Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #119 / Annoying or motivational? "We all have the same 24 hours in a day."

Annoying or motivational? “We all have the same 24 hours in a day.”

Is there a quote that most everyone finds super uplifting or motivational, but it just does NOT do that for you? It might even annoy the heck out of you.

I’d love it if you left me a comment with the quote and why it bugs you.

“We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How are you spending yours?”

Or sometimes it’s written as: You have the same number of hours in the day as Einstein/Mother Teresa/Steve Jobs/Beyoncé/etc.

UGH.

Intellectually, I get that I’m supposed to hear that and think something like “YES! I can do anything I put my mind too!”

Instead, I’m transported back in time.

Back to when I was about a year in my business and heard this for the very first time.

I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. My business was making negative money while I was doing A LOT of work.

I heard this quote and wanted to cry or scream.

All those other people had created success with their 24 hours, but I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, saw NO path out, and deeply felt whatever the opposite of success is.

I felt guilty that I hadn’t figured something fundamental out that they seemed to know and I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “successful people.”

And boy, oh boy, I judged myself harshly under that light.

Here’s the problem: I didn’t think about all the overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, self-doubt filled days that those “successful people” had.

I only saw their successes.

But I compared my worst days to their best.

And I couldn’t help but feel like someone ahead of me on the path said “catch this great tidbit of knowledge that I’m tossing to you” and I looked up just in time for a brick to hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.

Ouch!

Next time can I have a hug instead?

What would have been helpful, had I had the ears to hear it, was a gentle reminder that I was comparing the messy day-to-day that I felt I was slogging through to the perfectly lit and cropped picture that someone else was sharing.

Which reminds me of a couple of other quotes:

  • Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.
  • Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.

Final thoughts:

  • If a motivational quote really bothers you, it’s okay. And it could be an indicator that you’re stressed or overwhelmed, which is valuable knowledge. Once you recognize it, you can do something about it.
  • If you share a motivational quote and the other person doesn’t hear it the way you do, don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. But do notice it and get curious. You might ask how they interpreted the quote and have a nice discussion about it. And they might leave feeling a bit better!

All this talk about my frustration with this quote has made me wonder if there’s a quote that you’ve beaten yourself up with in the past OR if there’s one that transports you back in time, in a positive or negative way.

I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments below.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #119

Have you ever been envious or jealous of someone?

Or maybe there’s someone that just annoys the crap out of you?

Or one thing that someone you generally like or even respect does that causes you to roll your eyes or want to leave the room?

I know I’ve experienced each one of those things.

And sometimes the mantra of “that’s just not my person” (meaning you’re not meant to work together) can be used to dismiss an opportunity to learn.

This is a topic that’s been wandering in my head off and on since Friday evening.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and the topic of envy came up.

I loved the way they talked about it.

Envy has two sides to it.

It can be used to learn about yourself and improve.

Or it can eat at you.

Check out the Wednesday LIVE with Evie I did on this topic here where I shared more about those two sides and how it can be a powerful tool for personal and business growth.

How do you handle envy, jealousy, and annoyance?
Any particular place that you notice they regularly pop up?
Comment below to share.

The most annoying motivational quote

i-heard-this-quote-when-at-a-place-of-extreme-stress-and-overwhelm

We all have 24 hours in a day, how are you going to use yours?

This quote, as normally interpreted, says great, famous and fabulously successful people reached their goals with the same limitations in a day as you — 24 hours — and you can reach your goals too with some perseverance, smarts, and a good attitude.

And would it surprise you to learn that I really dislike this quote?

I don’t find it inspiring at all.

I find it very annoying.

Now, before you start wondering if I’ve had a bad day or something, let me share my history with this quote.

I first heard this quote about a year into my business. I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. My business wasn’t making any money and I was doing a lot of work for NO return.

And hearing this quote when at that place, instead of seeing the possibility for myself through the quote, I beat myself up with it.

I made everything I was doing and had been doing wrong and bad. Because while all those other people had created success with their 24 hours, I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, and didn’t feel successful at all.

I heard the quote and felt like I should be doing more. I felt guilty for any time that I wasn’t spending being productive.

And I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “those successful people.” And I always came up severely lacking.

dont-compare-your-inside-to-someone-elses-outside
Don’t compare everything that’s going on for you with what someone else is deciding to share with you. You don’t know everything that’s going on with them that you don’t see.

The problem was I didn’t know about the crappy, stressful, overwhelmed and self-doubt filled days that I’m sure all “those successful people” had — I only saw the success.

But I compared my crappy, stressful, overwhelmed, self-doubt filled days to the success I perceived them to have.

And it felt like someone above me said “catch this foundational tidbit I’m tossing down to you” and I looked up just in time to see a brick hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.

Ouch! Next time can I have a hug instead?

When I heard this quote all I could see was how I was failing to use my 24 hours — I was doing it wrong. Crap.

So, that’s why I don’t care for this quote, because when I first absorbed it I used it to knock myself down and not to build myself up.

This is also why you’ll never hear me repeat this quote.

It might be wonderfully uplifting and motivating to people who are feeling excitement and success, but to anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed and doubting themselves, they might hear this quote the way I did.

Final two thoughts:

  1. Hearing this quote, or any other motivational quote, and feeling beat up by it is okay. It could be an indicator that you’re a stressed or overwhelmed. That’s valuable to know. When you know or recognize stress or overwhelm, then you can do something about it.
  2. If you say this quote, or any other motivational quote, and the person hearing it doesn’t take it the way you intended don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. Do notice it. Do get curious. Ask how they interpreted the quote and talk about it.

And this has made me wonder: what uplifting quotes do you find annoying or have you beaten yourself up with in the past? Share in the comments below.

When it’s not fair

why-do-we-get-so-stressed-outI was driving home and was at a point where two lanes merged into one shortly after an intersection. The cars ahead of me nicely merged together like a zipper, well before the lane ended. I left space to allow the car slightly ahead of me in the other lane to merge into.

That’s what you do, right?

Well, he didn’t merge. Instead, he attempted to get two cars ahead by speeding up past the cars ahead of me.

No one let him in. The car directly ahead of me actually sped up to make sure he couldn’t get in. So, he ended up directly in front of me anyway.

I don’t know what was going through the minds of the people ahead of me, but I imagined it was along the lines of “it’s not your turn you have to wait” or “Nope, no way you’re getting ahead of me.”

And I was struck by the fairness of it all. He had to wait his turn, it was only fair.

I laughed when he had to merge in front of me, but maybe not for the reason you think.

I laughed because none of it actually mattered. It wasn’t going to make any difference in how quickly any of us reached our destinations.

In fact, about half a mile later, the car that sped up to block the merge turned onto a side street! It wouldn’t have cost him any time to let someone merge ahead of him.

Why do we get so stressed out about these things?

In the above example, there was a commitment to fairness playing out – you have to wait your turn, that’s what’s fair.

It made me think of where I’m committed to fairness and where other people might be.

But how might a commitment to fairness show up in your business?

  • Someone with a similar product/service comes to the networking group that you’ve been attending for a while and everyone is raving about how great their product/service is – but no one has done that for you and you’re annoyed or frustrated. After all, you’ve been there much longer than she has.
  • You’re in a group program and you find out one of the other members is getting something you’re not and instead of asking about it, you compare notes with everyone else and stew on it.
  • Everyone gets x amount of time to talk about their business at your favorite networking group and you’re really annoyed when someone takes more time, after all, you didn’t get to talk that long.
  • Someone just started a business similar to yours and is having more success than you are, but you started first! You should be having that success!

Here’s the thing, being fair isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And fairness is taught to us from a very young age (stand in line and wait your turn).

So, it’s completely natural to find yourself miffed when you perceive something isn’t fair.

But here’s an important question to consider: Does being upset about the unfairness serve you or your business?

In the examples above, the answer is no. Being upset about unfairness only wastes your time and energy.

One of the other things happening in all the above examples is comparison. You compared yourself to them and it led to a feeling of unfairness, a thought that tells you they got something you didn’t and that’s not fair. As a result, there’s an underlying “me vs them” mentality.

What if instead of getting upset about it, you did one or both of these things below?

  1. Notice what you’re feeling and get curious about where that’s coming from for you.
  2. Get curious about the other person.
    If they’re more successful than you are, get curious about what they’re doing differently.
    If someone received an extra or bonus in a program you both participate in, get curious and ask (without judgment of them or you) how/why they received that bonus.

Opportunities to learn and connect are lost when you’re worried about fairness or comparing yourself to others.

Where do you notice yourself worried about fairness or comparing yourself to others? How does it show up for you?

If you’re feeling brave, share in the comments below.