Many of us are still firmly in the grip of the pandemic Ground Hog Day scenario - with many offices delaying returns to "normal" in-person operations in 2022, after close to two years of working remotely.
The temptation is to lose sight on the importance of each day, when each day seems very much like the one before it. Especially if the only one holding you accountable for many things in your life is you. Each day can seem unimportant, with little consequences. When you stack the days together, however into weeks, or months, or at this point, years, they add up.
It can take some brutal self-honesty sometimes.
Did you fuel your body with the right foods? I get that sometimes the day as been more than enough to handle, and calling out for pizza is all you can manage. But doing that every day will have consequences in the long term, for your health and your abilities.
Did you fuel your brain with the right foods? Did you read anything meaningful today? Something that makes you smarter, better at your job or life? Did you spend any time writing or planning, in prayer or meditation? Or did you choose to play the same episodes of that tv show you've seen three times, or scrolling through one social app or another?
Did you do the work you need to do to be successful at your job? Or did you put off to tomorrow what could have been done today?
Did you make that one extra call to someone you've been meaning to reconnect with? Or maybe just text? Or not at all?
Whether it's choosing the food we eat, the information we consume, the people with interact with, or how we react to the world around us. Greatness is rarely created in a few moments. It's built over time, with every small decision adding up. The results of today might not be realized for years, or decades even, but they will.
Do the right thing.
Make today count.
Failure IS an Option
Thomas Edison famously tried over 10,000 prototypes when inventing the lightbulb. Now, the lightbulb is synonymous with new ideas and that Eureka moment.
A more modern example of persistence and perseverance in iterative inventing is Sir James Dyson, inventor of the eponymous vacuum that "doesn't lose suction." (Fascinating interview on Tim.blog)
Dyson blew through thousands if prototypes, some working, some not at all before he landed on the right design. His company, Dyson, is famous for innovative, well-designed and built products that dominate their markets.
Almost 90% of startups fail - for a myriad of reasons. The best venture capitalists know this. They expect most of their investments to crater in the hops that the one that makes it big covers all the failures and then some. Sometimes VC's will throw money at founders knowing they will fail - if only to give them a sandbox to learn and grow so their next company will be the one that is massively successful.
The most successful people fail constantly - the difference is they learn from failure. If only learning what not to do.
In today's society, fear of failure has become so prevalent that most are afraid to try anything. People are terrified of making a mistake. Of messing up. Of getting yelled at by their boss. Of losing money. Of being labeled a failure. Of being judged by their peers - most of which are sitting paralyzed on the sidelines.
That fear can and should be overcome. Try new things - from something small like a new hobby to something massive like learning a completely new career. From banker to baker. From teacher to tech founder. Fear and risk are part of the process - minimize and mitigate both as best you can but acknowledge they will never go away.
The success stories are out there every day - and it's never too late to start.
I started my company when I was 45 years old. Fear of failure was why I didn't start sooner. I wanted to get away from the transactional, shallow "numbers game" that recruiting is known for. I wanted to be a trusted advisor, not just a vendor. Four years and a global pandemic later, I'm still here. Statistically, a survivor as a going concern.
If you are ready to start something new, are in stealth-mode in a startup and need help building a team, or just want to hear my story on how I finally made the leap to founder, let's talk. I'd love to hear from you.
Be riveting. In all you do.
Kick(start) the Habit
There are good habits like exercise.
Bad habits, like not getting enough sleep or worse, addictions.
Some are conscious efforts (like eating kale, ugh) or unconscious, like checking your phone whenever you get 10 seconds of downtime.
Some are great no matter what (like being kind) some are bad no matter what (like smoking) - and everything else falls into an "all things in moderation" category. Coffee, sleep, exercise, vitamins, are good for you in appropriate doses, but can be detrimental if overdone.
In the end, we are made up of habits and routines. Some lead to great places, and some to bad. The same with the people we interact with on a daily basis. Coworkers, neighbors, family, and friends amplify us in either positive or negative ways.
If you are the writer, director and producer of your own life story, it's up to you to choose the cast around you and how the story unfolds.
Do you choose to surround yourself with people and build habits that make you the best version of yourself? Or the ones that amplify the worst in you? Do you stay in a toxic workplace because you need the money? Or do you find a better place to give your work to? Do you make changes to your lifestyle so you can afford to do a job you love but does not pay as much?