Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When to engage, when to let it go......

The world of personal relationships mirrors that of business relationships in that our reactions or non-action may lead to bliss or hell. The balance is brutal when you live your life in your head. Coulda, shoulda and woulda will eat you alive. I by no means make the right decisions all the time, however, I do not look back in regret. My decisions will lead to my now. If my now is clouded it is because I am focusing on what caused the fog. Most people get caught up in the daily suffering of all the things called life. Bills, work, car trouble, family issues, in-law pressure, sex, could fill pages with the things people suffer over. There are enough books to fill a gym on the secrets to happiness. All of them have validity if you stay disciplined and follow the program. But life does not follow a program, and most people are not enlightened to remove judgement and be present. It becomes frustrating and easier to engage in the true insanity.

When it comes to business relationships, people gravitate towards stability and conviction. Managed expectation levels(topic for another post) creates a stable relationship where innovation and creativity may flourish. Inconsistency and under performance may not lead to the end of the relationship in the short term, but it will diminish any hope for creativity. This is a difficult balance beam to walk, but if you stay present in your business relationships more times than not you will stay balanced.

People like to deal with people when doing business. Seems stupid and simple, but it is real. The days of the concrete jungle with no interaction are slowly dying. Where has it gotten us? When your present in conversations, meetings and correspondence you gain insight into the drivers that make people tick and vice versa. Money is money is money. I know it makes the world go round and pays the bills, but when that is the focus you are not present. When you represent yourself without conviction you are not present. It is not always possible to find a job that you love, but you can find a widget, task or topic within that job that you can speak to with conviction. Example: I worked in the restaurant world for three years, while I moved into the management world of restaurant I found it not what it looked like from the outside. Too much paperwork, too many hours, too much drama from employees(not always a bad thing when a cute hostess is crying on your shoulder). Unconsciously I began to focus on the quality of the fresh ingredients that we received each and how to improve the shelf life. While I was able to "manage" the restaurant, I developed a passion for ensuring that the ingredients for the menu were fresh. That is what I remember, because I was present. While this is a small example and I had no idea at the time that it would develop into a strategy, you can find passion in the most unusual places when you are present and aware.

What the hell does this have to do with the title? Life is about the moment. Whether that is in a business or personal setting. The moments are what we remember. Suffering does not allow you to truly remember those moments for anything other than the pain. When you embrace your emotions as choices, your reserve them for that which truly moves you. When presented with an issue, stay present to what is in front of you, and ask yourself this, "Is this the hill I want to die on?" If the answer is no, then let it go. It by no means makes you weak, it makes you stronger because there will be another hill again to climb. Obviously, I have yet to find that hill.

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