In order to get somewhere, you have to be somewhere first. Instead of obsessing over getting somewhere fast, focus on being somewhere completely. Being who you are right where you are will allow you to practice more authentically, generate more opportunities, and increase your performance and enjoyment, personally and professionally. In essence, in order to reap all the benefits that life in the moment has to offer, you must be present to win.
If you’re more mentally aware of your circumstances, you can be more honest about your actual experience and avoid the self-deceptions and false guarantees. If you’re intelligently available to clients, customers and demands of your job, you will perform better than those that don’t. If you develop a trust for your natural talents, you’ll be able to work candidly and play to your strengths. The adaptive mindset, authentic present, both require an acute attention and awareness to the here and the now.
The Challenge: No time for the Now. Only Time for the Future.
The challenges to being present revolve around the common and frantic obsession with the future. Will I get that promotion? Will it launch successfully? What will happen next? Will my deal go through? These are but a few questions and worrying habits of the future that create anxiety and stress and hinder performance in the now. With our attention on the future neglect the opportunities of our work now.
Stress Anxiety from Unrealistic Expectations
While stuck on the future, we set unrealistic expectations by ignoring or not defining the present. We set goals for ourselves while completely ignoring our present circumstances. By ignoring or not defining the starting point, it becomes quite easy to set unrealistic demands on our workloads and personal lives. If your goal is to run a marathon but you’ve never ran a 5k, your making failure far more likely than success. If your goal is to make a million when you’re having trouble making a hundred, you’re likely creating trouble. These examples may sound obvious but the addiction to speed and consumption confuse the senses.
Stop Counting and Start Measuring- Quality Control
We often confuse the quantifiable measurements of speed and consumption with the qualitative net gain,and holistic virtue of our efforts. For example, the number of books you’ve read may be impressive, but the number of books you remember, or better still the number of books that changed your life and business may appear less impressive but are far more meaningful to your bottom line. This is a problem of linear thinking; when focused on measuring only one outcome (volume or quantity) and not the many varying results (qaulities and virtues) or net effect. Though they may be harder to define, the qualitative effects may be more important to measure.
Linear Check-List Mentality of Strict Accounting
Our self-sabotaging doesn’t stop there. Consider the check-list mentality. Do you have a business plan? Uh-huh. a website? Yes. A business card? A website? Duh. The most neglected aspects of our practice are often areas where we apply a checklist (yes/no) mentality. This attitude of binary strict accounting when it comes to measuring progress and achievement hinders the quality of our work and creates more anxiety. Without acknowledging the qualitative values that we wish to demonstrate in our work, frustration builds when we can’t check off our progress. This ends up causing us to ignore our actual forward momentum, and tricks us into believing that despite our efforts we got nothing done.
So how do you escape all the entanglements and anxiety of future obsession? How do you become present to win?
The solution: Be Somewhere First.
Be who you are right where you are. Know yourself. Choose to cultivate an authentic practice. Know who and what you’re not (e.g. you are not a 5th degree black belt productivity guru, or Google or Steve Jobs). Let go of the urge to compare yourself to the myths and legend of your time and industry. Be comfortable with what you’ve got and build something with it.
Increase your opportunities right now by deciding to be attentively aware right now. In order to act upon these new opportunities, you’ll need an adaptive mindset. Making use of an adaptive mindset requires an understanding of your situation, so consider your environment, network and capabilities.
Be who you are right where you are. Relax.
Recognize that you will never be able to completely control every aspect of your work. Let go of the expectation. Commit to what you can do on a time frame you can actually deliver on. Integrity goes hand in hand with authenticity. Be consistent in your word and deed, for your own personal practice and to build respect in your work.
Let go of the focus on the future so you can be fully available to work in the present. Try and have one mind for that one task or project, right now, today.
Pencil in at least 10 minutes per day to practice being aware. Schedule the time on your calendar. Write it down. Focus on everything and nothing. If your attention wanders, bring it back to the moment and just sit and be open. If you treat this as seriously as the rest of your business efforts, it will outperform many of them. The fruits of being mentally available in the now will come to those who choose to do it. You must be present to win.
While I don’t completely write off the various investment/funding business models, I do have a larger respect for the art of hustle and the adaptive mindset of the true entrepreneur. I’m a big fan of bootstrapping business models and their success stories of small wins that lead to big victories. Looking at the small things, or the ability to make more of something from next to nothing, is a great exercise to use to help you hone in on the important things. That said, the big challenge is this: if you only had $10 to start a business, what would you do? What would you focus on? How would you go about it?
Read on to see some of our recommendations on how to start a business with little more than lunch money. Be sure to chime in and comment with your own ideas as well. (more…)
So, we’re all about simplicity, mobility, and productivity at Heroik, and so I must recommend this cool tool, with a great name and a go with you anywhere attitude. It’s called Do. If you want to save yourself some reading: Bottom Line: your team and/or biz should definitely Do the Do.
What is Do?
Do is a FREE (as in Braveheart FREEEDOOOMM! Free) online collaboration tool that can integrate with Google Apps. It also features mobile versions for the iPhone and Android. Do is based on the ManyMoon project (Google Apps users know what this is) but Do has a better work flow and functionality. (more…)
Picture Batman robbed of his utility belt. He’s still more than able whoop your ass, solve the riddle and save the day. You too, should aspire to cultivate your skills to the point that armed with only the most primitive of tools, locked in an 8×10 room with a magic marker, you (your ideas, filters, lenses and processes) can be just as dangerous and powerful. Do you want more mental clarity, focus, less anxiety and stress? This year, this month, this week, try something different and get back to the basics. Brush the dust off a pen and paper, visit ye olde staples, follow along, get involved, and measure your gains. Spend the $10 on a pad of paper and something to write with. I recommend a moleskine notebook and a good pen. Just as a fool trusts his life to a weapon, do not place ultimate faith in your gadgetry. I’m not anti-tech. I’m a thrivalist. Read on if you want to become a bare knuckle biz champion of productivity. (more…)
Setting goals and creating action plans is a great pen and paper exercise that can result in a clear road map to achieving your dreams. As a personal productivity skill, prosperity skill and healthy habit, it’s strongly recommended. Grab your pen (I recommend the G2 Extra Fine Point) and your Moleskine Notebook or blank paper and get started. (more…)