You set a goal.
You tell all your friends!
You take off strong towards that goal!
And then a little time goes by.
The enthusiasm wanes.
The doubts creep in.
You take your eyes off the goal and take stock of what others are doing. Many of them are further than you! GASP!
You begin questioning.
You look ahead to see your goal beckoning you in the distance.
You know it’s possible, yet is it possible for you?
It’s for sure possible for others doing it.
You can see glimmers, but you want so much more.
You thought that BY NOW you’d be so much further than you are…
So what does all this mean?
When we begin pursuing goals, changes, or growth it often (not always) takes longer than we would like.
Whether that be losing weight, growing your business, writing a book, or increasing your income, time can take longer than we wanted or expected…
For many of you, you’re exactly where you need to be. You just need a little patience and timing to arrive at your destination.
I have the great fortune to coach many people growing their own business – and inevitably the “not fast enough” syndrome hits them all at some point or another. They want more leaders for their downline. They want to get more media attention, Twitter followers, or opt in’s for their list. They want more clients to service. They want more conversations to become actual sales.
The “not fast enough” syndrome is normal.
And it can be exhausting, overwhelming, and costly.
Let me ask you this – if you knew with 100% conviction that your goal was going to happen, yet it was say 30 days or 18 months out, how would you choose to pass the time in getting there?
With peace and confidence?
Or with stress, worry, or second guessing?
I believe strongly that what you claim as yours – your desired dreams and goals – that they in effect are also seeking for you…as Rumi, the great poet has said, “What you’re seeking, is seeking you.”
Yet, I also believe that those dreams will show up sometimes different than imagined or on a different timeline than we may have.
So how can you travel the path of peace to your goals?
Consider these suggestions.
1. Eliminate the comparison game. Oftentimes our struggles come in the awareness of comparing our progress and results to that of others. We may have felt just fine in what we were doing until we hear that someone else has done double the results we have in the same time. In comparing ourselves to others, we take out an eternal measuring stick that can evaluate everything that we’re not doing, achieving, or excelling at. Drop the comparison meter and refocus on the positive things that you are doing in your own life.
2. Daily Meditation. I find that when I’m connected to myself, that inner awareness – some call it their intuition, their heart, or the Holy Spirit – whatever you call it, when you’re connected to it, there is a greater sense of peace and purpose to your life. I find that many insights, ideas, or actions to take will come to me in my meditation that is exactly what I need to learn or do next in the path of achieving my goals. Do you have daily or even weekly quiet time? A meditation practice? Journaling? Time in nature? By getting quiet and centered we will find the answers we seek.
3. Reward yourself along the way. This is SERIOUS friends! Pay attention to the power of celebration of your progress and milestones. Two years ago I began coaching a lovely woman in a direct sales business. Upon hiring me, she was one level away from the very top rank level in her company and her goal was to become a top level leader. In our first coaching session, I asked if she had ever celebrated herself for achieving the milestone (which was incredible) that she had already ascended to which she replied, “no.” Her first assignment: celebrate herself and her current achievement. She did so and it became a habit to begin acknowledging her progress along the way. Within 45 days or less, she achieved the top rank within her business and now has a network marketing business with around 100,000 distributors in her organization. Consider this, if you’re always waiting to be “perfect” or at the self created finish line for your goal to reward yourself, you may never get there. Rewarding yourself, acknowledging your progress is POTENT FUEL for the path of achievement. I invite you to do something this week to celebrate the milestones you’ve already achieved. I’d love to hear how this goes for you.
Have faith in yourself and in your goals.
Quit comparing your life to others.
Take time to get quiet and centered on a regular basis.
Reward your milestones.
A little patience goes a long way.
You’ve got this fellow traveler.
A few years ago as I was working on a new project that I was struggling to complete, my coach at the time said these valuable words, “Perfect is great, done is better.”
It rang a very loud bell for me. To this day that phrase is on a simple 3×5 card in my office that I see every day.
It has served me well over the last few years as a wisdom that helps me to move forward and produce, even when I know (and accept) that it won’t be perfect.
In the quest for achieving our goals – growing a business, starting a project, producing a website/book/event/product, you name it – we want to produce high quality content, right? Which is a great thing! I will always strive for excellence and quality AND I’m also aware that many times there is a trap there wanting to suck you in for life. The trap has a name called “perfectionism” and it can keep you and your goals in a holding pen for months, years, or even a lifetime.
Which the trouble is, no matter what it won’t ever be “perfect.” It can be great and powerful, yet you could always find ways to improve anything. And that vicious cycle stifles our growth, follow through, and expression of the passion that wants to flow through us.
Yesterday I was on a walk in my neighborhood with thoughts about how amazing life is, how much life I want to live, and goals my heart wants to achieve. And for whatever reason I had the awareness that there isn’t an infinite amount of time to get after our goals and creating our best lives. We must take action in the time we have now. Yes, we can always improve and progress as long as we’re living; yet the truth is that our lives and our goals have an expiration date.
We have an expiration date for this life.
Our goals have an expiration date too.
My point in being so dramatic?
If we’re stuck in waiting for life to be perfect to make desired changes – to leave that job or relationship, to write that book or host that event, take that trip or get serious about the bucket list – all in the name of waiting for it to be “perfect”, we will likely have regrets. And that is no way to live.
So ask yourself, what’s something I am putting off doing or completing because I’m waiting for it to be perfect?
Is it writing your book or producing a product?
Is it waiting to market yourself until you have another certification?
Is it staying where you’re waiting for the perfect time to change what’s burning in your heart?
What if we could change that perspective to one of progress versus perfection?
For me, this is your most important goal: PROGRESS, not perfection.
Progress is realistic. Progress can happen every day. Progress is how we tackle an overwhelming, huge, and out-of-our-comfort-zone type of goal.
Consider a goal that you’ve always wanted to go for, but haven’t yet. Write it down.
Identify 3 to 5 simple actions you could begin taking TODAY and do it. Then pick one and do it!
Place the phrase, “Perfect is Great, DONE is Better” somewhere where you will see it often.
Realize that under perfectionism is simply just fear holding you hostage. The fears of “what if I fail? Or is it good enough? What will people think? Who am I to share this?” are all very common culprits creating the perfectionism trap.
Take your power back from the fears of you or your project needing to be perfect and invest it into the path of progress. Your progress is what creates your life and your results, with all its beautiful imperfections along the way.
Isn’t it time?!
I thought so too.
Let me know how it goes.
This summer for me has held a lot of time in what I’d classify as “soul searching.” I don’t know if it’s the slower, lazy days of summer that help invites it or the world events taking place, or perhaps a combination of things, yet I find myself really looking at my life purpose, my work, ultimately my legacy. Is this just me or is this up for you too?
I had the grand pleasure of working for and learning from Franklin Covey Coaching for a number of years in my corporate days. I was daily involved with selling and teaching from the classic work of Stephen Covey, famously known, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I believe for many of us this book, this work had a profound effect upon our lives, our thinking, our relationships, and our legacy. As you likely know, Stephen Covey passed away this July. His passing prompted me to leaf through my own 7 Habits well worn copy and found myself smiling at the many truths I first learned from him. He has left a profound effect upon my life and upon the planet.
At the time of his passing, my mind, heart, and soul had already begun the dance of really doing a life introspection – am I happy? Am I progressing? Is my work meaningful? Am I contributing to the planet in a positive way? All of these thoughts combined with a few tear jearker episodes of ABC’s “Secret Millionaire”, I was primed and ready, already seeking after these thoughts of leaving a legacy. One of the things that Covey so eloquently teaches is to be living our legacy NOW. Not when we die and leave behind money or possessions. But to have our lives be a living legacy of goodness, of service in this present moment.
So consider this – what is your legacy? What do you want it to be? What do I want it to be for me? How do I/we want to contribute to the planet?
These are deep questions and we may not know the answers right now. Yet, I do believe they are so very valuable to ponder and consider for ourselves. We often hear that life is short. We are reminded of that as we read or hear of someone’s passing. It’s that little reminder each time that there will be a day for all of us to leave this life and begin a new adventure known as death. When we are in the daily grind, just keeping up with all the life stuff – laundry, school work, television, our careers – it’s easy to forget the preciousness of life. But indeed it is precious – YOU are precious – and there will never be another YOU on this planet ever.
So what will you choose to contribute while you’re here? What makes your heart sing? What brings you joy? Those are great starting points to being on purpose and therefore, contributing to a living legacy.
Here are two thoughts that I especially love and believe in my heart to be true guiding principles in discovering your life purpose and ultimately your legacy:
“Your life purpose will be found in service.” – Wayne Dyer
“When what brings you joy meets the need of humanity is where you will find your calling.” – Parker Palmer
I do believe that our purpose and our legacy will bring us joy – this is tip #1.
I do believe that our purpose and ultimately our joy will be rooted in service of others – this is tip #2.
Think about it.
Your list of what you’re drawn to, truly passionate about is bigger than making the bills, keeping up with the laundry, or losing those last stubborn 10 pounds. I would guess that as a fellow spiritual traveler on this path in a skin suit, I know that under the distractions and stressors of life, your heart and your soul know this to be true.
I believe Tagore was so divinely inspired when he penned,
“I dreamt and I saw that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted, and behold, service was joy.”
I personally love this quote also found in the 7 Habits,
“Service is the rent we pay for living upon the earth.” – N. Eldon Tanner
I too have seen that service is joy in my own life. I know that when I’m stressed out or in challenging times that when I focus on serving someone else, it always brings me higher too. I know that when I show up in sales conversation focused on serving the prospect or client, that I have joy in that process – when I don’t and it’s all about the sale, it’s stressful and lacking joy.
Service is a way of living our legacy in all that we do. And I also know that it shows up in a variety of shapes and forms. It may be that your service is working at a soup kitchen once a week. It may be a humanitarian trip to Africa or abroad. It’s also in many simple things like praying or sending kind thoughts to someone we know or a complete stranger. It may be buying someone’s coffee in the car line behind you. It could be opening a door for someone with full hands. It may be choosing to offer a compliment. It could also be choosing to give someone else the benefit of the doubt within our own home or office team when they show up grumpy, late, or seemed to be “thoughtless” of us. When I speak to service, there isn’t one particular way of what that means. For some of you, you are called to serve in medicine. For others, you are meant to teach children. And for others, you have the gift of making others laugh, or have hope, or confidence or whatever it may be. It’s the same principle manifested in different ways. All are of great value.
My point in writing this post to you today is because first of all, it’s been on my brain for three weeks straight and it hasn’t gone away until now when I’ve sat down to write it. Funny how that intuition just keeps knocking until you answer the call! And secondly, I think that for myself I’ve learned it’s valuable to our lives and our happiness to do the life inventory from time to time and ask of ourselves really good questions. These questions create discovery, insight, and importantly to our highest self, our soul, connecting us to our purpose – the juicy of the juicy that gives life meaning, value, courage, strength, and HOPE.
You have a purpose.
You have great value.
You are the only you on this planet equipped with thoughts, and skills, and experiences that are solely yours.
You have gifts to contribute. Please do so.
So what brings you joy?
What lights up your heart and soul?
In what ways does service speak to you?
How do you want to contribute in your life?
Let us be about the call to be a living legacy in the here and now.
Much love & gratitude,