How many times have you thought about doing something that you know would be helpful or good or beneficial–and then not done it? I know, probably somewhere north of ten thousand times (at least that’s my running total).
Well, this week, I’m on vacation at one of my favorite places on planet earth, Sea Pines Plantation in Hilton Head, NC. And as is my custom, I get up each morning, get on a rental bike, and go for about an hour long bike ride along the bike paths inside this beautiful resort–filled with wildlife (including gators), gorgeous golf courses, and multi-million dollar homes.
Yesterday morning (Sunday), as I was on my ride, I noticed a number of other people who were running (which is clearly more exercise than I was getting on my pleasure bike ride). And as I saw them, many who were in great shape, I silently thought to myself, “Boy, I wish I were in that great a shape.” Or, “I used to be one of them (like 30 years ago when I was a multi-sport athlete).”
But as I thought those thoughts, my negative thought patterns sprung into action.
- “But I’m not one of them any more.”
- “My knees are in such bad shape from soccer, I can’t run anymore.”
- “It’s been so long since I’ve run, it’ll be an embarrassment if I even start.”
- “I’m too out of shape to run right now, I’ll need to work up to it.” Etc.
You know those kinds of thoughts don’t you?
But something magical happened when I arrived back at our vacation home. I got off my bike and said to myself, “Forget about all the reasons why this won’t work. Just try it. Just run to the fire hydrant. You always talk about speed of implementation. Back it up Jack.”
So I did. Now, it wasn’t pretty. I’d pick a spot. Run to it. Walk the same distance. Run to another spot. Walk the same distance. Run to another spot. Etc. I felt like I sucked all the oxygen out of Hilton Head Island. Hyperventilation would be a polite way of saying what I was experiencing. But I did it!
And this morning, after another hour long bike ride, I ran again. This time, I went about four times farther and sucked a little less oxygen. And so I find myself, on this second day of vacation thinking about how often you and I allow our excuses to get in the way of making progress (not just in our personal lives, but also in our businesses and organizations).
So, how about you? What have you been thinking about doing, but haven’t done, because you’ve allowed your head to get in the way of doing it?
- Calling a prospect (it’s not the right time)
- Hiring a new sales person (I don’t have all the details worked out)
- Creating a new strategic plan (We’re too busy to take the time to work on that)
- Providing critical feedback to an employee (I don’t think they’ll respond well)
- Delegating several tasks (I can get them done faster if I just do them)
- Calling on a prospective joint venture partner (I don’t know if they’ll say, “Yes!” so I better wait)
We all do this. It’s nothing new. But it is reality. What holds you and me back has far more to do with what we tell ourselves than it does with finding some new idea or technique.
So rather than thinking about it today, why don’t you just do it. As long as it’s legal, beneficial, profitable, good, etc. go for it. You’ll be glad you did.
To your accelerated success!