I love writing these posts to you, and I hope you’ve been finding them helpful and have been putting what I’ve shared into action. That brings me to my message today. Over the weekend, I was flipping channels and came across a presentation on public television called “The Happiness Advantage” that really caught my interest. There was a wealth of great information in there, but there was one thing that the presenter, Shawn Achor, said that really stood out to me. He said, “Information is not transformation.” Think about it for a minute. Every single day we’re bombarded with tons of information from a million different sources. It’s hard to say exactly how much information each of us takes in each day, but a market research study found that on average we see 5,000 images per day. We also have about 70,000 thoughts per day! That’s a lot of stuff that we have to be taking in and at the same time somehow successfully bring what’s really important to the forefront of our minds. It’s not hard to see why some things might slip through the cracks.
As an entrepreneur that whole idea of taking in a ton of information is especially true, but we all know that this phenomenon isn’t limited to just entrepreneurs. There are so many things to consider and take care of when you’re running the show—whether it’s a business or your own life—that it can get exhausting before long. In addition, while there are countless helpful resources and experts out there to help you along your journey, it can become overwhelming after a while to try to listen attentively to all of them then decide what to do first. Trust me, I know this firsthand. Wading through my email inbox from well-meaning senders can easily sap a couple of hours of my day and sidetrack me from my must-do list. We hear the saying all the time, ‘Knowledge is power.’ and it’s true, however, I’d add another word to that to make it ‘Knowledge is [potential] power.’ Why? Because retaining a whole bunch of information and knowledge and not doing anything with it is useless really. It means you have have stuff sitting in the hopper just for the heck of it.
The Missing Puzzle Piece
As you think about all of the information you may have accumulated in support of whatever endeavor has made it to the top of your list, it’s important to set up a plan to put it into action. Speaking of which, what is the current goal you’re working on for yourself? Goals are there to create change in our lives—hopefully positive. Change happens because of transformation. Transformation happens with action. In my weekly posts I’ve given you tons to think about and lots of things to put into practice. How much of it have you actually acted on? Don’t worry, I’m not here to slap your wrist, just bring awareness. If there’s something you’ve been thinking, or talking about changing in your life and nothing’s happening, chances are you’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle—meaningful action. Now you know that I love learning and I’ve been guilty of this many a time—digging for more and more nuggets to satisfy my curiosity then looking back on all the time and realizing that I haven’t actually put the information to work. It feels productive, but it really isn’t if it gets to that point of ‘diminishing return.’ That’s about the only term I remember from my macroeconomics class in college, but basically it means that you can soak up good stuff up to the point where it’s useful then go overboard to the point where it does more harm than good. In other words, the point where it’s just stuff piling up that you can’t use.
This week, I’d love for you to take decisive action on whatever it is you’ve been saying you want to do to transform your life (I’ll be doing this too.). Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals are an excellent way to start and here’s what that means:
S – Specific – In other words, less of I hate my job and more of I want to be doing X instead.
M – Measurable – Meaning, how will you know when you get there. What are some milestones you can set along the way?
A – Attainable – This means that you’re stretching yourself, but this goal is within your reach–you are willing and able to achieve it.
R – Realistic – Something that you actually think is possible standing where you are right now. That is, as opposed to something (currently) impossible like ‘I’m going to hold my breath for 24 hours and come out alive.’ …Unless you’re David Blaine, of course.
T – Timely – This is where you state by when you’ll have completed the task, in other words, set a timeframe so that you can hold yourself accountable.
So, what’s your goal? If you need additional support and accountability, I’m here for you to be that for you; all you need to do is schedule a chat with me.