Today I thought I’d take a different approach to the podcast and take a minor, but important detour and talk about motivation.
Here’s the full transcript if you’d like to read it instead of listening. Enjoy!
Today’s advice will be quick and direct, but hopefully helpful to those who are working hard to start, manage, market, survive and grow in the world of business. I’m going to strip away all the production today and just get right to the point and let you get on to the challenges of the day.
I think the point of doing this is that we can talk about tactics, strategy, and best practices, we can talk to experienced professionals and successful business people, and we can be focused on the next thing, and the next thing and the next thing that we think will solve all our challenges. But sometimes we just need a little motivation to keep going. And this is what I’d like to explore today.
Sometimes we all need to take a moment to get centered and this is where your motivation and perseverance is powered. When you’re in the thick of things in life and your work, sometimes your inner critic, and definitely, your real-world external critics can get the best of you. Eventually, it can feel like fighting an unrelating ocean tide. You know that it will never end so you start to feel like you want to give up and just float away where life can be a little easier and the tide no longer pulls at you every single day.
As this year begins to swing into its closing months, I’m reflecting on the fact that I’ve been working professionally for more than two and a half decades. Almost 2/3 of that time I’ve been working to start, manage, market, grow and survive as a marketing professional and business owner.
It’s been a relatively long time and it hasn’t always been easy. I know that many of you can definitely relate. Even if you don’t actually own your own business, you’re still tasked with the challenge of contributing to the success and growth of a business in some way. You have ideas. You have projects that excite you. You have challenges that you want to conquer. You ultimately have dreams that you’re trying to achieve. But mixed in with all the good things that motivate you, there’s the ocean tide that continually makes the task of getting to your goal a little harder.
The tide could be your boss. It could be an unreasonable customer. It could be a colleague or a team member. It might even be a friend, your spouse, a parent, or a random interaction with a stranger that chips away at your resolve and takes you one step closer to giving up because the waves never stop.
When you’re trying to accomplish something, big or small, the reality is that you’re always going to have challenges. Nobody is immune. Nobody has it easy. Nobody is free from the static and noise and inner critics in their heads, and nobody is free from external naysayers, troublemakers, and haters.
I was reminded of this lately when I heard Lebron James speak about his challenges. You’d think that Lebron has it all, and if he doesn’t have what he needs, he can get it somehow. He has access. He has wealth. He has fame. He has friends. He has family. He has talent. And through these things he can remove any challenge, right?
But what we all need to realize is that even though Lebron and other wildly successful people in the world have all these benefits and tools, when it comes down to it, they’re just human. They’re still equally at odds with the tide because none of these things can ultimately help them beat the tide that’s in their mind.
When it comes down to it, most of us have a lot of the tools that these people have. It might not be quite at the same level, but we have some level of access, money, friends, family, and talent. We have these tools to work with every day to achieve our goals in our career, business, and in life. But at the end of the day, we need to remember that the one thing that we’re all fighting is the tide in our mind that’s holding us back and potentially creating larger and larger waves that make it easier and easier to give up and float away.
And once you realize this fact, that no matter who you are, the battle is in your mind, you CAN begin to make the waves disappear. Anyone can. Once you realize that you have control to actually rise ABOVE the waves, you can achieve almost anything.
Name any wildly successful person. It could be a musician or business magnate. It could even be a local small business owner or even a teacher at your child’s school. All of these people have faced challenges to achieving their dreams and most have had the same tools to help them along the way. But somehow they persevered because they used their mind to silence their internal and external critics.
And for me, this is the single challenge and hurdle to achieving success. You have to realize that these critics are the waves. And once you can realize this simple fact, you can rise above the tide, and the noise, and the feeling that it’s never going to stop. You rise above by realizing that none of this really has a real effect on you. Every wave is imaginary and you can make them disappear, or at a minimum, rise above them any time you want. It takes practice. It takes some skill. But these small challenges are the only thing that will keep you from being on the same court as Lebron James and any other successful person in the world.
In closing, here is a paraphrased quote from Lebron James. I hope this helps you to keep going today and keep working towards whatever success means to you in your career, business, and in life.
“We all have critics and non-believers. People waiting on the sidelines want to see you fail. None of it matters because they don’t know the inner story that you’re writing. Nobody knows the vision of what you want to do in this world. Ignore the noise and chatter and the static. It doesn’t matter, and its only purpose is to derail your dreams. Don’t let it affect you. Definitely don’t let it define you. Turn off the critics and the non-believers. Rise above.” – Lebron James
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