Search This Blog

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Pillars of Success - Embrace The Present

As we progress through the journeys of our lives, careers and businesses, we often stop to reflect on where we are at a given point in time. Like mapping any trip, we have certain expectations of our progress along the way. Similarly, setting timelines for our goals make them more tangible and urgent. What happens, however, when we find ourselves at a place other than where we expected? A typical reaction is to explain, excuse or perhaps even criticize. The mere fact that we see ourselves as not being "as far along as we should be" passes negative judgment and sets the stage for the world of scarcity thinking. The situations where this kind of scarcity thinking can creep into our psyche are numerous. Here are some examples that may be familiar:

  1. A person begins something that is new and uncertain and finds themselves in a group situation such as a class or educational program. Immediately, they start compare themselves to other and begin to think that "everyone else is so much more qualified or further along" and wonder how they will ever catch or keep up.

  2. A corporate professional thinks their career is passing them by. They see themselves passed over time and time again for recognition, leadership opportunities or promotions. They wonder how it is that they are so stuck where they are and others are moving ahead of them

  3. A new entrepreneur who is sure that they have done all the right things still hasn't achieved what they thought they would by this stage of their business. Like the professional, they see their peers moving effortlessly toward greater success. They may try new and different things, grasping at this idea or that but become more frustrated or despondent that they are still stuck.

In each of these examples and in others like them, the constraints of scarcity thinking become apparent. What is focused on with laser intensity is "WHAT IS NOT": what skills are deficient, what career progress or entrepreneurial success is not attained. The Present reinforces our sense of failure as seen through the lens of our own expectations or our assumptions about someone else's journey.

Step back for a moment and imagine that whatever your circumstances, whatever your present situation, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Where we are at any point in time is the cumulative effect of each of the decisions, actions, external events and our responses to them. Thus, while we may not be where we expected to be, we are where we are supposed to be. By embracing the present, we allow ourselves to discover the unique opportunities that are available to us right here and right now. Instead of beating ourselves up for not being somewhere else, we can identify the options that may have been overlooked otherwise. Perhaps instead of being "stuck", we are where we are because there is knowledge or information that we need to gather before taking our next steps. Finally, consider the possibility that we are where we are because we need the chance to step back, catch our breath and enjoy things that may have been pushed to the side in the pursuit of our goals. Our goals and objectives are like stops or progress points on a trip. We set a target for where we would like to be at a certain point on our journey. What would you do if you find yourself in Flagstaff at the end of your day's travels instead of Albuquerque? Do you "fire" yourself? Do you cancel your trip or give up and go home? Do you keep driving relentlessly to make Albuquerque before you stop? Probably not. Instead, you likely consider the circumstances that brought you as far as you are, reassess your journey and plans and then go out to discover the surprises of a place that don't know very well. The same approach works for our life and professional goals as well. It's your journey, and each stop along the way is an important part of the map that will guide you where you want to go. Enjoy where you are. You are supposed to be here.

Elaine Halliday is director of Six Sigma Living, a division of Kiwi Development Solutions, LLP whose primary focus is to help solo-professionals and micro-businesses build their success from the inside out by providing consulting, coaching and training that promotes business prosperity and abundance. Elaine is a CPA, CTA Certified Coach and Six Sigma Certified Green Belt. With over 20 years experience in a variety of roles including accounting , finance, sales, marketing, operations and management as well as navigating many successful transitions between corporate employment and solo-entrepreneurship, Elaine believes that with creativity, flexibility, purpose and a good sense of humor all things are possible. To find out how Six Sigma Living can help you build success from the inside out, please visit http://www.sixsigmaliving.com

 

No comments: