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According to the statisticians, the third Monday in January (Blue Monday’) is the most depressing day of the year. It’s the day when the financial pressure of Christmas hangs over us most, the weather is at its worst, and the extra pounds we’ve acquired over the holiday season are proving harder to shift than we anticipated.
However, the original reason for calling it Blue Monday was to inspire people to lift, not lower their expectations. If you have no expectations of January, then you won’t have a chance to see them dashed. But if your intention is to move forward and build your business from the ground up, its an unsound strategy, at the best of times, to have no expectations.
Anyhow, calling this third Monday of January ‘Blue Monday’ was originally intended to inspire people to take action and become victors who make bold life decisions, rather than approach life as victims. Life will never be perfect, but a commitment to improve performance equals progression. Don’t get down about who made the mistake or who failed, focus on moving forward together in unity. Progress is powerful. Manage the messy and deal with the imperfect.
Here’s some gems for January and, why not forget depressing ‘Blue Monday’. How about ‘Magenta Monday’, ‘Mandarine Monday’ or even ‘Maroon Monday’? I’d rather pick positive colours for the beginning of the year!
Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we will see it from our point of view by default. People see things differently and may never agree, but that’s fine. We can learn to live free from having to be ‘in the right’ all the time. It was an issue in my life when I was younger – I felt being right was my right! Injustice still frustrates me, but I’ve learned to deal with it and not ignore it, and do better rather than become bitter. Allowing your peace to be stolen is far too high a price to pay.
Anyway, perspective changes. For example, aside from a few crazy people, most of us know that the world is round and falling off the edge of the world is now a baseless fear.
When you are open to conversation, facts create forward momentum. You might be presented with one set of facts, but doing some research really does help you gain perspective. It pays to have some experts in their field in your field, as it were! The more information you get, the more informed your decision can be. It always pays NOT to be the smartest person in the room.
The truth always comes out in the end. So, if you believe you have been wronged, and nobody has listened to you, time will tell and free you from having to prove that you’re right all the time.
Repeat behaviour produces the same results. If someone has wronged you they’ll probably continue behaving the same way to other people. This is something to pay attention to when taking on new clients. Take time to discover their challenges and why they happened. Sometimes people’s expectations haven’t been met because they were unfair (for example, endless unpaid ‘favours’ rather than having a retainer in place).
Communication is a skill that improves over time. If you have ever played sport you’ll know that it can get quite intense but we don’t get through those intense situations by blaming each other, we get through them by working as a team. Great football teams don’t get upset when a pass goes astray, they learn to transition quickly to get the ball back.
Asking for help is one of the most liberating moves you’ll ever make. You don’t have all the answers so learn to look for them in a book. If you’re short of time, Podcast and Audible are great tools. To lead a team well we need to listen to the key voices in our sector.
If you’re doing this on a regular basis you’ll also know whether your big idea is original or not. It’ll create self belief knowing that the people you respect haven’t seen a way of doing things that you have. You’ll have the confidence to push your big idea to produce the new income streams, speaking opportunities and experiences that you always dreamed of.
Asking more is reading more, listening more and being more open to fresh thinking. Asking more is speaking to older as well as younger people and not being threatened by our peers. Asking more means that when we share our ideas, somehow ours get refined, sharpened and shaped.
I always say that people with a ‘heartset’ lead with love. That might sound too ‘fluffy’ for business, but it’s a fact that everyone wants to be loved – it’s not a weakness. We also need to take risks ourselves. We have to learn to give without expectation. You’ll be amazed when you decide to love like that, what you need just shows up in your life.
Growth is not linear, it has multiple facets to it. Who you give to may never repay that favour directly, but when you sow good things, you’ll discover great things from other sources. What you sow will show up even better in your life in the future. You won’t get back what you gave, you’ll get back something better. That is why giving is so exciting. If you give great things, get ready to see something show up in your life that’s giant!
Love is a choice, and occasionally it may hurt in the short term, but the rewards always take you further. Learn to do your best, be less suspicious of people. If you have a very uneasy feeling then just don’t say yes. You have the choice. Love yourself enough to say no too.
When we ignore those warnings in our heart we end up having to deal with distractions that steal our focus. Alignment for the assignment (between all parties) is the best starting point for any great project. There needs to be room on both sides for imperfections and an understanding that everything is a process. Then you will always progress.
All these things help to make the journey a bit smoother. Surrounding yourself with people that lead with positivity and kindness is the first step to building a positive life.
‘Dream stealers’ want to discuss the past and make excuses without offering a way out. You end up so caught up in your situation that you can’t see the solution. Remember, great people discuss ideas, not other people. We need to learn to talk things out and stay around long enough to discover a way through.
You don’t have to build your business on your own (although it can feel a bit lonely at the top). You need a community to spur you on, sharing insights and suggestions. Sometimes the greatest answers to your problems are in places and people you haven’t met yet.
So, in summary, this third week in January is full of promise! The year lies ahead of you and opportunities are jostling for your attention, just around the corner. Don’t entertain those (Blue Monday) prophecies of doom! They’re not for you! Look outwards and upwards and take the opportunities that come your way. Get wisdom and apply it to the way you run your business. Reach out to others for help and share what you have learnt.
Don’t be a bridge burner, be a bridge builder and there will always be help on the way!
Our awesome client BRAVE have just launched their new website, designed and built by Cre8ion. BRAVE change the way teams and leaders operate by inspiring people to be BRAVE, SPEAK up, THINK clearly, DECIDE & DISAGREE well and be KIND.
Why not check it out?
When you tell the right story, you will get the right enquiry. To be unique in the marketplace, the product or service needs to be good but the real strategy lies in a clear story. Contact us today to start writing yours.