No matter what, in 20 years from now, you will have some disappointment over what you didn’t create in the 20 previous years. You may wish you made more money, received more accolades, earned a higher title or spent more time with your family. Regardless of where you are, you will always want more.
That’s simply human nature.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
I was recently talking with a friend who said that every time he walked into a P&L meeting with his CEO, he got into a fight. That CEO cared about one thing and one thing only – franchise sales revenue. Even when all other indicators were pointing to increased profitability, a stronger EBITDA, and happier franchisees – if the numbers were not above goal in that one category, a fight would break out. This stressed out my friend (who happens to be an all-star) and made him second-guess his value to the business.
Over the previous eight or so years, he poured his heart and soul into that company. And here he was second guessing all he accomplished – realizing life went by way too fast and he was stuck being yelled at rather than being celebrated for taking a start-up brand and turning it into an established emerging company.
He paused. He reflected.
At this point in his life, he wanted to have multiple homes – all-ridiculous in appearance. He wanted to get paid for killing it in the work place – as evident by taking a brand worth next to nothing and turning it into a $10 million-plus value in three years of repairs. But, he realized that wasn’t his path. His path was exactly what it was to this point.
He stopped and smelled the roses. He realized life’s shortness. He was thankful for what he had.
He slowed down life in that moment—he stopped being frustrated by what didn’t happen and started appreciating all that he accomplished.
He went into another P&L meeting. Item No. 1 was why franchise sales were not what they should be. Sure, the brand had gone from zero to 100 locations in five years, but why not 200? Why not 500? Why not 1,000?
Full of reflection, he was ready. The CEO once again asked the typical whys, pointed the typical fingers and criticized the small-minded actions. My friend paused and simply said he needs to do better. No arguing. No convincing. No fighting. Heck, he hadn’t been fired for his “lack of performance,” so, why not switch it up and change the course?
Puzzled, the CEO didn’t yell this time. My friend no longer cared about the multiple houses—he simply cared about doing his best. And with his best, getting paid should come at some point.
He changed the course. He eliminated the norm from the discussion. He slowed down the speed of business, business interactions, projections and perceptions.
This year, as I am sure is the case for all of you, has flown by. As will next year. I believe that the second you start appreciating the small moments is the second you slow down life, because even though it goes fast, you are filling every moment up with some form of happiness and accomplishment. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big moments (good or bad); set your dreams large but don’t let misses distract you; and stay focused on winning. You will be happy.
Happy New Years. Go kick 2017’s butt with a giant smile on your face.