My wife and I recently moved from our home of the past 17 years into the home we’ve always dreamed about. We packed and planned, and created a real strategy to make our move go as smoothly as possible. Contacted furniture and appliance vendors, scheduled handy men to install those little things that sadly are beyond my limited capability. Created a schedule of deliveries and drop offs, and structured our move down to the very last detail. Nothing was left to chance- we had everything figured out.
And then we actually moved…
Nothing went according to plan. Michigan winters are the first variable unaccounted for. Mother nature, polar vortexes, once in a generation ice storms, and a host of weather-related obstacles created production delays, delivery delays and even placed one of our contractors into the hospital due to an accident (he’s ok and back to doing his thing). There were so many unexpected consequences and our best laid plans were scrapped before they even got started.
How could this happen. My wife and I counted it up and in the early years of our relationship we moved a total of 8 times. Surely by now, with our age and wisdom, and considerably more resources at our disposal- moving should be a piece of cake.
I found myself the other day sitting in my dream home, completely stressed and anxietized by the entire process until I finally decided to give myself a “Check-up from the Neck-up”
Nothing that was happening in my world was life-threatening. None of the problems I was facing were insurmountable. Most of the situations I was dealing with would work themselves out in a few days or a few weeks at the most.
I sat and chuckled to myself- I had fallen into the habit of focusing and fixating on the two of three things that were going wrong- vs the hundreds of things that were going right. Go figure- Coach Tim needs to apply his own coaching.
If you read any of my articles over the past 10 years than you know that these are just the types of events that allow me to learn the lessons that I’ve shared and that I believe can be valuable others. So here are the lessons and Quarter Turns I’ve learned from moving this past week.
- You control your attitude and energy– We have no say in the things that happen once we start our days or enter our workspaces. We do have 100% control over how we start our days and enter our workspaces. It’s the very reason I begin every coaching conversation, speaking event, and workshop with the simple request to “Tell me something good”
During my move I began focusing and fixating on what wasn’t happening and as a result walked into every situation looking for things that were wrong. I brought the wrong energy and attitude into each day and guess what? I found more things wrong. Anyone can point out what going wrong in a situation or what the flaws are. When you bring the right energy and attitude into it, you can start focusing on the solution instead of fixating on the problem. By the way, it’s so much less stressful and way more energizing for those around you because we begin to realize that we have some control over our intended outcomes.
- Everybody has a plan- until they get punched in the face “Mike Tyson”- Look I know intellectually that things will not always go according to my plan. I’ve also learned that having a plan is much better than no plan at all. During the course or working your grand plans understand that “life happens,” “business happens,” and people will not always do as we would want them to do. We can stress and anxietize over things not going the way we would like, or we can go with the flow and make our adjustments along the way.
By all means, create a plan, visualize the plan, strategize your plan and set about executing your plan to the best of your ability. But be prepared to make a new plan when your old plan becomes obsolete. Be flexible enough to adapt to the new situation, or take advantage of an unexpected opportunities that may not be accounted for in the original plan.
- No matter what’s going on in your life- a good night’s sleep and a hot shower can give you a completely new perspective. At some point our brains and our bodies have an over-ride switch and they will shut down- even though we think they haven’t. I’ve often told my clients that the “treadmill” doesn’t go to 11. Sometimes stepping off our never-ending treadmills, resting, recuperating or simply doing something else can re-energize you to go back out and fight the good fight with new energy and a different perspective.
The other night as I gazed around and my unpacked boxes and un-organized living and work spaces rather than stress out and grind the gears, I decided to go up to my un-made bed and immediately fell asleep. When I woke up I had the energy and excitement to write this article that I’m sharing with you. Trust me, this sleep thing is not over-rated.
- Some things in our lives that used to be important and useful to us, we need to let go.
When the boxes arrived from our storage facility, I realized that most the odds and ends that were packed away in them, I didn’t really want or need anyway.
Everything in our lives has a proverbial “use by date”- People, relationships, jobs, and our household belongings all served a purpose at one point and I’ll admit can be tough to let go of. Yet as we clutter our lives with things and relationships we no longer need, they require energy to maintain them. Since we only have so much energy to give, we end up wasting our most valuable assets “Time, energy & focus” on those things that really don’t bring joy and value to our lives. In the process we are cheating those people and things that we truly do value with a version of ourselves that isn’t the best one.
Do yourself a huge service this year and get rid of, discard, or donate that things in your life that you no longer need- and start focusing on those things that truly create the amazing life you have always imagined and truly deserve.
So as I finish up this article, my house is still in disarray, the once perfectly flawless walls and floors have already been scratched and scuffed up, I’m still without a refrigerator and a dryer, and my yard will remain a pile of mud for the next few months. And I’ve realized that this house, isn’t just a house anymore- it’s now my home and I love it!
Thoughts for the week-
You can always change your plan, but only if you have one. Randy Pausch
When nothing goes right- go left. -Unknown
You can’t start a new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one. –Unknown
If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet. – Rachel Wolchin
We haven’t got a plan so nothing can go wrong. – Spike Milligan
When things are going wrong take a moment to be thankful for the many things that are still going right. – Ann Gottlier
If a plan doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters. –Claire Cook
Looking forward to our next connection-