How many times have you heard a business colleague, friend or neighbor say “I am so stressed out”? Or perhaps “I sure hope things get better”. And one of my favorites, “I’m trying like heck to make things work”. We’ve heard those statements time and again. We’ve most likely used them ourselves.
Inquiry for the day – How often do those statements prove to be effective in moving your businesses or life forward?
Sharing that I’m “stressed” out may buy some momentary sympathy. Sharing I “hope” things will get better sometimes garners support. Letting others know I’m “trying” might have some of them fooled into thinking I’m actually working.
Consider our language is the greatest determining factor of our ability to create success or misery. We describe our world, we see our world, and we interact with our world through words. When we speak, we bring actions, things and people into existence. For example, if I were to say to someone, “I sure would like to go to dinner with my wife”, going to dinner with Natalie will not happen until I speak those words.
Now how do you think this concept applies to your business, career or life? Let’s find out.
I received an email last week from a friend. In it was one of those powerful and heartfelt stories about noticing and having compassion for people in difficult situations. It was a story that might have inspired action.
Except for one thing.
Instead of using the power of the “story” to create and inspire action, this email leveraged a threat. Here’s my best recollection, “If you delete this after reading… you’ll spend a year of ill luck.” Boy, I’m pretty inspired.
I might rant about how the underlying, inspiring message of this story was completely corrupted by an act of aggression, but I’ll save that for another day.
I ran across this post from Seth Godin today…
“Four reasons your version of better might not be enough:
1) I might not know about your better, because the world is so noisy I can’t hear you.
2) I might not believe it’s better, because, hey, people spin and exaggerate and lie. Proof is only useful if it leads to belief.
3) The perceived cost of switching (fear, hassle, internal selling and coordination, money) is far higher than your better appears to be worth.
4) Your better might not be my better. In fact, it’s almost certainly not.”
What’s the thinking behind “better”? Perhaps a more useful question is “for what purpose am I seeking ‘better’”?
Isn’t this the ultimate trap of our culture, both organizationally and individually? We’re constantly seeking better, but are frequently disappointed because seeking better means that what we currently have is not good enough. We approach the next new thing from lack vs. plenty.
What if, instead of asking “is this a better solution”, we asked “what’s the learning available in our current circumstance?” You might be surprised that what you already have is plenty or that, better yet, you create your own “better.”
Perhaps “better” isn’t about the extrinsic solution, but the intrinsic motivation.