We were driving back home from a failed intervention for a friend, when my wife turned to me and said, “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but there are things about your personality, if you didn’t work on them everyday would be a real problem in your life too.” I got what she was saying. When I think about success, often, the very attributes that drive me to succeed, are also the very attributes, if left unchecked could lead me to making mistakes.
I had an interesting chat the other day with a friend who’s job it is to help companies establish a culture of creativity and innovation. As we talked about the challenges of achieving this, it was clear that identifying both the challenges and obstacles wasn’t as difficult as getting a company to implement the necessary strategies to rectify it. He turned to me and asked, “How would I do it?”
I get asked all the time, what exactly do I do for a living? My wife has a tough time answering this question too.
To answer this question I often reply, it depends on my audience. If I am working with Special Force Operators, then I am coaching them a combination of empty hand fighting techniques, along with mental game strategies they can apply on the battlefield. If I am working with my martial art students, then I am helping them get in to amazing physical shape, helping them learn how to protect themselves and those they love, while showing them how they can apply the lessons from the mat, positively into their daily lives. If I am working within the corporate sector, or with entrepreneurs, typically I am teaching them how to show up with more poise, focus, and presence at work.
I am in an interesting position professionally, I am not in the corporate world, but all of my clients are. Every week they confide in me how overwhelming their day-to-day lives are becoming. Pressure is mounting, with shorter deadlines at work, while trying to commit to family time, when everyone seems far too distracted on their individual devices (including my clients themselves) to really connect. At the same time, my clients realize that slowing down isn’t an option, but unless they do something about it, they will likely burn out.
You can change your zip code, the direction of your business, even your outward appearance, but if you don’t change your state of mind, then the same circumstances that have always held you back from achieving success in your life and your business will persist. You will fall victim to the common pitfall of distracting yourself with external changes when the inward reality is that nothing has actually shifted. Developing your inner capital then is one of the most critical aspects of the changing business world. It is also the biggest return on investment you will ever receive.