On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A business concept I believe in. Have you ever done business with someone and had them justify a poor performance, mistake, or missed deadline with excuses involving specific issues at their company or within their personal life? I’m sure you have, and I have encountered this recently myself. Rather than owning up to an error, this is often common practice.
In a business relationship, people are paying money to receive a product or service. Therefore, they are not interested in the inner workings of a company or someone’s life. They do not want to know how the sausage is made; they just want to taste it. I believe that in business, we should honor our word and make a full effort to deliver the goods. In the event we fall short for some unforeseen reason, it is far better to own our mistake rather than make excuses no one needs (or cares) to hear. When people hire us for a result, it is best to focus on delivering that to them above all else.
Something I loved. I heard someone recently mention that when it comes to our talents and skills, we are either in the process of building or burying them. Building them entails working on our craft, learning new skills, mastering our methods, practicing, refining our processes, assessing mistakes, seeking solutions, and more. Burying our skills would be the opposite. Not actively working to improve will slowly cause our level of skill and performance to decrease.
Talents and skills are perishable and must be nurtured frequently. I think it’s an excellent exercise to consider what areas of life you would like to improve in. Then, begin implementing a specific routine and practices to facilitate that. Always remember that when it comes to your skills, you are either getting better or slowly getting worse. Anything that you want to improve upon must become a priority if change is to be made.
A question to ask yourself. An important question that I use to drive my behavior is “Am I being a victim or a victor?” A victim mentality focuses on circumstances, luck (or lack thereof), the behavior of others, and the like. The mentality of a victor is centered on believing in oneself, making the best of any situation, and finding a path to success regardless of any outside factors.
Like everyone, I’ve taken some big losses in my life. Before the age of 38, those losses would stay with me for months and even years. I would often struggle to move past them and pushing forward became more difficult because I was so focused on the past. Now, I have trained myself to persevere regardless of circumstances. When something bad happens or goes wrong, I am certainly not thrilled. However, I view it as an obstacle rather than a dead end. I accept where I’m at, work hard toward a solution, and never quit. It’s not glamorous but it is effective. With whatever you may be facing, ask yourself if you’re being a victim or a victor.
Something I notice. I am fascinated by how others attain success. For businesses, this can include philosophies, processes, decision making, or things specific to the field or industry. With individuals, I am most interested in their mindset and habits. What I always notice is that there are traits that seem to be common among the most successful.
One thing I have noticed countless times is how successful people do not allow their feelings to sidetrack them. They don’t work hard only when they feel motivated, don’t do things only when it fits their schedule perfectly, and never wait to be in the right mood to follow through on their responsibilities. They prioritize the end goal over how they feel in the moment. Conversely, those that are not successful often allow their feelings to interfere with progress. The goal becomes secondary to their moods, and thus the goal cannot succeed. Your feelings are important, but can be unreliable and often lead you to accomplish less while feeling overwhelmed. If you have something you want to achieve, put your feelings aside and remain focused only on that.
Some quotes I love.
“One of the most cowardly things ordinary people do is to shut their eyes to fact.” – C.S. Lewis
“If you’re afraid of failing, you won’t get very far.” – Steve Jobs
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good for the great.” – Steve Prefontaine