Tension in the car exploded as my wife yelled, with enough force to have perhaps blown out the windshield, “BRAKES”. She saw the car coming across the lanes of traffic, hurling toward us, getting closer. It probably didn’t help that there was a little rain, we were going 85 mph and I was sleepy from too much time behind the wheel. When I drive, I like to get there. It’s not a stop here and there; it’s ‘hold it’ until we need gas.
Speeding out of control means different things to different people. For some it sounds like a thrill ride, a roller-coaster of sorts. For others, it’s a frightening nightmare that couldn’t stop fast enough. It’s not just that it’s fast, it also feels out of control more frequently. This I could do without. Sometimes it feels like I’m sitting still as life flashes by me.
I’ve figured out how to adjust to the the pace; it’s the jerks who get in my way and the horrible political advertisements that torture me senseless as I await yet more chaos as the election grows larger than life. Like you, I too leverage technology; trying to do more virtual meetings so I can work from home. I do alright I guess but it’s not gotten easy. It’s a constant battle and I’m often on the defensive side.
Threats to my success do not retreat as things accelerate. They actually increase the tension of my life. The threats can be ignored but that only increases their resolve to undo my strides forward toward growing success as a father, business owner, husband and friend. The faster I go, the more these threats pull on my soul and undermine my progress.
- Distractions that dilute my focus from what drives results. Yes, distractions fill our lives like rain fills every bucket, cup or hollow it finds in the yard. Distractions about and they will ruin a person’s life. They are heartless and never ask for permission; they never want to know if “now is a good time” they just yell our name until we pay attention. But these distractions do not deliver the results we want or need in life. They prevent us from focusing on our most important priorities and the habits that drive revenue and provide a living, put a roof over our heads and feed the kids. Distractions come in all sizes. The faster you’re going the more distractions can sidetrack your focus.
- Discord that diverts your team or organization from mission critical roles. Yes, discord prevents us from achieving outstanding results. Some friction is necessary but if left too long creates blisters and callouses that undermine our team’s chances for outstanding results. The faster you and your team go, the more essential it becomes to communicate in ways that fuels trust and interdependence. Just as a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link, a team that works in constant conflict weakens every person on that team. Conflict prevents your team from generating it’s best ideas so you’re undermining your chances of success.
- It’s delusional to think that what got you here will get you there. Yes, delusional. There’s a reason you don’t get that promotion, why your team members always want to be somewhere else and why you can’t see the growth you want around you. You have blind spots and you can’t see them. Everyone else sees them but you can’t. Worse, you don’t believe they’re there. So yes, you’re delusional. The faster you go the more you believe your own press; if you’re seeing success, the faster you go, the more you feel like your success is because of you. Most of the time speed makes success harder not easier, so what got you here is good but your mindset needs to shift if you’re going to get there.
The world isn’t slowing down soon but it’s not hopeless. There are resources that can help you focus on what actually drives results. There are people who are gifted to bring unity and harmony. There are coaches who can offer perspectives on our blind spots.
The primary problem in my car that fateful day as we raced down the highway wasn’t the rain, the speed or my tired eyes. It was the blind spot. I couldn’t see clearly to adjust to life and focus on the right path to the right outcomes. My sweet wife came unglued when she noticed that I didn’t notice. The first step is always awareness.
If the speed of life keeps you from seeing the success you want, get the support you need to grow into the life you’ve been created to live. Focus on what drives results, build a teams that will make you proud, and grow into the life you want – day by day and step by step.