Last night, as I was greeting my family after a long day, I realized I had forgotten to send out my Take Action Tuesday email. My mind played the game of “should I, do I really need to, can I let this one week go?” After some deliberation, topped with a rather inspiring email I read this morning, I realized that I needed to do it anyway.
How often do we miss the mark like I did yesterday – a day late, not quite right, almost there – and tell ourselves maybe it’s just not that important or no one will notice or care. The truth is: we are all experts at justifying our choices so that we feel comfortable with the decisions we want to make. They are not always the decisions that are in the best interest of our future selves, but they sure as heck make it easier on our current selves.
I received a great reminder of this today when I opened my email this morning. It was a weekly touch base from one of my favorite nonfiction authors – Laura Vanderkam. Her email talked about this exact issue: in fact, it was titled “Do It Anyway.” She quoted author Robert Grudin who wrote in his book Time and the Art of Living that “we pamper the present like a spoiled child.” Wow. She was right. I stayed in bed this morning instead of going to work out and I had contemplated skipping this email because I have a lot of other things that need to get done today, too. But, I’m just spoiling my current self. Not taking the daily actions and doing the everyday work that will form me into the future and better self I want to be.
I love writing these emails as much as many of you have said you enjoy reading them. So, why would I ditch one week because I was a day late. This is an important exercise in staying connected and I made a commitment.
So, here we are.
As the leaders of our organizations, it is essential that we show up every day to do the daily work of building our businesses, creating our teams, and developing our visions. So, even if your plan isn’t quite perfect or the email to that new customer is a little later than you would like it to be, or you’ve put off an important phone call, get back on track and do it anyway. You’ll feel better and you’ll have taken another one of those essential baby steps toward monumental growth.
Here are three things to consider on Take Action Wednesday as you stop pampering your current self at the expense of your future self:
Eat the frog
Mark Twain is famous for saying that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning the rest of your day should basically be a piece of cake. Your frog is that thing you keep putting off. Doing it first and foremost ensures it will, indeed, get done before the rest of the day spins out of control; and, it sets the right tone for your day: you’re a person who gets stuff done!
Look for resistance
And push past it. If there is something you are resisting doing, then do it now. For me, this is often phone calls or emails where I am asking someone for help. And this is a big part of my job since we’re an organization with more than 50 mentors and advisors and community partners who help because they want to and not because we pay them.
Consider the future
I did not want to get up at 4 a.m. this morning to go work out; instead of reminding myself how darn good I would feel by 4:45am, I was telling myself how comfy and warm I was in my bed. Remember your why and remind your current self that there are good things down the road and doing this one thing now is one step closer to making those big things happen.
I look forward to seeing you over here at ASU Chandler Innovation Center soon!