So we’re sliding into February, but most of us are still gingerly feeling our way into the New Year, apprehensive about what it’s going to bring. The good news is scant, there’s job cuts, price rises on just about everything, and the weather is miserable and damp, nothing exciting to really put a spring in your step.
If your New Year’s resolutions have already taken a bit of a beating, how about looking forward into 2011 and putting some forward motion into it.
What’s forward motion? Well, It’s basically movement towards something – the something is up to you. Towards a goal, or an opportunity or a decision, the movement is the important part. This year looks like the big toughie for retail, so faced with a choice of staying where we are and doing what we’ve always done, we just have to keep moving forward. Choose forward motion !
Of course, forward motion might not always be the best choice, obviously you’re going to make a few duff decisions along the way, but at least you’ll be making them. In our frantically paced world with so much information readily available, it’s still hard to get all the information we need to make a secure decision, so we agonise over the details. In reality our gut decisions are usually the right ones, but they’re hard to justify.
The more choices we have the harder it is to make a decision. So I’m advocating that it’s better to make the best possible decision you can with the information you have available, comfortable in the knowledge that if you’ve stuffed it up this time, you can choose something else next time.
When in doubt… choose forward motion !
There’s so much information available, that ultimately it just becomes a personal choice of what to focus on. Why focus on the negatives, which are often exaggerated, instead of the positives?
There are two main reasons. Firstly, we tend to focus on the sensational and the dangerous. One sensational anecdote about a store robbery or completely outrageous customer, outweighs a year’s worth of “I went to work and it was pretty much the same as usual.”
Secondly, choosing to focus on the negatives gives everyone else an excuse not to pursue big dreams and goals either.
There are plenty of people who’ll feed your fears and worries, but really, often they’re talking more about themselves and their lives than what’s good for you…. Psychologists call this a process of projecting, ie they project their fears onto you, but the double whammy is that this keeps you in your place and ultimately reaffirms their view again because you didn’t move on either !
If you’re looking for an excuse not to do something, you really don’t have to look far. Playing it safe is not usually a mockable choice – Everyone understands it.
But all things considered, good things can come from bad experiences too, in fact that’s often where we learn the most.
So, if you’re still prevaricating and pontificating on why you can’t change anything in 2011, just consider the following success stories
• Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace while living in a small house with his wife and thirteen children. Yes, that’s thirteen children !
• Walt Disney was a failed, bankrupt, small-time advertisement man before he came up with Mickey and friends.
• J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter whilst on the dole. Her first book was rejected by twelve publishers.
• e.e. cumming’s first book of poetry was rejected by fifteen publishers. He self-published it, and well, you know the rest…
• Abraham Lincoln lost multiple jobs, went bankrupt, and failed in numerous bids for public office before being sworn in as the 16th President of the United States.
• Mary Anne Evans living in truly sexist times, had to change her pen name to George Eliot, whereupon she became one of the most beloved English novelists of all time.
Dissatisfaction with something, such as your shop or your accountant for example isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Dissatisfaction can be a force for change.
Dissatisfaction results “from contemplating what falls short of our wishes or expectations” The funny thing here is that we’ve all got these wishes or expectations but we don’t usually acknowledge them, maybe we’re not even aware of them.
So, my next question, to keep the forward motion, well, in motion really, is :
What are you working on?
Hopefully, you’re working on something that’s big, that’s going to take you to the next level, that gets you excited, so excited that you can’t wait to tell everyone about it.
No matter what your work is, no matter what you do, there’s a way to create a project that has you buzzing with excitement about it, where something big, fun and new that might make a difference is just around the corner….