We’ve all been in situations where we keep telling ourselves we must work harder and if we keep going it’ll be ok.
We’re bombarded with messages everyday that demand that we keep pushing on and persevere with the task in hand.
As a ‘Type A’ personality I know this too well. I’m driven, ambitious and achievement orientated. But being this type of personality I know it can bring with it a whole heap of stress.
I’ve been getting some signals recently that I recognise I need to pay attention to.
Noticing the signs
My body is sending me very clear messages. My face keeps breaking out with spots and I have pimples on my throat and shoulders - who honestly gets pimples on their throat? I didn’t even have that as a teenager!
My brain is forgetting things more frequently, I find myself reading a page of a book and it’s like my memory is wiped before I’ve managed to store any of the information.
What I’m recognising is that body is telling me that my cortisol levels are high and my mind is telling me that it’s full - it’s under stress and even if I don’t want to acknowledge it at a conscious level my body is screaming at me.
My blog last week talked about the harsh lessons of a year in business, obviously my learning journey still continues!
What I’m certainly getting better at is recognising the warning signals and it got me wondering about how we know when it’s time to pivot and try a different way.
Lucky for me I have good people on Team Glin!
Big goals and small goals
I was talking with my friend Josh this weekend he reminded me about big goals and small goals.
For definition purposes big goals in this context mean life goals, the end game, the change you seek to make in the world and the person you are choosing to become.
Small goals mean the things you do to help you get to the big goals. (They are not necessarily small in size but are the methods you apply to reach your big goals)
The example he gave me was superb so I’m going to share….
Say your big goal is to be significantly fitter than would be expected for your age group, something you demonstrate by your ability to participate and do well in challenges most people your age group wouldn’t.
Say your small goal is to build strength by lifting heavy weights. You embark on this small goal because you believe it’s going to help you achieve your big goal. You then discover the cost of this small goal is that you are unable to run as far as you could before you started lifting weights, or as fast, because now you are bulking up on muscle to be able to lift heavier weights.
The other impact is that because you have a desk job, and now you are doing less cardio work, you start to put on weight - you’re getting fat. The cost of this is that you now feel crappy for all the hours you’re sitting at your desk because you’ve gained weight.
Your small goal on the surface looked like it was serving your big goal but when you tried it you realised the cost was much greater than the benefit, you felt crappy the majority of the time and that it actually took you away from your end goal.
It’s powerful example.
Connecting the dots
The point of the story was to recognise when it’s time to pivot and begin to see when it doesn’t make sense to continue with your small goal. It certainly doesn’t mean you’ve failed it means that you’ve recognised it’s not serving your end game so it’s time to choose a new path.
How many of you get fixed on the small goals you’ve chosen without connecting the dots to your big goal?
Are you compromising the change you seek to make in the world and the life you wish to lead?
Are you spending every hour in the office to earn more money in service of a better quality of life with your family only to not then have the time to enjoy life with the money you make?
Do you keep head butting the same obstacle and keep running at it harder instead of choosing to go around it?
The destination is one
What I was reminded of with my chat with Josh that the destination is one but the paths that take you there are many.
I know the way I’ve been working isn’t sustainable based on the signals from my body. If my health takes a battering am I able to consistently show people how to lead with heart and create powerful sustainable change?
I’ll be revisiting my small goals and determining how else I can achieve my big goal. If you’re in the same boat perhaps you'll consider doing the same.
P.S. The friend I mention above is doing some awesome things and his big goal is pretty impressive - if you want to know how you can be more awesome check out the JustBeNiceProject at https://www.jbnproject.com/
It highlighted to me how little is said about the truth of our life journey’s and the mask many of us feel we have to wear in order to survive.