“"Happy, contented people make conscious, careful choices about their life focuses that endorse their individual values." – Gail McMeekin
I believe in goals. Over 25% of the posts on this blog have had something to say about goals. Having an objective helps provide direction and purpose. Of course, we need to make sure we have the right objectives.
Hard work is an important part of our lives. Sometimes the effort is a combination of physical, mental and emotional. We can’t expect accomplishments without labor and sweat. But we also need rest to allow our bodies and spirits to recover.
Success – reaching our goals through hard work and determination – is a great sensation. Knowing that we’ve achieved what we set out to do, that we’ve overcome the obstacles and challenges before us. Winning feels better than losing. However, the obsession to succeed can blind us from what’s really important.
Conflicting messages. Especially coming from someone who used to run marathons, started his own company and works (probably) too many hours. How do I hold two opposing points of view at the same time?
It comes down to one word – balance.
Easy to say, not always so easy to accomplish. There’s so much to consider, including many contradictory points. Responsibilities and desires. Dreams and realities. Supporters and opponents. Then there are the limitations – permanent and self-imposed.
Ben Franklin proposed that the best way to make a decision was to look at the pros and cons of the matter, and then after a few days, consider the motives behind his ratings. After 250 years, that advice is still sound. The linchpin to this process – self-honesty. Especially about our motives.
Often our motives are very straightforward. We need to complete the project successfully to keep our jobs. We want to buy a house to have a safe environment for our family, We start an exercise program to stay healthy.
Our motives may be considered selfish. We want a promotion because of the prestige that comes with the title. We want a particular model of car because we’ve dreamed about owning one since we saw it in a movie when we were teenagers. We enjoy the feeling when others publicly recognize our achievements.
For example, I may be asked to build a new presentation for a group. I’ll consider whether I know enough about the subject to make it worthwhile for the attendees. Is the topic consistent with my corporate and personal brand? Does the event meet my goal of sharing information to as many people as possible? Does it allow me to remain a supportive member of the postal community? Are the audience members potential clients for my company? When I end the speech, will people applaud?
Yes, I honestly consider whether people will applaud. After 45 to 60 minutes performing onstage, I like to know that the attendees appreciated my work. One of the reasons why I enjoy being a presenter is the positive feedback from the audience. That sounds egotistical, because it is.
If getting applause was the only aim for giving presentations, that would be wrong. However, it’s only one of several motives, and not the most important. I have to know that in order to make a good decision. Acknowledging the truth is essential to choosing to do what’s right.
That is where we find our balance. Moving forward not only when the pros outweigh the cons, but when we honestly understand and acknowledge the reasons for our actions.