“I’ve made the commitment to do strategic work. What happens? The next thing I know everything blows up around me and I’m swamped by emergencies that I can’t seem to wade through. What do you tell someone who constantly faces this challenge?”
Expect it! Yes that’s right, expect it! Last Saturday after years of being a runner and now having knee problems I made the decision to start bike riding instead. About 3 ¾ miles into my first longer ride my front tire suddenly goes flat . If you haven’t experienced this type of occurrence in your life, this sudden bit of bad luck when you are setting new goals for yourself, well then maybe you haven’t been setting challenging enough goals. Perhaps you set a goal to lose weight and the first or second day your mother, God Bless her, brings over your favorite pie or dish. You set an exercise goal and the morning you get up, the worst thunderstorm you can remember begins rumbling the second you’re ready to jog out the door. When we set new goals for ourselves very often the universe throws obstacles and challenges at us to test our commitment. In order to achieve our goals, we need to set new rituals and routines. It means we’re going to have to change, and very often the settings and surroundings we’ve been comfortable in are not suitable to that change occurring. So this type of incident is often a sign that we still need to do more in order to achieve the results we want.
Maybe you decided to take too big a bite, or where you decided to do this work is not conducive to you having long periods of time where you will be uninterrupted. One of my clients decided to go to a coffee house each morning for his strategic time. It wasn’t too long and people discovered his hide out and he was back to being interrupted again. So be careful where you decide to do your strategic work, and be prepared to change when the universe throws you a round house punch. How many things that you truly wanted in your life have you not been able to attain? I seriously doubt they’re having been many. Most of us get what we truly want. So the question I have to ask is how bad do you want to do this? You see when given the choice most of us will retreat to our old habits. We’re comfortable there. It takes serious resolve to commit to strategic work. It won’t happen in one day, or a week. If you’ve read anything about this you know it takes a minimum of 21 days to establish a new habit.
Expect adversity! Embrace challenge. It is the universe telling you there’s still more work to be done if you expect to meet and overcome this opportunity. In fact when you look back on it you’ll recognize that it was exactly what you needed. You may have heard the story about Michael Jordan who failed to make his high school basketball team as a sophomore. There are countless tales of successful , people who faced what we or others might have considered insurmountable obstacles, yet they reached deep inside themselves to conquer and reap the rewards. Would Jordan have become the spectacular athlete he did without this challenge? Would Armstrong have made history in the Tour de France without the obstacle of cancer to defeat?
When we look at the success others attain, and indeed the reward for strategic work that will allow us to truly live the life we imagine, a life that offers fulfilling our full potential, how can we not accept the challenges and decide to overcome it?
Accept the challenges, yet don’t set yourself up for failure. Make sure your surroundings are free from distractions and interruptions. Make sure the people who interact with you daily are aware of your decision to work strategically. Let them know how important this is and how firm you are about this commitment so that they will not interrupt you during this time. Then make sure you don’t allow your self and them to let anyone or anything detract you from your goal.
The pie will look good; the thunderstorm could derail you temporarily. Keep on keeping on and the outcome you seek will reward you. Remember if you keep doing what you’ve always been doing what will you get? What you’ve always gotten in the past. If you want to get out of the rut you’re in, travel another path and remain dog determined to stay on it.