Make a decision and then make it right

“Make a decision and then make it right.”
(Google tells me that it’s part of a quote from Abraham-Hicks)

I don’t remember where or when I first heard this, but it’s always resonated with me. I take the meaning to be that once you’ve made a decision, commit to it and spend your energy moving forward as if it’s the right decision (and don’t second guess yourself).

It’s the difference between these two attitudes:

  1. What can I learn?
  2. Prove it to me. (Prove that this is worth my time/money.)

Have you experienced both of these? Or maybe seen how each attitude plays out in someone else (sometimes it’s a lot easier to see it in someone else first).

The person with the “prove it to me” attitude is evaluating everything and waiting for something useful to be handed directly to them. At an event they’re complaining about what isn’t working for them – their seat, that last section or even how lunch was handled. And in a program they might be complaining about how the information was delivered or complaining about how it won’t work for them (or hasn’t worked in the past).

The person with the “what can I learn” attitude has on a completely different pair of glasses – their view is much different. They’re also evaluating, but instead of waiting for something useful to be handed to them, they’re looking at everything and looking at how it might apply to them – now or later. They’re enjoying where they are right now, wherever that is.

Let me be clear though, having the “what can I learn” attitude doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It can also involve recognizing that something doesn’t work for you or isn’t right for you.

The difference is how this is handled.

The “prove it to me” attitude will complain about it and be unhappy.

The “what can I learn” attitude will learn from it and decide what they can do to make it work for them now or how to avoid the situation in the future.

Two people, at similar places in their businesses (and even in similar businesses) can go to the same event (or conference or program or anything) and have completely different experiences based on the attitude they go in with.

Who do you think walks away with the better experience?

Which attitude do you find yourself approaching events or conferences with?

Two Wolves and Your Business

howling wolfHave you heard the story of the two wolves that a grandfather tells his grandson? (no, this isn’t a set up for a joke)

If you’re not familiar with the story, here it is:

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”

He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me.

One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

As I was thinking about this story I thought about the stories we tell ourselves. When you talk with others about how your day went or how you’re doing, you tell a story. When you’re reviewing how an event or meeting went, you’re telling a story. When you’re thinking about your to-do list or planning your day, you’re telling a story. When you talk about how your business is doing, you’re telling a story.

It’s how we’re all wired. It’s not bad, it’s not good, it just is.

Our stories feed us and that determines which wolf gets fed. Are you telling stories of an angry world full of people out to get you, or are you telling stories of a friendly place where there’s enough for everyone?

And what about the stories other people tell? Do they feed you? Yes, if you let them. It’s like someone serving you dinner. If you don’t like it you can be “polite” and eat it anyway – or not. Is it rude to not eat what’s in front of you? Well, if you have a peanut allergy and someone gives you food with peanuts in it, is it rude to not eat it? No, it’s not. Determining whose stories you listen to is similar. It’s okay to say “I don’t agree” or find another conversation.

So, for your business – what are you feeding it? What stories do you tell yourself and others about it? And are those the stories that you want to feed your business?

And what stories are you letting other people feed you and your business? Where do you find yourself agreeing with someone without thinking about it?

Share in the comments below!

What do you really control?

ClickForControlHave you ever noticed how much we don’t have control over? We can’t control the weather, our friends and family or other drivers.

Sometimes this can be rather frustrating. Where is spring? Why is it still chilly here? Why is that person tailgating me? Who’s going to be nice and let me change lanes?

So, it’s natural to nod our heads in agreement when someone says that being in control of our lives is just an illusion. After all, just look at the list of things you can’t control. The list of things you and I can’t control is infinite.

But there is one thing everyone does have control of in all situations. You are in control of how you choose to react in each situation you’re in or observe.

You get to choose whether the guy tailgating you annoys the heck out of you or not. You get to choose to complain about the cold day or enjoy the fact that the sun is out.  You get to make those decisions every single day.

So, is control an illusion? I guess it depends on what you’re trying to control.

Are you trying to control the situation or your reaction to the situation? I find it’s less stressful for me when I make the decision to control my reaction, rather than the situation.

What do you think? Share in the comments below.

What Our “If Only’s” Tell Us About Ourselves

Girl ThinkingEver had any of these thoughts?

If only I was:

  • Smarter
  • Faster
  • Skinner
  • Younger
  • Older
  • Prettier / more handsome
  • Taller
  • Shorter

Or maybe you’ve had one of these thoughts?

If only I had more:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Free time

You’ve probably had some of these thoughts before and there are probably a few “If only’s” that you have (or had) that aren’t listed, I know there are for me. The most popular ones (according to Google’s autofill search) are time and money.

Are “If only I had more time” or “if only I had more money” phrases that you find yourself saying or thinking on a regular basis?

I bet you don’t really want more time or money. No, really – think about it. When you say or think those things (time, money or otherwise), isn’t there usually a “then I could…” at the end of it or a mental picture of what life would be like if you did have it?

So, do you really want more time, money or whatever it is for you? Or do you want the things that having more of that would allow you to have or do?

For time you might say “If only I had more time, then I could get so much more accomplished in a day.” What you really want is to get more done. You want to have a few more completed items on your to-do list. Right?

When you find yourself saying “If only…”

  1. Ask yourself what it is you really want. What is the “then I could…” that follows?
  2. How can you have a bit more of what you really want right now? It might not look exactly like your ideal, but you can probably take some small steps toward making your ideal a reality.

What’s one of your “if only..” phrases? And what is it that you really want?

When You Don’t Get Exactly What You Want

Have you ever had an expectation in a situation that wasn’t met the way you wanted it to or envisioned it? You expected x to happen and instead y happened. How did you feel about that? Disappointed, frustrated, maybe upset? Did you focus on what went wrong instead of what went right?

Guess what? You’re normal!

So, what can you do when you find that you’re focusing on what went wrong in a situation?

  1. Recognize you’re feeling that way, that it’s normal and OK
  2. Decide to focus on what went right
  3. Make a list of what went right

It’d be easy enough for me to stop writing there, but I thought you might want to know what prompted this topic. You see, yesterday I ran errands. I had a list of stores and things to get and off I went that morning. I arrived at the first store – an inviting, small and homey shop run by a very nice woman – and told her what I was looking for. She had something similar, but not exactly what I wanted. I had already looked in a few stores for what I wanted, couldn’t find it and I was sure I would have better luck at a small store specializing in what I was looking for. The woman was very frank with me and said I’d probably not find exactly what I was looking for and offered some other really good suggestions.

I decided what I wanted and reached my hand into my purse to pay AND didn’t have my wallet! It was sitting at home next to my computer. I shared this with her and said I’d return in the afternoon. Knowing I traveled about 30 minutes to her store, she offered to ring up my items, send me home with them and I could mail her a check! So, I thanked her, we chatted and I left her my business card and headed home with my new purchases – the rest of my errands on hold for another day because I had no wallet.

On my way home I found myself with one feeling and two thoughts around the previous hour’s events. What do you think the feeling and thoughts were?

Well, I felt disappointed because (1) I didn’t find exactly what I wanted and (2) I had to cut my errands short because I left my wallet at home. Interesting right? Out of everything that happened in a fairly brief period of time that was what I left with.

This is pretty common; you focus on what went wrong or not as planned instead of everything that went right. In the past it would have taken me a day or two to notice that I focused on what went wrong  (if I noticed it at all) and then beat myself up because I was so wrong to focus on that.

However, I feel it doesn’t serve me to stay disappointed and upset, so I followed the steps I outlined above. (1) I acknowledged that I was disappointed and that it’s OK to feel that way and then (2) reviewed the situation for other ways to feel about the morning and (3) listed what was good about the morning’s events:

  • The alternate suggestions that were offered were extremely helpful and things I hadn’t thought of before, lots of value right there.
  • If I ever have any problems with the items I purchased I can go back to the store or call her for suggestions (you don’t get that kind of personalized help at most major chain stores)
  • She allowed me to walk out of the store with over $70 in merchandise that I hadn’t paid for – with only a business card and a promise that I would mail her a check – so I could save an hour of my time later
  • If I choose to I can continue to look for exactly what it is that I want without feeling stressed about it because I have a very good alternative
  • It was a GORGEOUS day out and because my errands were cut short I was able to take a more scenic route home and enjoy the sunny fall day

Go ahead and try this next time you notice you’re focusing on what went wrong. Your mood will change – mine did.

Try it and let me know how it goes in the comments!