Pick Your Pain…Now or Later
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Have you ever noticed that there are things that we know we should do, but we just don’t seem to ever find the time to do them? Perhaps it’s a health-related issue that we just ignore. Perhaps we are procrastinating about things for days, weeks, or even years. For example, my wife and I built our home thirty years ago, and when I put the dryer vent in, I ran it into a crawl space under the laundry room. I knew that wasn’t a good idea, but I was in a hurry and figured that I would get to moving it sooner or later. I did put a filter on it, but you have no idea how much lint can accumulate in a crawl space! Some years later, I decided to vent it into our garage which was the next easiest place to install the vent. Over time the vent hose slipped off, the air was once again flowing into the crawl space, and I just pushed it out of my mind. About twenty years later, when the pain was too much to deal with, and I was replacing flooring that had rotted away, I vented the dryer outside like it should have been from the beginning. Why had I waited so long?
Christian Simpson, one of my mentors, shared in an email that a good friend of his was struggling with balance in his life. Christian is a world-class executive coach, and his good friend admitted that he had spent time on Christian’s website looking at his services. Christian asked if he had signed up for any resources and his friend’s reply was “No, I keep meaning to, I just haven’t found the time.”
This scenario is not uncommon at all. I have seen this in some of my coaching clients and others who have told me that they know they need coaching or need to make a change but “don’t have the time.” Others can see what is needed, but the person is often unable to recognize the real issues. They are hard at work and very focused, but blind to the reality of their personal situation. Christian went on to explain his friend in this way: “the only educator they’ll listen to is pain, and if the pain’s not acute enough to make the “pain” of change the easier option, nothing changes.” Those things in our lives which we are unaware of are controlling us, and we don’t even know it.
So what are we to do–wait for the pain to be so severe that we have no choice? Like falling through the rotted floor. Not at all. Embrace the pain when you first feel it. Try to determine the causes. Ask others to help you reflect on what is happening in your life and raise your awareness so you can take control and move forward. It will be a struggle at first but well worth the effort. We have one month left before 2018 so spend some time setting 2018 up for great success.
Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we take a deeper dive into this timely topic.