Myth of Perseverance: Why Taming the Mind Compounds Effort
The Myths of Building a Successful Business | Part 8
Years ago, while completing a fellowship on administrative leadership, I received a piece of advice that changed the way I approach every aspect of my life.
I had the excellent opportunity to meet and hear from some individuals who had carved a non-linear and non-traditional career in administration. In particular, there was a vibrant woman with a smart haircut who had managed a theatre company before becoming the general manager at a hotel. Years later, she found herself in the position of COO at a major hospital. Fast forward a decade she was recruited to a deanship of an Ivy League university.
As she chatted about her career, she stressed the importance of being confident in acquiring transferable skills no matter your work. Managing a theatre company had not been too unlike operating a hotel or a hospital.
The most important point to remember, she said, was to tame our often destructive mindsets. Don’t let your mind persuade you that you can’t do a job.Don’t let your mind persuade you that you can’t do a job. - Martine Severin Click To Tweet
Even as she was being recruited to the chief of operations for the hospital, a raucous and destructive party of doubt trashed the palace that housed her confidence and poise. There were many moments where negative self-talk convinced her not to interview for the hospital or the deanship.
As we chatted, a perennial thought flowered: the mind often wants the easy way out of most situations. To succeed, or to do a job better than anyone else, you have to train the mind to be your accomplice in greatness. Think Robin to your Batman.
If your WHY is your mission, and you are on a crusade to achieve this mission, then your errant thoughts and machinations of self-sabotage are the bad guys.
AN ACCOMPLICE IN GREATNESS
Soon, I became obsessed with turning my focus inward to monitor my thoughts in an effort to become more efficient in my work. How can prolonged attention give way to clearer intention in my business and personal life?
When the mind, emotions, and spirits are aligned, imagine how quickly you can climb the mountain of greatness. Cultivating mental mindsets that identify distractions, sets us up to stay on the course which in turn is good for business.
That is, in between drafting and executing Big Hairy Audacious Goals and coming with new ways to grow our network, what mental calisthenics can we perform towards focus and clarity of thought?
The Mind and your Thoughts are the great distractors or puppies that constantly want your attention. You can decide to allow them to run free and develop bad habits. Conversely, you can train them as value-added accomplices through the development of habits that in turn becomes a discipline.
Before beginning mental calisthenics as I call it, it may make sense to track your moods. Recently, I purchased a day-planner in which I track my moods to ascertain how my feelings are affecting my personal life and my business.
Similarly, how do your moods affect your interactions with your team or with your clients? What are the patterns that veer you away from your business goals?
If your team is a wreck and has it in for you. If your customers are awful and don’t seem to appreciate you. AND if everyone else in the world causes you problems. Are YOU indeed the problem?
If you see a pattern of low mental acuity emerge, how do you get back on track? Would deep breathing, time off from work, yoga, sleep or physical activity aid in shaking off the funk?
In the same vein, when are you a productive horse? What thoughts are going through your mind? Is there a pattern that spurs on moments of brilliance?
Do bouts of depression often foil your goals for your business? In that case, how can your family, friends, coworkers and your medical professional help you manage?
CHECK UPS AND UPKEEPS
Creating an atmosphere where we operate at optimum efficiency calls for a happy marriage between our physical, spiritual and mental state. We cannot separate them, as one undoubtedly bleeds into the other.
To keep physically, mentally, spiritually fit, how do you as an entrepreneur strive for equanimity in your personal and work life? What can you institute in the form of self-care, creative endeavors, physical efforts and relationships to nourish your well being?
Having a plan for and disciplining your mind results in removing clutter that prevents you from having space in your life for greatness.
When you kennel your pattern of negative thinking or self-destructive behavior, you have more freedom to realize your goals or your WHY.
If you have gone down this road of mental discipline, what best practices or tips can you share with us?
Contributor: Martine Severin*
Martine Severin is a photographer and writer living in Chicago. Her work has appeared in publications such as Vogue UK, Glamour Magazine and the Sunday Times Magazine. When she’s not working or planning her next photoshoot, she can be found relaxing or traveling the world with her son and husband.
*Martine is an LBDS Mastermind Alum