Think back to a time in your life when you gave everything you had to the accomplishing of a goal and felt absolutely exhausted and satisfied, even exhilarated. Think of the camaraderie between all on your team.
How far back did you have to go? I’ll bet that for a lot of people this brought them back to some type of athletic event as a participant. It did for me. I think back to my time as a football coach at Cal State Fullerton.
Our staff and team had several things in common. First, we faced adversity. It was us, the little guys from a small school versus the big guys from the big conferences with the big budges and facilities. It became anUSversus THEM scenario.
I can remember all of the hard work, time and effort that we all gave to our program. I can also remember the love and tight inclusive camaraderie between the players and staff. This is the result of an “all in” effort towards the accomplishment of a shared goal.
You just don’t find this in businesses today. Somehow people have become independent, out for themselves without regard for the total picture. Businesses have evolved to an environment where theUSversus THEM might be the employees versus management rather than the company versus the outside elements.
Whatever happened to maximum effort in a “whatever it takes” commitment? Whatever happened to an individual’s intense desire to grow, improve and learn? Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…I divide the world into learners and nonlearners.”
What on earth would make someone lose their intense desire to compete, to grow, to have passion for their life? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn and improve. Infants are examples of this. They are stretching their boundaries daily. They never decide that learning to walk and talk is just too hard and not worth the effort.
Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just keep on keeping on.
What could put an end to this exuberant passion for learning and improvement? It’s language. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves and to express themselves with language then the decline begins. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that either creates or denies access to behavior.
I’m writing this on the 4th of July weekend. The 4th is an American celebration of freedom. This freedom we many times take for granted. The past few months have accentuated the difference between our democracy and every other form of governance.
Our police don’t shoot protesters. Our news reporters don’t disappear when they are critical of the current administration. Our elections, scandal free for the most part, reflect the true will of the people. In short, we are free.
Every person has the opportunity to create their own mindset, their own set of circumstances and then apply enough energy to turn their desires into reality. Our economy is not perfect and never will be. There have always been cycles of the ups and downs. However, in the end, the freedom to make choices in business, the freedom to reinvent, change direction, whatever it takes, has always gotten us through. Not only that, times like these have made our country stronger.
Einstein gave us the answer to our problems when he declared E equals MC squared. This means that if you put enough energy into the system then you will create mass or in this case business results.
Prior to Einstein Charles Darwin made a significant contribution when he said that nature selects those organisms that are able to adapt to changes in a way that favors survival.
What adaptations do you need to make? Do you need to learn and sell a new product? Do you need to develop relationships with other experts and serve each others clients? Do you need to upgrade your education, certifications and licensing? What adaptations to the changing marketplace do you need to make?
If you can work your way out of a problem then you don’t have a problem. You have the freedom to control your focus, your preparation and your effort. Or, you can give that freedom away to others and allow them to dictate your state of mind for you.
I hope you take the time in your celebration of the Fourth of July to remember that at your business, your home, at the ballot box, you are free to make choices. There are not many in the world who can say that!