Do you remember back to when you were growing up and your parents, probably mainly your mother, would come out with all those wise old sayings, or at least that’s what they sounded like at the time. They entered your brain alongside all those funny, nonsensical superstitions. You then probably forgot about all of them for a few years and then one day, you realised that you had been trotting out many of those same wise old sayings to your own children and any others that would listen.
One of the sayings that I remember, and it wasn’t just from my mother, was “you’re a long time dead”. It is supposed to remind us that we are all mortal, and hence we should enjoy life while we can. Now I expect that there will be a range of views out there about the detail. When I was small it made me think that I was going to be in a box for a very long time getting bored. I know, but I was not very big at the time.
Now I think it is in a similar vein to Carpe Diem, seize the day. Given that I have spent the last few weeks doing nothing but tax returns, I do not think I have seized any day and as far as being a long time dead, try doing nothing but tax returns for a sustained period and then tell me about it!
Anyway, where am I going with this?
How do you make the most of every day that is available to you? You can say that you are going to attack every day and ring every drop of enjoyment out of it but what does that mean? Is this enjoyment of that moment. How does this fit into your desire to enjoy life as a whole. Too much of the wrong sort of enjoyment now could result in future misery.
That suggests to me that we need some idea of our long-term goals so that we know what we can afford to do with our spare time along the way. Long term and short-term goals. Even if we have been diligent and determined our short and long term goals, how to we achieve them and more importantly what motivates us to keep going especially when the going gets tough.
I recently heard an expression – “You cannot push a rope”. The context was a discussion of goal achievement. The road ahead is long and winding, much like a rope laid out on the ground in front of you. You cannot move the rope by pushing it. If you want to move that rope, you need to pull the other end.
Keeping yourself motivated relies upon you being so drawn to the goal like a strong magnet, that this pull s you along, just like moving the rope. It is very hard just to force yourself to do something over an extended period of time if it is hard or unpleasant work, when you are not committed to the outcome. It holds insufficient attraction for you. You are just trying to push a rope.
So, how do you identify goals that will drive and motivate you. Chances are they will find you. You just have to be ready and willing to act upon them when the time comes. Carpe Diem. Remember you are a long time dead, so go for it!
When it comes to business, most successful business owners recognize that they do not do it for the money. For most of us the pursuit of money is frequently tedious and just like pushing a rope.
Money is a consequence of making profits. Profits are an essential element of any sustainable business but just like oxygen and blood for sustaining life, they are not the meaning of life, but without them there is no life. Without profit, there is no business. Profit will lead to cash and cash provides opportunities to do what fascinates you. So, turn it around and identify what is your fascination and then set about building a business so that you can follow your fascination. The business environment itself may be what you crave, but for others it is what the outputs of the business allow them to do.
This is just another way of saying that you need a goal that is so meaningful to you that it inspires you to action each and every day, and caries you over all the hurdles that life and circumstance put in your way.