You know who you are, what drives you, and where you’re going, but be wary of letting “crash moments” knock you off course.
Based on your responses, you are on your way to living the life you’ve imagined, so beware of taking your foot off the gas.
In life, most people believe it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts. I want to challenge the consensus. To me, journeys often imply drifting or taking a wandering path, going with the flow. Don’t get me wrong. On your road to living the life you’ve imagined, there will certainly be “pull off the road” moments—but how quickly you refocus and get back on the road is what counts. Be vigilant about where you want to go, and believe in yourself enough to keep your foot on the gas, not just coast or hover over the brakes. That’s how you reach your ultimate destination.
“Crash moments” and life’s other distractions are waiting to knock you off course. When actually, crash moments are transformations in disguise. Use these pivotal moments to fuel your life and not fall…further. To make sure that doesn’t happen, consider the three strategies below from my latest book, Crash!
1. Identify your three essential anchor relationships
In this era, where time is at a premium and everyone is infinitely busy, we are losing an essential element of what makes us successful as humans: relationships. Real ones. Deep ones. Ones that last decades and beyond.
Let’s look at some basic engineering: A stool with three legs stands strong and steady, but put it on two legs and you’ve got a problem. It’s even worse if you’ve got one leg to stand on… one false move and you’re sprawled on the floor. But three—that simple, magical number—three legs hold you strong and steady against the world.
To make it through emotionally, I believe you only need three essential people in your life—a “board of directors” to bounce things off of, to keep you on path, and to support you when you need some help and love. Three essential anchor relationships for three essential life spaces: your work, your circle, and your home. Identify these three people as soon as possible.
2. Keep your life nimble
I firmly believe in order to be great and do great things, you must put yourself in the path of possibility. All humans are connected through a vest web of interlocking lives; it is up to use to choose whether or not we acknowledge these connections and see them as opportunities to grow.
In my experience, the easiest way to put yourself in the path of possibility, and therefore increase your odds of success and keep your career and life growing, you must keep your life nimble. Your next opportunity to grow may not be just down the street. A nimble life means staying open to possibilities: leaving the comfort of a role you’ve held for a long time to tackle something new and challenging, moving across the country to a brand new city, or accepting a lateral move or even a demotion to break into a new industry.
Many people miss opportunities because they don’t recognize there even was an opportunity, or because it had some sort of inconvenience attached to it. Often, those paths lead to big opportunities down the road. The best way to take advantage of them is to stay nimble.
3. Don’t be too easy on yourself
It’s widely understood now that growth happens outside your comfort zone. Of course, the world outside your comfort zone is—surprise, surprise—uncomfortable! Being able to constantly exist outside your comfort zone requires a level of mental toughness that most people find challenging. But if you don’t push yourself, who will?
Think of it this way, if Michelangelo had stopped sculpting David when things got hard, if he had spent countless hours consoling himself with espresso and wine, then all the world would have today would be a lump of busted marble. What you’re doing and what you’re working on may be frustrating, but until it’s finished, you won’t know how it may alter your life.
Here’s the thing: the harder things get, the more likely your breakthrough is just around the corner. The closer you are, the harder it gets. That’s just the way it is. When something’s getting harder and harder, most people will back off and retreat—but that is exactly when you want to push. It’s that stick-to-itiveness that makes the difference between good and great.
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