7 words hit me between the eyes this week. Those 7 words have been rattling around in my head for days. I can’t get away from them. I’m mulling and considering them. I’m planning to orient my actions and thinking around them for a while. I think you’ll want to consider them for your life.
Here’s the 7-word set up.
John Gardner wrote this:
Everyone fails. [The professional boxer and world heavyweight champion] Joe Louis said ‘Everyone has to figure to get beat some time.’ The question isn’t did you fail, but did you pick yourself up and move ahead?
“And there is one other little question: Did you collaborate in your own defeat? A lot of people do. Learn not to.”
To stay with a boxer theme, Mr. Gardner slips a hard left jab in with that “one other little question.”
“Did you collaborate in your own defeat?”
When I substitute “struggle” for “defeat” I end up with 7 words I’m paying close, close attention to. And I think you may want to as well.
“Did you collaborate in your own struggle?”
Think about your life. How often are struggles centered in familiar patterns driven by your behavior?
If you’re like me, it’s a consistent two or three modes of operating that time after time end up causing problems. For me, mostly just trouble and struggle, but a few times defeat. Whatever the term, they’re always painful.
And that word “collaborate.” Yikes. The mental image of collaborating in your own defeat or struggle stings a bit.
I took some time on the trail one morning and thought about the consistent struggles in my professional life.
Turns out, I have some behaviors that consistently add turbulence and rattle to my work life. And, in all candor, in my personal life as well.
If (and it’s a jumbo-sized “if”) I can reduce how often I practice those “collaborating” behaviors, I can have a smoother life. Thinking about it from this perspective, I’m willing to adjust my behaviors.
What are my negative behaviors? Well, hit reply and ask and I’ll tell you. No reason to broadcast that to the whole world. But if you’re curious, I’ll tell you.
Give it some thought and let me know what you think about how it plays in your life.
Do you have consistent patterns of behavior that are contributing (collaborating) to your struggles?
I think it’s worth a careful moment or two of consideration.
The Gardner quote and the beginnings of this thought train come from James Clear. If you don’t read him you should. You can find him at jamesclear.com. I read his books, his emails and practically everything he writes. He’s worth your time.
Thanks again for the affirmations and conversations from these emails. I’m grateful for this connection.
Let me know what’s happening with you.
You can always email me: sthomas AT oneicity DOT com.
Grateful for you.
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