How do you define success? Do you have a word for it? Maybe you call it prominence or even preeminence. Even if you don’t have a single word for it, you have some notion of what it looks like. Using your definition, how close did you get to it in 2016? Maybe a better question is, did you get closer? To answer that for myself, I recently asked a few of my key leaders to describe 2016 in one word. The results were disappointing and disheartening. I heard,
Turbulent – Rollercoaster – “I can’t say it out loud” – Crazy – Chaos
These words, whether I like them or not, tell a story about who we are. Maybe ominously, they are painting a picture of who we could become. We are frantically working to accomplish big things and, in large part, we are. Our achievements, however, are sometimes overshadowed by our tremendous expense of energy. While we may have achieved our sales or production goals, we have done little or nothing to cultivate the time and resources that allow us to enjoy our success. Thus, we find ourselves right back where we started. When looking forward, we think only about the exertion required to reproduce the results and struggle to summon the desire to do it again. It often feels like a treadmill or a hamster wheel. Always spinning, and never moving. The bottom line is that our lives will not improve until we decide who we want to be.
If chaotic and crazy are not who we choose to be, let’s start there. For example, what must change to describe 2017 as exhilarating, or extraordinary? When we get serious about what taking on that challenge, two things are obvious. First, we must change. Second, it must start today. To be honest, that statement is a little hard to swallow. The voice inside our head says, “I can’t start today. There are way too many problems. Let’s wait until January. That will give us time to really formulate a plan.” LIAR! I’m sorry, there is just no other way to put it. If we want to have the life that we are created to have, it starts right now. No more running, no more wavering. We must immerse ourselves into the depths of who we are so that we can, once and for all, get it right. That’s right, we are going to dive deep into the muck. Full immersion.
Beware. When descending to the deeply into the muck that holds us back, fear will set in. We will want to run and hide. It stems, in part, from our sudden awareness of the incredible fortitude and endurance that will be required. It’s true. It will be hard. But, is it worth it? The option is to continue being defined by its opposite: distraction, disinterest, boredom, negligence and neglect. Do those words describe you? Wouldn’t you rather be described with fortitude and endurance? Thankfully, today is a new day. Let’s choose, today and every day of 2017, to be fully immersed. Let’s learn to conquer that fear. Let’s learn how to reverse the flow of our lives. Let’s learn how to have fun, wringing joy and goodness out of every moment, situation and circumstance. Let’s define 2017 with immersion. No, immersion does not mark the finish line and it’s definitely not sexy. It is simply a step along the way to who we want to become.
If, while reading this, your heart is beating a little faster, then good. If your heart is beating a little faster, and you are anxious to get going, then great! If you don’t have any idea where to begin, then you are in good company!! I have good news. Many have gone before us with amazing results. They have given us the tools and provided the models we need. All we need to do is use them. Actually, that is not all. You see, life doesn’t happen on our own. We were created for community. Yes, it is true that we can have a financially successful career and business worth owning, all by ourselves. But, it is when we come together, with both sharing and caring, becoming interdependent that our lives become worth living.
Careers Worth Having – Businesses Worth Owning – Lives Worth Living