Got Problems?

As one of my mentors used to say: “When things seem really good, they aren’t as good as you think, and when things seem really bad, they aren’t as bad as you think.”

This is wisdom. It keeps us on our toes and looking for improvement from ourselves and others even when the wins are stacking. It also gives us hope, prompts us to gratitude, and helps our confidence when things seem bleak.

When one of my coaching clients tells me they are having a struggle or a challenge they are trying to overcome in business, I generally respond, “That’s great!” before we dive in and I help them solve it. You see, lack of challenges is not a good thing. In fact, I would submit the following:

If you don’t have big challenges, you might not be living a big life.

You might not be stepping outside of your comfort zone.

You might not be deep enough in your faith journey.

You might not be taking courageous risks.

You might not be making progress towards your goals.

You might not be growing.

Or, maybe you are facing challenges, yet are numbing yourself to reality and doing things that don’t serve you (overeating, overdrinking, drugging, over binging on videos/video games).

I learned long ago the following, it was a fraternity mantra: “That which is worthwhile is difficult.”

Even though I knew the words at a young age, the seeds took a while to germinate and produce the right actions from me. My first few years out of college were aimless and I had no intention or purpose other than to party and hang out with my friends.

Fast forward to today, and I know one key ingredient in my wins over time is taking courageous and proactive action in the areas that are important to me.

Check out the visual. Which path are you on? We get to decide:

The left, we may take action, but it’s more reaction to what life gives us. Show up to the job. Do the work. Go through the motions with our friends and family. Dabble in exercise with no real commitment. Joy is based solely on external circumstances and you aren’t really creating any wins. I’ve been there. The issue is, we still have problems and we are sowing the seeds for future angst (because we are out of alignment with our purpose and greatness) and regret. This may be more comfortable in the short run, but far more painful in the long run.

It’s never too late to get on the other track. Taking Simple Positive Action Now, action that is courageous, bold, and proactive in areas that are important to you will lead you down another path. This path may be more challenging and uncomfortable early on, but our problems are reframed to challenges. These challenges we then take on with courage, using our growing experience and collaboration with others. We find solutions, and even if the outcome isn’t what we wanted, we improve. So, now we reframe what some call “failure” as “valuable lessons” and continue to take modified or different action. The difference on this path, though, is you have elevated yourself to another level after each iteration of the cycle. It’s like climbing stairs or a mountain, you don’t go back to the valley, you grow and improve a bit each time. This is how the bigger goals are met and the bigger wins stack up. Got problems? Great!

Do any of the following resonate with you? What is on your list – you know it’s there!

  • Write the first page of that book that is bursting inside of you. Heck, just write the first sentence!
  • Go to the networking event that makes you uncomfortable yet you know is valuable. Make it a goal to talk with one person you don’t already know.
  • Book the vacation with your family to build memories.
  • Make that phone call you’ve been procrastinating.
  • Make that extra sales call every day.
  • Ask for the forgiveness or grant the forgiveness.
  • Start your day off with a Morning Kickstart.
  • Join the club. Pick up the instrument. Start a new hobby.

Get uncomfortable. Be courageous!

“But I don’t have time.” Sure you do. It’s a matter of priority.

We have a choice.

Reactive to external circumstances? This road leads to angst and regret.

Proactive on what matters most? This road leads to success, joy and fulfillment.

Start with one thing.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

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