What I Learned in 2010

As 2010 draws to a snowy close I reflect on the completion of my third year in business and I ask myself “What have I learned?”

Quite a lot really…

There is abundant opportunity…

I never really “got” this. But now I do. Life really isn’t a zero sum game at any level. It’s just that sometimes it can seem that way if we set low goals and miss them, do the wrong things, fail to do enough of the right things, target the wrong markets, and go about our business fearfully and defensively. Then it’s a struggle.

But with clarity, focus, confidence, real personal productivity and a laser like focus on what we need, it comes to us, once we know what it looks like.

We’ve got to love what we do…

This is about values. If we spend huge amounts of time doing stuff that doesn’t accord tightly with our values we’re running on the wrong fuel. Values drive behaviour and behaviour drives results.

I finally realised my one core value that isn’t banal is that I believe the greatest thing on earth is human potential and I will do what I can do make sure more of it is realised. This has been hugely clarifying for me. I guess I kind of knew it, but sitting down in a darkened room and homing in on my one core value has really helped me. I now do more of the right stuff and I have cut out a lot of the stuff that was not value-driven. Relief! It’s like being let out of jail.

We have everything we need…

It’s all here. Centuries of human endeavour, experience, knowledge. And all the people around us right now. Here’s a great question to ask someone. It gets a positive and valuable response 95 times out of a hundred. “Can you help me with……?” Try it.

If you boil a kettle it boils at a hundred degrees. Every time. If you do the things that people have done before you will get their results. This is not weird. It would be weird if it was not so.

The past is gone…

Good and bad. To relive it is a choice. Not a destiny. We are all conditioned to an almost frightening extent. But the conditioning process is not over. We are alive to conditioning now…right now. And we can do it to ourselves. And it doesn’t take long. Some people say 21 days to recondition ourselves in any area. I think that’s about right.

Our future is unwritten…

But it will be written. We can write it. We should write it. Because if we don’t someone else will. If we don’t have our own plan, we will be a part of someone else’s plan. Stark choice.

Our brain is beyond fantastic…

But it isn’t user friendly and it doesn’t come with a manual. We need to manage ourselves first and foremost, before we try to manage anything else. Deal with fear.  Change the level of fear attributed to an action. As Jim Rohn said “we are destined to suffer from one of two pains – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” Learn to fear regret with a vengeance. As a child fears monsters. Then the fear of discipline seems trivial. And procrastination and all the other stuff that hold us back are revealed to be just mice wearing monster suits.

We need to sharpen the saw…

I am amazed at how the people I consider to be successful switch off all the screens and take the time out to reflect on what they’ve done, to plan, to spend really good time with their families and come back renewed, refreshed, sharper than before, ready for the next chapter.

And so, to that end, I shall disappear for the first week in January to sharpen my saw. All being well with the weather, I shall be back with your next Pearl on 10th January.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

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