I have to be honest – it’s coming up to 5 years of 100% focus on my business now and I have been really rewarded by the progress. Yes it’s been hard, and yes it’s been very challenging and I know we are a good 3-5 years away from realising our plans so the work will continue relentlessly until then.
It does however mean I have to say ‘no’ a lot. No to nights out during the week. No to weekends away when I have to work, no to a few amazing 3 week plus holidays as I simply can’t take that time out of the business. And there is a real bit of me – my chimp you can call it – if you haven’t read The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters you may not understand that reference so if not go get it and read it – but my chimp is my inner voice saying it’s not fair, I wanna play, when is all this hard work going to be over?
Really – if you are going to put 100% into anything – whether it’s sport, work or any big goal you are pursuing – you do have to commit wholly to it, but as humans we can get those niggly bits when all this hard work and dedication can all start to feel like a real sacrifice. A sacrifice – and that’s a hell of a word.
Sacrifice – or thinking of it like that will cause resentment and eventually procrastination and self-sabotage. Seriously it’s time to retrain your brain and realise this big one thing – It’s not a sacrifice, it’s a choice. Flicking that switch in your brain – not just for work – but for the run you are going on, the diet you need to maintain, the good habits you need to practice – re-frame them as a positive choice and you are starting the reprogramming of your brain.
Because when you choose to work all weekend instead of play – that choice is an investment in your future not time missed with your friends. When you choose not to have that cream cake, it’s not a taste sensation missed but a positive investment in your future health. When you choose to go out for a run on a wet day instead of sacrificing your warm hour in bed, you are investing in your life longevity.
It’s a complete psychological re-frame and it really, really works. It’s playing the brain game and it makes important things easier to complete and commit to BECAUSE YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO DO SO and it ceases to build inner resentment because it is no longer a sacrifice.
This is used by many people pursuing long-term goals, which need dedication over years and focus. Like Olympic athletes, star tennis players or even a pro footballer determined to stay at the top of their game. It’s not a sacrifice, it’s a choice.
So next time you are begrudgingly working late instead of at the pub with your mates, stop and acknowledge you could go down the pub if you wanted too. But you have chosen to work instead – because your choice is to pursue your big dream. And that is just ace now isn’t it. I trust this little tidbit helps you – I know it was a light bulb moment for me.
See you next week.