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Nice Idea or No Kidding?

Last week I received a call to speak to an organization that works with people in some stage of transition in their careers. We discussed what they wanted me to address their people about in the current economic climate.  One of the many items addressed was motivation.  That later got me thinking about one of the “distinctions” I addressed in my last post.

I located an article based on the above title I had published several years ago on this point.  The current economic state is cycling a bit differently know, yet the message remains. Here’s my slightly updated version which may be of interest to you if you are in business and/or transition.

We are soon to be completing the first quarter of what is for many, their fiscal year. If you’re still bent on listening to the doom and gloom of the media on an hourly basis, I’m guessing you’re not expecting much in the way of stellar results for your company or yourself. Yes, “if only”. "If only the economy was better, our sales team would amp it up, we could get a handle on our expenses, our leadership team wouldn’t be so secretive about what they are doing, I had more vacation time, blah, blah, blah. Yup, any of these things change and it’ll be a stellar year ahead! Something “out there” will shift and everything will be fabulous!"

Here’s the bad news. There is no “out there”…..your fabulous year ahead is an internal job.

Often times around the turn of the calendar year there are articles published as (or similar to) “New Year, New You”.  A few years ago, I addressed this topic as a speaker to a group in January and realized the content was not that far off from one of the topics I speak about: “Nice Idea vs. No Kidding”. One particular time I was addressing a job transition group about this concept and had the strangest experience.  It was similar to a movie that everything seemed to happen in slow motion.  Some of these brilliant, talented people were at another of the weekly meetings they were attending and I could tell they either were falling into or already ingrained in “wish mode”. It’s not that these well-deserving people weren’t competent to find new work environments. They were simply blinded to the fact that their efforts were more of a nice idea, than a clearly directed “I’ll-do-whatever-it-takes – no kidding” job search. Some of them admitted it was difficult to remember what day of the week it was, didn't bother to get up and dress "as if" their "job" that day was to find a job.  How about shaving?...that could be a place to start! It was rather easy to fall into the trap of “more or better sameness” because something different must occur to have a different result.

Nothing will change if the basis of your choices aren’t effective. Three major components of effective choices are the conversation you have with yourself, your commitment and the timing involved.

It’s easy to conceptualize how to react to someone when you’re not in dialogue; how to not drink/smoke/gamble when you’re in the shower; how to address your 2 year old throwing a fit in Target when he’s sleeping in his bed; how to tell your boss the project is unraveling when you’re on vacation. That’s nice idea thinking. The way to have a no-kidding difference in your life is to remember that you are creating your experience by the choices you are making moment by moment by moment WHEN you are in the thick of experiencing the thing in which you are expecting a different result. You are responsible in ‘real time’.

Choice is also difficult when self-talk doesn’t sound right. There is often value in re-wiring how you listen to yourself in order to stimulate ongoing action. Not long ago one of my clients and I were talking about being disciplined. I referenced the old saying, “We all face pains in life…either the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” This person understood the value of ongoing practices in order to achieve something different and, to her, the word “discipline” meant something oppressive, hard or involved suffering. We rewired the saying to be, “….the wisdom of practices or the pain of regret.” This seemingly small shift has helped her keep on track to create something new.

Lastly, you are always committed to something – either your results or your excuses of why you don’t have the results you say matter. Consider getting a partner (boss, co-worker, coach or friend) who will be a commitment to the commitment YOU say you want. Make your choices in real time on an ongoing basis and you will be on your way to more business success, happier relationships and inspired life for yourself!  No kidding.

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