Sometimes you need to open the door and walk through into your future …
Sometimes you need to close the door, so you can focus your energy and attention on what remains …
In our professional and personal lives, we have many options. Some are good ones and some are not. We are called to make decisions about what to pursue, what to continue, and into what to put our energy and passion. Sometimes we have adequate information to do so and sometimes we do not.
The decision is still there to be made … and avoiding the decision is a decision in itself. You will focus on something … the least useful choice is to focus your energy on not deciding.
Sometimes you just need to follow Kenny’s advice and choose one of two basic options:
“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run.”
As usual, the trick is you accurately decide what to do, so you make the right decision about that door. Doors do not always come with convenient and easily decipherable labels. Moreover, even when they do, the labels may or may not be very accurate or helpful. More on that later.
Staring at a doorframe with slightly tilted head and slightly puzzled look on face in the Heartland ….
My current favorite quotes from his excellent book are these little mash-up gems:
“When we don’t know what we’re really trying to achieve, all change is arbitrary … How will we know when we are done?”
followed closely by:
“What is the obstacle that, if removed, would make the majority of all other obstacles disappear?“
(Essentialism, pg. 190)
To whet your appetite further, the link below leads you to a Harvard Business Review (HBR) interview with Greg in which he explains some of the things that get in the way of focusing on what is really important:
Note: You will probably need to sign in with HBR to read this article. They are a trusted source, so my advice is to do so, if you are not already a member of their online group.
Enjoying a book more than I thought possible in the Heartland ….
Greg McKeown writes, teaches, and speaks around the world on the importance of living and leading as an Essentialist. He has spoken at companies including Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce.com, Symantec, and Twitter and is among the most popular bloggers for the Harvard Business Review and LinkedIn Influencer’s group. He co-created the course, Designing Life, Essentially at Stanford University, was a collaborator of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Multipliers and serves as a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. He holds an MBA from Stanford University. http://www.gregmckeown.com Image: via Morguefile.com Related Links:
I remember reading somewhere that only 40% of what we worry about actually comes to pass. As a matter of fact, click HERE to read a well-meaning and otherwise useful blogpost which cites a whole range of statistics. I offer this caveat: 73% of statistics you read online are made up on the spot … and this goes double for those that end in a zero
My perception is that, in the Worrying Lottery, some folks win and some folks lose.
When your worry results in positive or preventive action regarding a real threat or concern, you win.
When your worry results in sleepless nights, restless days, and a great deal of waiting for some type of lightning to strike, you lose.
The Divine Caroline blog has a great list which compares the statistical probability of a great range of things. My personal favorite:
Odds of successfully climbing Mount Everest: 1 in 3
Odds of getting divorced: 1 in 3
So I have the same chance of climbing the highest mountain in the world as being divorced? While some of you are probably already planning your trip over to the Roof of the World, since the odds appear so good, stop and think about this.
The comparison is void, since the two groups (people attempting to climb Mount Everest and people who attempt to stay married) are not comparable. Here are three specific differences, off the top of my head:
The difference in physical conditioning and psychological preparation is vast. Except for celebrity weddings, mountain climbers are and need to be in much better shape than your average married guy and gal.
The motivational levels relate to two distinctly different events: one intense and much more time-limited, the other hopefully less intense and more long-term.
Attributes which give one strength, such as focus and determination, are employed differently in the two situations. If you focus on climbing a mountain, your personal relationships are on a back burner; if you are trying to stay married, your personal relationship will be paramount.
Practice critically analyzing these type of things by going to the above link and pick any set of comparisons. Think about the context and create your own list of incomparable comparisons. This is easy and can be sort of fun.
.IMPORTANT: Now apply what you have learned to your everyday life
I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~ Mark Twain
I always like to imbue my worrying with some level of thoughtful analysis and includes statistics whenever possible. I’m 57% sure that this makes my thoughts more powerful.
Worrying about how this one will be received in the Heartland ….
Karin Hurt is a trusted source of solid leadership advice. For example, in the post below, she helps us design an effective leadership and organizational development event with four apparently simple steps … which in terms of growth potential, are anything but simple: