Behind every success story is a back story. Perseverance.
Thomas Edison – his teachers, said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs. He made 1,000 attempts before inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I did not fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was invented with 1,000 steps!”
Henry Ford went broke five times before he succeeded.
Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4, did not read until he was 7. One of his teachers said he was slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.
Coaches Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, and Jimmy Johnson accounted for 11 of 19 Super Bowl victories from 1974 to 1993. They also share the worst record of first season coaches in NFL history. Their collective record as first-year coaches is one win and 45 losses.
Speaking of football – remember Vince Lombardi? An expert at the time said, “He possesses minimal knowledge and lacks motivation.” Lombardi would later write, “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.”
Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, yet he made 714 home runs. He said, “every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
Michael Jordan was “cut” from his high school basketball team.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong was cut from his high school football and swim teams. He turned to cycling and finished last in his first race as a professional.
Van Gogh – sold only one painting during his life to his sisters’ friend for $50.00.
Abraham Lincoln went to war as a Captain and returned as a Private. He failed at business. As a lawyer, he was too impractical and temperamental to be a success. In politics, he was defeated in running for congress, in his application to be commissioner of the general land office, for the senate on two occasions and, for the Vice Presidency. He wrote a letter to a friend, “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on earth.” Two years later, he was elected as President of the United States, where he successfully led the country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union, ending slavery, and rededicating the nation to nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.
Have you ever told yourself, “I don’t have enough time to do that?” Or “I’m so busy!?” When out of time or overwhelmed, it often can mean, “I don’t know what’s important right now.” Can you relate? If so, this article is for you.
I recently ran across a fantastic author, Amber Rae. What I like about Amber is she is not a therapist, a neuroscientist, or even a life coach. She is a woman who is obsessed with the human condition, with what our emotions are trying to tell us, and how you and I can express the fullness of our gifts. Her book, “Wonder Over Worry” is an official invitation to face our fears and create a life that reflects who you are.
I’m SO busy! Here are a few questions to ask yourself intended to align your behavior with your ambition and goals better.
- What is my #1 priority right now?
- Are my behaviors consistent with my priorities? For example,
- Is there anywhere I’m saying “yes” right now when I need to say “no”?
- Is there anywhere I’m saying “yes” to that is not serving me or my goals at this time?
- How much of my time and energy is devoted to things that feel like a burden?
- Can I make them feel less of a burden?
- Can I delegate or do less of these activities?
- In terms of where you are investing your time write now, what brings you the most fulfillment and joy?
- How can you do more of that?
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” ~ Coco Chanel
“I’m so busy” — three little words many of us use all the time as a way to decline invitations. Think about it, and it makes sense, though: Time is the most precious commodity because unlike money, we can’t make more of it.
But guess what? Everyone is busy, so while you might think the message you’re sending with “I’m so busy” is, “I’m slammed,” what the other person hears is,
“What I’m working on is more important than you!”
Wow – is that the message you want to send to others? Stop saying ‘I’m so busy.’ Harvard researchers say this is what successful people do instead:
Take a rain check.
Let the other person know what you have going on. Telling others what you’ve been doing (even if it’s unrelated to work – for me like preparing for a Spartan Race) also allows them to get to know you better. In turn, the other person is invited to share updates of their own, which can help to establish rapport.
Be honest and lend a hand.
Showing complete honesty and sincerity can boost the relationship. Depending on what the invitation is, here are a couple of examples:
- “I can’t make it to the brainstorming meeting because I have a few deadlines to meet. I’m not finished and to be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed. Would it be helpful if I send my ideas tomorrow morning?”
- “I can’t make it to your networking event next week because I have dinner plans that night. I’ve rescheduled it twice already, and I’d hate to do it again. But I know a few colleagues who would love to attend your event. Can I extend the invitation?”
The key is to show that you trust the other person enough, to be honest and that you care enough to offer support.
Be honest about your condition
In a study from Harvard, participants found two valid excuses that resonated with others:
- I don’t have the money right now for that activity… with some context.
- I don’t have the energy right now for that activity… with some context.
The significance of the Harvard study is that it provides valuable insight into how we can be more protective of our time without making others question how much we value the relationship.
Rule the day or the day rules you!
I’ll rest when I’m dead…as driven business owners we’ve probably all said this phrase at some point in our careers.
JP and I were reflecting the other day on the amazing group of teams, agents, and staff that have joined us to create their business within the business. We are blessed to be surrounded by the best of the best. We are blessed to work in an industry of such dedicated, loyal and giving professionals that provides so much opportunity and fuels so much of our economy. Yet as self-employed, driven entrepreneurs many of us live life on the wire and are highly prone to burn-out.
Normally we write about increasing productivity, tips and hacks to make you more productive. Yet today, let’s review rest: the power of rest… the necessity of rest and the purpose of rest.
Consider this… if you are not fully rested and charged you can’t serve your clients at the highest level. Yes? So taking time to sharpen the saw, to rest and recharge is a way of better serving your clients. And if that’s not a good enough reason for you, then consider that science has proven that working too much can be counterproductive and even hazardous to your health. Any testimonies?
So as self-employed entrepreneurs – with no guaranteed paycheck – how do we balance work and non-work activities? It’s not easy, yet in his book “Life On The Wire” my friend Todd Duncan contends the last thing we need amid life’s inherent imbalance is another attempt at a how-to formula for perfect balance… equal parts work and life. In fact, he argues that such a holy grail does not exist. Instead, he has issued a more pragmatic formula he calls purposeful imbalance: the process of purposefully leaning toward work without sacrificing life and purposefully leaning toward life without damaging your business. It is precisely the way a tight-rope walker makes his way across a one-inch rope without falling.
I’ve turned to FORBES magazines council of coaches for some advice and here is what they have to say.
7 Practical Tips To Avoid Burnout and Reduce Stress
1. Get Curious About Self-Care
One strategy to reduce stress is to get curious about self-care. Self-care is about getting clear on what’s important to us and what will recharge our batteries. An easy way to do this is to explore a hobby we have been interested in, and approach it with a sense of curiosity instead of mastery. Allowing ourselves to “just play” can open up space we never knew we had. – Coach Jean Muhlbauer
2. Set Time Aside For Quiet Reflection
Set time aside daily for quiet, inner reflection in silence and solitude, followed by planning and organizing your day. Assess the actual value of your priorities and activities. Practice discipline in your focus to avoid distraction. Each morning, evaluate your past day’s success and adapt accordingly. – Coach Jay Steven Levin
3. Spend At least 15 Minutes A Day In Meditation
One practical strategy a modern professional can easily incorporate into their life to reduce stress is to schedule at least 15 minutes a day to meditate. This may sound like an overused idea, but that does not diminish its impact or effectiveness. While there is empirical data to support the positive effects of meditation, one does not need data to experience it first hand. Give it a try. – Coach Sharesz T. Wilkinson
4. Develop A Personal Daily Ritual
One strategy that just about everyone can do to help reduce stress is to develop a personal and practical ritual that you can do every day. For one of my clients, it’s having tea first thing each morning at a table or location away from her work desk. Some of my clients have incorporated nightly journaling or even an afternoon 20-minute nap. The key is to find something relaxing and stick to it! – Coach Trellis Usher
5. Hit The Pause Button More Often
Do you hit the pause button often enough? When you do, you can think through and adjust a communication, determine if you are working on the right priority versus just working, and most importantly, see the forest versus being caught in the trees. – Coach Janine Schindler
6. Accept That Stress Is Of Your Own Making
Our work with very successful CEOs and senior executives allows them to appreciate that stress is of our own making against some ideal, what we perceive others think of us, or unrealistic expectations. We have the same amount of time as everyone else and freedom on how we choose to use that time. Most importantly, we have freedom in how we choose to perceive our own performance and accomplishments – Coach Dave Garrison
7. Live In The Now
Living in the now is a great way to reduce stress. Focusing on the future creates anxiety, and thinking about the past creates regret. Furthermore, the future does not exist because when it arrives, it arrives in the present moment. The only thing that exists is right now, and focusing on the present moment and situation directly in front of you can significantly reduce your stress. – Coach Jason Johnson
So there you have it – 7 practical steps – from 7 world class coaches. Do you have something to add to the list? Share it in the comments below. For me, I frequently rely on what’s written in Matthew 11:28-30.
Our desire this week, and every week is that you take time to rest and recharge… so you can better serve you, your families, your clients, and your community. Rest well, my friends.