

But both ran together to form an idea here. The real Gem I picked up from my friend was “Why did you stop doing the things you used to do when you first started your business?…Because they WORKED.”confusing_signs5

At the restaurant, we encountered “communications issues” There was no language barrier, the problem was the content.We weren’t asked the things we expected to be asked. The actual content and intent for great service was there, but we didn’t recognize that we had missed some opportunities until we heard another server for another table prompt the diners at the adjoining table in familiar terms.

After I stopped feeling like a moron, I started to think about how we train our customers.

Times change, needs shift, technology and time constraints constantly change the way we as customers get our wants and desires addressed.

When I first started running my own business, I was constantly in a mode of self evaluation, What else can I do for you? Is there anything else I can provide to make this a better experience? How does the place smell? (really important where people pay to sweat a lot). It worked, I had happy clients, and my business grew. More importantly, it has survived

Over the course of years, I felt like I “knew what my customers wanted” I didn’t realize I had stopped asking them those questions. So now, my challenge is to get back in that “beginner mindset” to see how my client’s expectations have evolved with changing times and economies.

Without the input from clients, it is exponentially more difficult to keep a business in the front of their minds. How do can we improve our presentation across the board to provide the best information for our clients?

How do you get better information from (and to) your clients? How do you provide a high standard of communication? Please feel free to share a comment!

What are you in the mood for?

I saw a great article on getting beyond your mood to attain your goals by Jennifer Louden.

Click here for the article.

As a martial arts instructor and business owner, I see this on a daily basis. Not just in my students, suppliers and co-workers, but I have come to recognize it in myself as well.

Boredom is an emotion, lack of motivation is an emotion, being annoyed at such traits is an emotion; the list goes on and on.

The lesson here is that we need to recognize and go beyond the feelings and into what we want to do. The emotions and our attachment to them are what hold us back.

Learning to “release” our thoughts takes practice. I feel we naturally cherish our own thoughts and feelings. (I have good friend who likes to say “I have the best ideas in the world because they are mine”)

Try observing your thoughts as you work on your most important thing to do today. If they move you towards something on your to do list, make a note of it (literally) and return to the task at hand. BUT…if it is a reaction to anything else (fire alarms and the like excluded) other thoughts or memories that are reactions to reactions, recognize it as distracting and dismiss it; returning again to your task at hand.

Now get back to work 🙂