Happiness = Progress
It’s human nature that stagnation causes anxiety, depression and guilt. We are creatures that require growth and movement and this is one of the many things that has propelled our species to do extraordinary things. However, it can get difficult to maintain forward movement in your life and your business. Here are the key steps that will ignite sustainable, massive change in your business.
Close your Eyes and Hope for the Best
This is not a joke. You can’t end here, but you must begin here. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, breath deeply, and visualize where you’d like your business to be in 2 years, then 5 years. Don’t worry about how you’ll get there, and if fears and failures start to creep in, gently push them aside.
Jack Nicklaus, who won a record 18 major championships while producing 19 second-place finishes over his career, has said: “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head first”. In fact, most extraordinary achievers regularly use the power of visualization on a regular basis. You can see a few more examples here: mindbodygreen
It’s been scientifically proven that mental visualization “impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow – all relevant to achieving your [best business and] your best life!” Read more on this topic on Psychology Today.
A great thing about this practice is you don’t have to know what you’re doing to make it work. If you simply visualize yourself performing your highest goals, your mind will begin to fill in the gaps.
Take a Break
Don’t stop reading – I’m serious! Don’t go take a nap…unless you really need one, but do break from your ordinary work day. Clean your desk first, or go to a relaxing space, maybe start with a short walk in nature or around the block, then take some time to think about what you visualized earlier. How great did it feel to achieve your goals and dreams? Think about the areas of your business that you’ve maybe overlooked or missed because you’ve had your head so deep in the business that you couldn’t see your gaps? I recently heard James Cameron, world-renowned director of the most challenging movies in history ask this question,”How often are you a fly banging against the glass, trying to get out – when if you pulled back you would see the opening?”
The biggest mistake a leader can make is to think she/he needs to stay busy in order to be successful. In truth, a great leader needs to do two things: have vision and clearly delegate. That’s what Steve Jobs did, and look where he took Apple…notice I can say the name of a fruit, but the entire world immediately thinks of the technology company instead. How great would it be to have that kind of brand power?
Outline Tiny Steps
If the visualization and your break worked so well that you know which direction to leap and cartwheel your way to success, go for it. However, if you remain uncertain or fearful, outline 10 tiny steps you can take to move toward that wonderful place you visited inside your head. You could start with one step this week or this month, it’s important that these steps are realistic, and not steps you’re already taking.
The title of this article is 5 Key Steps to Igniting Massive Change, so you may be wondering how tiny steps can Ignite massive change. The answer can be easily explained with the Tony Robbins 2-millimeter rule: the smallest changes can yield the biggest results. “The little things aren’t little — they’re everything. Because it is in the details that you can find the driving force for your business to reach the next level. And it is in making these 2mm shifts now that you can achieve the most astounding results tomorrow.”
Pay attention: now that you have visualized your success and outlined some steps to get there, ask for help. That’s right, these steps don’t have to all be performed by you. You can delegate to your staff, visit with friends who may have the connections or answers you need, or they can be communication changes. You can even delegate accountability check ins to someone else so that if you get your head stuck deep in your business again, someone will be making sure these new steps and goals are being achieved, and also tracking their success or failure for the next time you do this exercise.
Leap & Love
As you take the outlined steps, do it with joy and optimism in your heart. Not only is this a better way to live your life and run your business, but being optimistic aids in your ability to think and act boldly, keeps your team motivated, and aids in your mental and physical health. An additional benefit of optimism is that it will guard against staying in a failure mentality. In fact, according to Entrepreneur Magazine those who approach life and business with optimism see failure not as the end, but the beginning of something great.
A tool I use when I’m at a cross roads is a poem by W. H. Auden called Look Before You Leap. This reminds me to follow my heart before my brain can hold me back, and that often following the crowds and doing what feels safe is the worst choice.
Hope for the Best > Take a Break > Outline Tiny Steps > Delegate > Love
These are all things you can do…when will you start?
Much of life is setting the conditions for good things to happen.