“Most people see what they want to, or at least what they expect to.” – Martha Grimes
Being a leader is hard work. There’s no “easy” button or magic bullet. Every time you think you everything figured out as a leader, something new comes along and you feel like a beginner all over again.
All of that hard work takes energy, and it’s critical that we protect the energy we have. There are lots of ways to do that. Certainly there are physical things that come to mind – exercise, healthy eating, plenty of rest, etc. Each of those things contribute.
Lately, though, I’ve been reminded of how important our perspectives are in terms of our energy. I see people who are achieving incredible things, and I see people who struggle to do anything, and the most obvious difference is the lens through which they view the world around them – and the energy they get from the picture they see.
The strugglers, almost without exception, are fixated on the things that are difficult or unpleasant. Anything that doesn’t go perfectly well was a complete disaster. Anything that seems slightly unfair was a huge personal insult. Anything that is coming in the future will almost certainly be disappointing. It all turns into a giant pile of bitterness and frustration and resentment, and it is exhausting.
The achievers, without exception, are fixated on the things that are or could be fantastic. If things don’t go well they’re opportunities to learn and improve. Even when a situation seems unfair there is still a chance it might turn out OK. And the future is full of possibility. All of the things that are or could be positives are energizing, and the achievers take that energy and make the most of it.
I’m not suggesting the achievers are ignoring difficult realities. On the contrary, they’re usually more aware of exactly what those difficulties are than the strugglers. The achievers understand the problems because they’ve studied them in order to solve them. The strugglers figure things probably aren’t going to work out anyway, so why bother?
Think about yourself as a leader. Do you believe that you are surrounded by opportunities and chances to be great? Or do you believe that you are surrounded by barriers and potential disasters? The truth is that, like everyone else, you’re surrounded by all of those things.
How you perceive the opportunities and barriers will go a long way towards determining if you have the energy it takes to succeed. Make sure that today, you choose energy.