The Thursday Thesis - 22/02/2018
We humans are a contradictory lot, aren’t we?
As a race we are always saying one thing and doing something completely different.
Fickle, fickle, fickle!
We have an inbuilt drive to experience change, novelty, difference – it’s human nature.
Of course this manifests itself in unexpected ways: nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems the moment humans start getting involved.
But here’s the thing: if you have lots of change you’ll crave a change away from change. Anyone who experiences massive ongoing change will begin to seek stability and sameness.
You just can’t please some people...
So there’s a sort-of continuum in human behaviour – an imaginary line – with the need for change at one end and the need for sameness at the opposite end; and whichever end of the continuum you are on, your chances of success are low as you shuttle repeatedly from one end to the other, trying to satisfy both needs.
As you and I both know, chopping and changing reduces our chances of success, be it living more healthily, building a business, or learning to play a musical instrument. The constant flitting from one bright-shiny new thing to the next is a dead-certain way to never achieve very much, as every switch incurs a time-cost whilst preliminaries are completed and new skills are learned.
In a contrary way, too much sameness can be a massive contributing factor to failure: we simply get bored and lose interest.
So how do we come to terms with these opposing behaviours?
How do we stay interested and have enough variety whilst simultaneously staying focused on our
One Big Thing?
The answer is to fold the change-sameness continuum in half, so that both ends point the same way.
Now your sameness and difference needs are aligned. And that’s the magic trick: make sure that everything you do is congruent and consistent with your values and your One Big Thing.
It’s that simple, and it’s that complex.
Within the limits of whatever it is you most want to do, you have absolute freedom to do different activities, to experiment and explore – as long as you stay in line with your One Big Thing.
The penny dropped with me when I realised that everything I do is aimed at helping people.
When I’m teaching guitar, I’m aiming to save people years of precious time, frustration and self-doubt. That’s the real, deep-down goal – I suppose you could say that the guitar is the means to that end.
When I’m with my coaching clients I’m helping them to change their lives for the better, relieve their pain, release them from some constraint.
Likewise, when I’m working with business owners to grow their businesses, I’m helping them to get past their sticking-points or to change their perspectives so that they can better serve more people by solving their customers’ problems.
My property business provides safe, secure homes for people in the long-term. Families need not worry about the house being sold from under their feet on a landlord’s whim, because my business exit strategy is death!
And when I write a book, a special report, or even this blog post, I’m not writing to show off or make myself look good - I’m trying to pass on something that’s helped me, in the hope it will help another person. Perhaps it will help you or someone you share it with.
So everything adds up to just two things - just five words. Those five words have been the first line in my daily journal every day for three years: “have fun and help people”.
Everything points one way, but there is always enough variety to prevent me from ever getting bored.
And if I can “have fun and help people” every day then I will consider myself successful and that my life will have been well-lived, assuming I manage to live long enough to offset all the stupid, hurtful and selfish things I used to do!
So, what’s your One Big Thing?
What gets you excited, keeps you awake and buzzing deep into the night?
Figure that out and you’ll have the consistency that you need. Do different things which all serve your mission and you’ll have all the variety you need to keep the fire in your soul burning, day after day, year after year.
It’s all different, and yet it’s all just the same.
Just like me and just like you.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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