"You guys have got to weigh in on this debate," said our friend's e-mail. I figured I'd check it out. Awake and chugging coffee early in the morning, I had nothing better to do in my jet lag induced haze here in Italy.
I went over to the site where the debate was occurring and – as is often the case – immediately recognized that it was a negativity-fueled, barrage of junk. There was no way we were going to jump in.
This sort of thing happens all of the time in many of the communities that we're a part of. In this case, the debate was about the realm of business strategy that we work in. That's why our pal wanted us to join in. Scrolling through the comments, numbering 100+, I informally concluded that a majority were negative. Even worse, they came from a place that wasn't about raising the bar or adding something new to the conversation. Similarly, the platform that was erected by the original poster's article wasn't constructive.
This is just one example of "thinking small" that keeps you from getting the forward trajectory we all want out of life.
You want to know one of the best ways to leap forward? Stop buying into things that are a waste of time and that – at the end of the day – hold you back. If we did, we'd never have this robust NVR life that we enjoy. Some lessons we've learned.
1. Don't look sideways.
Glance sideways. That's what we do from time to time because it's important to know the landscape. Otherwise, we look forward. Paying too much attention to what others are doing immediately puts you in the space of duplication. Don't say, "I want to do what XXX is doing to be successful." Find your own version of success. Doing so keeps you focused on your best self. When you're focused on the best version of you, you're less likely to want to waste time in the service of time-sucking activities such as that in the example above.
2. Have a vision for your life.
Want to know a great way to become success oriented? Have a vision for your life. Of course, that vision will evolve over time but always have one. Not sure what that vision looks like? Time for some heavy lifting. Start by monster-hugging life's greatest (and most rewarding!) challenge: knowing yourself. The more self-empowered you feel, the less you'll be baited by smallness.
3. Keep it positive.
Negativity can be fun in the moment, but the fun is superficial and fleeting. Negativity breeds myopic vision and shallow thinking. Sometimes a vigorous, critical conversation can seem negative. That's okay... we're not talking about cases where the intention behind the conversation is good spirited. Here, we're focusing on the kind of pointless negativity that can saturate a conversation or, quite often, an entire relationship. Negativity is the sinkhole of life. If something isn't positive, run away as fast as you can. If someone is a consistent drain on your life, give them the chop.
We've learned a lot by trial and error. Now we have a successful business and a dynamic lifestyle because we try not to buy into thinking small.
Back to Italy and the gelato and pizza (where we also refuse to think small). Stay tuned for photos.