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A Quick Mental Framework for The Times

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Kung Fu Steve

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I happened to post some positivity in a couple of threads recently and some comments were met with... negativity.

I'll share a little anecdote from a workshop I held this last week and give you a little framework you can use if you find it valuable.

But first, a mindset shift:

A leader's job is to see things how they are, but not worse than they are.

Many people right now are not just seeing our current pandemic as it is, they are seeing it far worse than it is. No, I'm not suggesting we all go start hugging each other. No I'm not suggesting anything is a hoax. No I'm not suggesting it's not bad. This week in fact was one of my first couple "therapies" with someone who had lost a loved one from Covid. It's also not a leader's job to see things better than they are (at least initially) -- because to gloss over facts with a smile is to invite chaos.

So, see things as they are. Not better, not worse. But once you've done that you're next step is to envision them better so that you have a compelling future.

Without a compelling future, you suffer. Depression, frustration, anger, stress, despair.

What COULD the world/my life/my business look like if I really wanted it to... even in this situation?

But listen, here's the framework and how we can immediately shift from a limiting thought process into an empowering one.

There's 3 decisions we are always making:

1. What to focus on

Are you focused on the problem or the solution? The crisis or the opportunity? Are you focused on everything that's going wrong in your life or everything going right? It's not just "positive thinking" to look for solutions instead of problems. It's being intelligent. Intelligent people do not let the external world determine their internal world.

2. What it means

The meaning we place on things creates the emotion. The emotions are our lives. If you create a meaning like "this is the end" or "this will never work" or "it can't be done" -- clearly you're going to be in a bad place. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. But with a meaning like "fortunes have been made during times like this" or "I have the ability to HELP people here" or "because I'm faced with a real challenge, my life can have meaning!"

3. What you're going to do about it

The last decision we're always making... should I go or stay, invest or not, try or pass... what should I do in this moment?

The Example from this week:


I did a training session for a large office furniture supply company. I won't mention the name but they're struggling. Shutting down retail stores across the U.S. ...they're bleeding cash, laying people off, and really struggling.

During this training I explained this framework and asked them "what are you focused on this moment? what does it mean? what are you doing about it?"

One of the guys was super bought in so he said "well, if I'm being honest -- I've been focused on this pandemic all day every day, and it kinda means it's the end of life as we know it... I'm probably going to lose my job, I can't sell anybody office furniture, it's the last thing on their mind right now, and I guess what I'm doing is eating too much, drinking too much, and binging netflix"

I'm sure we have all had times like these.

But I asked him if he was calling his clients. "No."

I asked how his sales were and he says "I haven't sold anything in 3 weeks."

So how's your income "Well, I'm 100% commission so literally nothing."

I dug in a little more with some questions about how it felt and what it meant and why he HAD to make a shift now... after he was all fired up and open-minded I asked if I could give him a different perspective -- he agreed.

I said, "dude. even after this global pandemic is done, there's a GREAT chance MANY people won't be going back to work in a traditional office." (focus)

"that MEANS people are going to need quality office furniture at home..." (meaning)

"which tells me I should be calling to check up on every single one of my clients right now to see if they need me!!" (do/action)

He says "yeah I see what you're saying" so I asked him if I could prove it... he says sure... I stand up on my zoom call... lift up the shitty folding chair I've been sitting on for the last 2-3 weeks and yelled at him "mother F*cker, I've been sitting on this folding chair, my back hurts, my a$$ hurts, I'm here 15 hours a day on this crappy chair BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T CALL ME!"

After everybody had a good laugh, they all committed to reaching out to their clients and sales are up some 300% this week (obviously a little misleading because their sales had dipped so heavily)... but my point is this: if you change your focus, the meaning you place on things, and your actions... you CAN succeed in ANY economy.

No longer are the apples falling off the apple cart -- it's time to step up and train your mindset along with your skillset.

Become more valuable to the marketplace and get yourself to follow through by controlling you focus!

/rant over
 

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Rabby

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I love it. So often people are stuck in an imagined scenario, Steve. Things might be bad, sure, but that doesn't mean you know what your clients need without even calling them.

I know that in my case, I have genuinely appreciated the outreach from people and businesses who made the effort.
 

Raoul Duke

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You're going to die. You're going to be dead. It could be 20 years, it could be tomorrow, anytime. So am I. I mean, we're just going to be gone. The world's going to go on without us. All right now. You do your job in the face of that, and how seriously you take yourself you decide for yourself.
Bob Dylan​
 

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