Eastern philosophy often preaches the value of releasing desire as the key to happiness. We westerners don’t do so well with that. We like our goals. We enjoy attainment.
However, we also often forget the joy of pursuit. We wrap ourselves up in the need for achievement – the next job, the big sale, the smooth event. We forget about the pleasure of the road we are traveling.
This 10-minute video could save your life. It reveals the single best health intervention you can make to create the widest variety and most effective health benefits. It can add years to your life, and it’s less expensive than the prescription pills in your medicine cabinet. Well worth 10 minutes.
I would like to speak in favor of precision in our language. Let’s put in the effort to say what we actually mean, to be intelligent in our use of language. Two examples:
- It was literally raining cats and dogs. No it wasn’t. It was figuratively raining cats and dogs. In fact, your statement is the exact opposite of what you actually meant. I see this too much. Literally is used to mean absolutely not literally.
- I don’t mean to interrupt. Yes you do. Unless you say that and then stop talking, you completely meant to interrupt. “I’m sorry for interrupting.” Fine. You are admitting to your action and intent. Wonderful. But don’t say the opposite of what you mean.
I don’t generally care for conversations about pet peeves. They always sound a bit whiny to me. So I hope you’ll forgive me this.
I just find myself disappointed lately with our language being used not just poorly, but in ways that mean the exact opposite of what is being said. We can do better.
What serves your career better: self-promotion or praising others?
Don’t read on. Stop. Really answer that question first.
While the answer is both, this was not meant as a trick question. Your answer probably says something about what your career needs. If you answered self-promotion because that’s what you do, it may be that you will really benefit from bolstering your colleagues.
If you answered self-promotion because that’s what you aspire to, then you may in fact need more of that.
And of course, vice versa for promoting others.
Doing great work isn’t enough. You need to self-promote to cultivate advocates for you within your organization. But exclusively self-promoting (a common male malady) will create a reputation of self-centeredness and selfishness. Likewise, only talking about others (a common female malady) will gain you a reputation for being nice but not exceptional.
So the real question isn’t the theoretical one I posed above. The real question is the specific one for you. What will better serve your career: self-promotion or praising others?
It comes down to a simple formula: Comfort + Momentum = Sale.
Sales begins with relationship. We want to agree with people we like. We want to be around them. We want to buy what they are selling. We buy what we are comfortable with.
But we are also distracted. We have too much stimulus. Too many things vie for our attention. So we also get lazy out of necessity. And we buy what is in front of us – that which has the momentum at the moment when we are prepared to ink the deal.
So if you are selling or think you might someday, build relationships early and often. Maintain them. Cultivate them. Deepen them. And when a sale is anywhere in sight, even off in the far distance, keep at it. Stay present. Don’t be afraid to push.
After all: Comfort + Momentum = Sale.
Kathleen Taylor gives an interesting TED talk on her experience as a hospice worker and the lessons learned when, as she puts it, people reach the stage when they completely drop the bullshit. I think the lessons she imparts are valuable, but it also got me wondering what lessons we all have inside of us today.
What if you only had a few days remaining – if you were the one who completely dropped your own BS?
- What advice would you impart to others?
- Who would you most want to speak to?
- What would you tell them?
And what lessons would that advice hold in return for you and how you are living your own life?
Changing habits happens when three parts come together.
- Intellectual – You logically understand the change and decide to make it.
- Emotional – You build emotional connections to the new pattern and understand the roots of the emotional connections to the old pattern well enough to let them go.
- Habitual – You cultivate new routines that push you into the desired behaviors.
We know we aren’t supposed to try to keep up with the Joneses. That that’s bad. And being enlightened people, we don’t. Because we’re good.
Except when we’re not.
And knowing how and when temptation or envy will strike helps to avoid mistakes.
So know that the Joneses are more threatening when they are close – when they live next door or were/are particularly good friends or are just like you but more successful. Know that these are the characteristics that make the Joneses more threatening.
Flipping through an old notebook I came across these questions:
- What will you make better in the world through your leadership?
- What is the highest purpose you can imagine for your leadership?
We think we are who we are, but we are constantly evolving. The questions we ask and answer ultimately determine who we become.
I like looking forward to vacation. It brings me pleasure. I think there’s value in always having a vacation on the calendar.
I coach a lot of people who are too busy to schedule a vacation. They can’t do it before May because every week is already booked. They can’t do it May through August because they know that’s a busy season. September school starts up again. Etc. etc. etc.
Schedule it for February 2014.
Schedule it for 2020.
I don’t care. Just put it on the calendar.
(And if money is an issue today, try a stacation and/or put the next vacation down for when you suspect you’ll have the money for it.)