Perspective of the Day – Dec 4 – Don’t Evaluate Your Life In the Middle of the Fight
WHAT YOU FEEL: something goes wrong and you start to think to yourself “am I really happy doing this?”
PERSPECTIVE:At the end of every major boxing match, Jim Lampley, the famous boxing announcer, interviews the winner and asks him “are you going to retire? Do you think this is your last fight?” More often than not, any seasoned pugilist who has just spent ten rounds in the ring, says “I’m seriously considering it” while he wipes the blood from what’s left of his nose. Wouldn’t you retire if you got hit in the face for two hours?
The time to evaluate your life is not in the middle of your busy day or at the darkest moments. When the entrepreneur feels overwhelmed, the gears come to a stop. The running in quicksand becomes walking in quicksand and then sinking in quicksand. When this happens, for some reason it causes many entrepreneurs to use this as an opportunity to evaluate their lives.
What am I doing? I have no life. I never sleep. I don’t talk about anything but this business. Everyone thinks I am crazy. I have no time for anything else in life.
If we gave every entrepreneur truth serum and asked them how often this occurs, it probably happens at least once a week. Regardless of how often it occurs, it most often occurs “right after getting punched in the face for ten rounds.” It almost never occurs when things are going well. Have you ever evaluated your life after you close a deal? I doubt it.
There must be time (often with a glass or two of bourbon) for you to reflect, think about the big picture and evaluate your personal goals. Not having this time to reflect can be damaging. That being said, the time for this is not during the most challenging times or in the middle of your day. This can become debilitating.
First, it consumes significant time and energy. When thoughts about the meaning of life arise, they distract us from the tasks at hand – the tasks that advance the business and make the issues of the day improve. More importantly, it consumes vital energy that would otherwise be used moving the business forward. These thoughts are not easy ones, and they tend to bring up a variety of sensitive subjects and emotions. You don’t have the energy to move through your day and evaluate the meaning of life at the same time.
Second, these thoughts are often reactive and emotional and result in bad decisions. When the pressure hits you, it is hard to be objective. The grass seems greener, well, everywhere else. If you are venting, it is somewhat harmless. If you are making decisions and acting, it is a problem.
There is a time, a place and a need to reflect on your life and if you are happy. The time to do this is not when the shit hits the fan, or in the middle of your day. When the thought creeps into your head in the middle of the day, resist the temptation to address it and wait until your designated time. You can’t evaluate whether and how to fight the fight when you are in the middle of the fight.
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