Archives for September 2023

Don’t play the hypothetical game

You need to focus on the present and concrete realities of a situation or event rather than getting lost in speculative scenarios. Constantly dwelling on hypothetical situations can lead to unnecessary stress and anxiety. People often waste precious mental energy worrying about “what if” scenarios that likely will never come to pass. By not playing the hypothetical game, you free yourself from these burdens and can concentrate on addressing actual challenges and opportunities.

Similarly, businesses thrive on informed decisions based on real data and situations. Engaging in hypothetical discussions in your mind or in a group setting without a solid foundation can lead to confusion, wasted resources, and poor outcomes. Leaders and teams should prioritize objective analysis and practical solutions over endless conjecture.

For years I used to playout how important conversations or a hearing in front of a court could play out. In not one of those experiences did the reality match any of the hours I wasted creating and playing out scenarios in my mind. It took me a long time to stop playing the hypothetical game, but in the years since I stopped it has saved me countless hours and unnecessary stress. Instead, I plan well, outline, and use other tools and ideas to be prepared for whatever happens.

Avoiding the hypothetical game also encourages accountability. When individuals take responsibility for their actions in the present rather than deflecting blame onto hypothetical circumstances, it fosters a culture of ownership and problem-solving. This mindset is crucial for personal growth and success in both personal and professional spheres.

When you make the conscious choice to not play the hypothetical game you stay grounded in reality and make decisions based on facts and actual situations. This promotes mental clarity, reduces stress, enhances decision-making, and fosters a culture of accountability. Embracing this principle will lead you to a more effective, efficient, and fulfilling life, both personally and professionally.

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Gratitude unexpressed is gratitude unperceived

The phrase “gratitude unexpressed is gratitude unperceived” holds profound significance. It underscores the importance of not only feeling grateful but also actively communicating that gratitude to colleagues, employees, clients, and partners. Failure to express gratitude can lead to a host of issues in the workplace.

Many times I think about who I want to express gratitude to and even what I want to say but then I don’t make the time to do so. Missing these opportunities may cause long-term harm to existing relationships so make the time to follow through on these thoughts. Even people who don’t like being the center of attention want to know their hard work and good results are noticed and remember how you express gratitude doesn’t have to be a grand gesture.

At my firm I generally have an idea about how different people like to receive gratitude or praise. It’s different person to person and, of course, is easier to know the better you know someone. This relates to the importance of spending time getting to know people around you, which helps you learn how they are at accepting gratitude or other types of feedback. Learning this in regard to co-workers, let alone clients or business partners, is an important for my firm as well as your business.

Unexpressed gratitude can create a sense of unacknowledged effort among employees. When hard work goes unnoticed or unappreciated, it can demotivate and lower morale. Employees who feel their contributions are not valued may become disengaged, leading to decreased productivity and a higher turnover rate.

It also can strain relationships with clients and partners. In a competitive business environment, showing appreciation for your client’s business and loyalty can go a long way in maintaining strong, long-lasting partnerships. When clients or partners don’t feel appreciated, they may be more inclined to explore other options, potentially harming your business’s bottom line.

On the other hand, when gratitude is openly expressed, it fosters a positive work environment. Employees feel valued, motivated, and more committed to their work. Clients and partners appreciate the recognition and are more likely to remain loyal. The act of expressing gratitude not only improves relationships but also contributes to a thriving and successful business, which is why it is essential to remember that gratitude must be articulated to be truly effective.

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Overcoming difficult mental challenges boosts your confidence

Overcoming hard mental challenges is a profound journey that can significantly enhance your confidence. When you push yourself to conquer difficult mental hurdles, you develop a deeper understanding of your own capabilities, which, in turn, fosters a sense of self-assuredness and resilience.

Facing and conquering challenging mental obstacles requires you to tap into your inner strengths and problem-solving abilities. This process forces you to confront your fears, uncertainties, and doubts, ultimately leading to self-discovery. As you navigate these difficulties, you begin to recognize that you possess the inner resources needed to surmount even the most daunting challenges. This self-awareness forms the foundation of confidence, as you come to trust in your own abilities to handle adversity.

I recently heard an interview with actor and comedian Kevin Hart on a podcast. He was asked whether he ever had a particularly hard night doing standup comedy. Hart relayed that early in his career he performed at the bottom or middle of a bill in Atlantic City during which an audience member threw a chicken wing at him, hitting him in the face, while telling him to shut up. This was combined with an audience that was not laughing at his jokes and booed him.

He could have decided he didn’t have what it takes or not shown up on the same bill the next week, as he was contracted to do. Instead Hart came back the next week with all new material and while the audience didn’t laugh, it didn’t boo him. He viewed this as a victory.

Hart could have folded up his tent or begged off of the bill the next week. Instead he jumped a huge mental hurdle by getting back up in front of essentially the same or a similar audience focused on a having a different outcome than the prior show. Hart said the confidence he gained from doing so has stuck with him 20 years later and inspired him to overcome other big mental hurdles since then.

The process of overcoming hard mental challenges often involves setbacks and failures as happened to Hart. However, as he noted in the interview I heard, it’s through these setbacks that true confidence is forged. Each time an you face adversity and persevere, you build resilience and learn valuable lessons. You come to understand that failure is not a reflection of your inadequacy but rather an opportunity for growth. This mindset shift fosters a resilient confidence through which you can weather future challenges.

Additionally, as you successfully conquer difficult mental challenges, you accumulate a track record of achievements. This track record serves as concrete evidence of your competence, further bolstering your self-confidence. When you look back on your accomplishments during moments of self-doubt, you can remind yourself that you’ve conquered formidable mental obstacles before and have the capacity to do so again.

For these reasons it’s important to remember that overcoming hard mental challenges is a transformative process that fortifies confidence. Through self-discovery, resilience-building, and the accumulation of achievements, it’s possible to develop a deep and enduring belief in your abilities to confront and conquer adversity. This confidence becomes a powerful asset that not only helps you navigate future challenges but also empowers you to pursue your goals and aspirations with unwavering determination.

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