As an entrepreneur, many people think life’s all glamorous, you own your own company etc. — but when I wake up in the morning, I’m expecting problems. I know there’s gonna be a fire somewhere. I know that there’s gonna be some shot hitting the fan somewhere. It’s always like that and I think that’s the life of being an entrepreneur and running a business with staff.
There will be lawsuits, there will be people quitting, there will be disappointments with new recruits who let you down, there will be sales problems, there will be product problems, there will be customer complaints, and there will be technical issues! The truth is, there are so many potential problems that actually exist; so I try to pre-predict things as much as I can. Assuming, preparing and planning for the worst, but hoping for the best. So of course, you’ll have a portion of that.
So my keyword for this, the way I choose to live — is to be aware of the balance. What I mean by that is if I’ve had a streak of too much of one thing, I register it and I get out of it. I change it. Because I need to make sure that I am balanced with the positive side of things too. I’m extremely aware of what drains me of energy and what boosts me with energy.
So if I’m in a period where I know I need to go through this to get to the next level – but it’s still hard work and it drains me a little bit – I’ll still be happy to do that! I know I still need to do that, and I still want to do that, and I’m all in for it! Because I know that once it’s done – I’ve reached the next level. You need to go out of your comfort zone and you need to do things that are based on discipline for the end goal, but that you naturally do not like at that current moment.
But if I’m living in such a way every day for half a year, for example, and I’m all on that negative, draining, tiring wave (which has never happened to me by the way, because I’ve always protected myself) – but if that is happening and there’s no balance of the positive, I change it right away! I’ve had incidents whereby if you start with negative energy– if you own the mornings, you own your day! Right? Your mental state of waking up and preparing for the day is really so key.
Because problems are only as big as you make them and allow them to be in your mind. So if you’re focusing on the problem, which is what 90% of people do – they’re always so hung up on the problem. They’re always talking about the problem to their friends and family. But they’re using so much time on this problem and then you say: “Ok, well, what do you want to do about it? What do you want changed?” And then they look at you completely puzzled. Because they’re so busy talking about the problem rather than actually focusing on the solution!
And I really think that’s the key. You need to have that positivity in order to perform. In order to lead people. In order to be creative. In order to deliver what I am. Inspiring people – I have to be happy myself! I have to literally be happy. And that’s a combination of putting myself aligned with the right things, tasks, and people in my life, as well as with my own mental state of gratitude. Right? Because if I’m happy and appreciating what I have, I’ll be happy. But if I’m always focused on what I’m not; always focused on my weaknesses rather than my strengths; always focused on what I haven’t accomplished today rather than what I have accomplished — it’s a mental awareness and a focus.
People are complaining and getting depressed because they achieved a “C” in their university exams… And in the same minute, there are people walking 15 miles to go and get water in the morning in Africa. Or getting a phone call from their sister that their father or mother died and passed away forever. Or their daughter of 7 years old just got cancer. So fuck your problems.
You see, we make problems big. But if you’re grateful for what you have, you have an awareness of what you have, and an authentic sense of gratitude for being so lucky to be alive – things will start to change. We’re so lucky to have a roof over our heads, to not be living in a war zone, to have a job! How many people do you think are only focused on how terrible things are at work? They hate their job. In a lot of those cases, if you ask them: “Hey, can you please write down one thing that you actually like about your job? And a second? And a third?” And most of the time they discover that they actually didn’t realise there were so many things that they liked! Like: “Okay, I’m well paid. I like the colleagues. The offices are cool…” Maybe it turns out that they don’t like their boss or something; that they didn’t get that promotion; or there’s a colleague that is irritating them — and they’re putting all their focus on that one thing! Rather than focusing on all the other things that they would actually miss by not working there. So it’s an awareness in your mind.
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