It’s been a while.
I was tempted to justify myself with telling you how BUSY I am. Damn it.
I wanted to talk about how BUSY we are in this post. Lets be brutally honest tonight. This is http://www.doingthehardthings.com after all! What’s harder than owning our stuff? NOTHING.
That’s why we don’t do it.
After tonight do yourself a favor. Make a pledge to stop telling yourself and everyone around you how BUSY you are.
A. Because no one really cares.
B. Because you’re using it as a way to defer responsibility for missed deadlines, crappy work, no work, delayed work, procrastination… or just being plain old honest… Something else was more important!
C. Because your ACTIONS show what is truly important to you.
Seriously though… we have an obsession with busy. It’s poisoning us. If you’ve drifted to a point in your life where you are routinely missing deadlines, rolling into meetings late, making promises you can’t keep, bitching about the man, complaining about how much work you have, dropping balls etc … you need to reset, man. Because it ain’t doing you any good. It ain’t doing anyone around you any good.
There was a team member I worked with, I’ll say in the past 10-years to help disguise her identity. She literally would not shut up about how busy she was ALL THE TIME. You would have thought she was the only one on the planet with shit to do. Don’t get me wrong. She was a high-performer. One of my favorites. But a real pain-in-ass at the same time. Yes. She was busy. That was her choice. All she had to do was – DO LESS BETTER. Do not complain about your ship when you are the captain of your ship. Own it. Either reorganize yourself or be the Titanic. I have the soundtrack. It’s pretty great. You can borrow it.
A couple of weeks ago a co-worker opened a conversation with the dreaded “I know we’re all really busy right now….” I think I blacked out for about 10 minutes. In fact I know I did… because that’s all I remember. The next time someone opens a sentence with the BUSY disclaimer – STOP THEM. I’m serious. STOP THEM. You need to stop them because they are about to attempt to justify or condone the acceptance of a subpar action, standard or effort in a direct or indirect manner. STOP THEM. It’s going to affect your company in a negative way. It’s going to affect them personally in a negative way. It may end up affecting your relationship in a negative way. Dig into whatever it is BUSY is being used to condone – and FIX IT.
Dismantle the bomb of underachievement.
I want to touch on a subject EXTREMELY close to my heart. My 14-year old son. His dreams. His aspirations. His responsibility while working toward those dreams and aspirations AND those of his mentors (coaches).
I’ve been telling him to directly seek feedback from his coach after practices and games to determine what he needs to work on to improve his game, feel better about himself and get more minutes.
He (my son) took this advice after ONE practice two or three weeks ago. He asked his coach what he should work on. The response? “You’re good, G. Just keep working hard”.
Gavin is third-string. He’s lucky to see the floor 4-minutes a night. Here’s the Catch-22: In some way that’s exactly what Gavin wants to hear.
We don’t wanna own this but what I’m about to say is true: We want to be lied to. Especially if we think the truth is going to hurt. You know that line from a Few Good Men? Come on… you… you know what I’m talking about, right? Watch this 2-minute video… it’s pure gold.
That is the unfortunate truth…
Gavin and I shared a snow day today. He went to the PEIF and played ball for a couple hours while I hung out with his younger brother – he had to “polish his game” as he put it. Later in the day, after Mom came home, Gavin and I went to the gym and we did the real work. The work he needs to do. The work he doesn’t want to do. THE HARD WORK. I went easy on him… relatively speaking I guess. He and WE need to struggle. He needs to learn how to THRIVE in the struggle. WE need to learn how to THRIVE in the struggle. I introduced him to a new exercise tonight: Dumbbell flyes on a flat-bench. In between his second and third set I asked him “How are you doing?”. He told me it was HARD. I asked him if it hurt. He replied, “YES.”. I smiled.
“Gavin, that’s where you sign up for second-string. At the intersection of Hard & Hurt.”
He didn’t want to smile… but he did. It’s true for all of us. Stop letting people lie to you. While you’re at it – stop telling people lies. Tell them what they need to hear. Don’t speak in a malicious manner… speak in an honest manner… from a place genuinely meant to help them.
If someone is on the third string and they ask what they need to do… For the love of God and country don’t tell them “You’re good”.
What else do I have tonight. I’m feeling fired up.
I came across someone I really like a few weeks ago – Justin Carlson deserves credit for suggesting I check this person out. His name, Jocko Willink. I’m going to end this thing with a short YouTube video from his Podcast. I promise… you’ll enjoy it.
But first a few more thoughts…
Do you know why GREAT is so rare? Because on our way to great we come across GOOD… and we stop pushing.
Now the important part. Hopefully someone has stuck around long enough to get this tidbit.
On your way to GREAT you reach GOOD… and it feels… well… good. Hell… once you’ve hit good you’re looking down on all those average folk, right? Not a bad place to be. Problem is while you’re above average… you’re still trying to become GREAT. So you look up.
That’s when you BLINK. Self-doubt creeps in. The possibility, the potentiality of failure is imminent… so many feelings… it’s not safe to reach… and GOOD becomes good enough. Someone tells you “You’re good”.
“We have one shot at life. We might as well spend it kicking some ass.” – Me
Hopefully you won’t think less of me for admitting this – but I told my son that tonight. I see him living what other people are telling him about himself. You might be doing the same thing – STOP IT. My boy is one of the shortest kids on the team – he’ll be the first to tell you all about it. The team is stacked with guards. He’s a guard. He’ll tell you all about that too. Excuses. You’re short? Good. Play BIG. A lot of guards on the team? Good. First of all, there aren’t as many as you say. Secondly, you just need to be better than the second-string guy right now. So go be better. Play harder. Want it more. Don’t let people decide what you are for you.
I think setting BIG and AGGRESSIVE goals is healthy. You’re gonna shoot for them – sometimes you’re gonna miss. I believe you’ll still be further along than if you had set SAFE and EASY goals. Save safe & easy for Grandma or Grandpa. Hell, we’re all gonna be there some day. Lots of time at the end of the road for safe & easy. GET AFTER IT. Take chances. Fail at trying to be great…. not the greatest of all-time either. Focus on being the greatest version of YOURSELF.