Pain and pleasure are such close cousins. In life, it’s painful not to experience pleasure. Too often though, it’s the holding on for dear life to familiar pain that keeps us from having what we say we really want.
In 1988 I joined the National Speakers Association, a trade group for professional speakers. No, I wasn’t a speaker yet, but I wanted to be. I had closed down my manufacturers’ representative company to accept a position of vice president for my principal manufacturer. Two years later, I found myself without a job. It was now time to fish or cut bait. Was I going to pick up another line and go to war with the manufacturer that fired me or was I going after my dream? I went after my dream. A decade later, I’m a nationally recognized keynoter on business alliances.
This experience, for all of the pain and pleasure, has yielded a path, my path to emotional ownership. Since discovering this path, I have interviewed several business leaders and found that my path was also theirs.
Whatever pleasure you seek; there is usually pain in the way of having that pleasure. I believe this path is also your path to the emotional ownership, of staying the course to having what you want in your life, both personal and professional.
In your personal and professional life you continually have challenges. Challenges without solutions or answers generally cause extreme pain. To solve or remove this pain, you must either move into action or simply do nothing and hide out. Action means possibilities. Doing nothing is a formula for failure. Doing what you have always done and expecting different results is called experiencing insanity. Nobody intentionally wants to be insane. You will succeed at what you want through understanding and remaining on your path.
What is your challenge? What would you like to do you are currently not doing? What major decision would you like to make? Your first step will be to think up ideas on how to deal with your challenge.
Some ideas are gold and some are worthless. You must constantly seek possibilities to your challenges. Earl Nightingale would sit with a yellow pad thinking of solutions to his day’s challenges every morning before the rest of his family awoke. Dr. Robert Schuller’s idea of possibility thinking is to list no less than 20 ways to solve your challenge. His 20th is how he started the church that is known today as the Crystal Cathedral.
When an idea crystallizes, excitement sets in. Your view of the challenge is like a world of possibilities. All is right as you are moving closer to dealing with your pain.
Hope is the apex. Hope without how will get you nowhere. From this pinnacle the slow degrade begins. As the reality of the challenge sets in doubt begins. Unfortunately, at this point, hope turns into nope!
When the reality of the steps, work and pitfalls involved in creating a solution set in, a feeling of hopelessness is not far behind.
Many people are living lives of quiet desperation. Even people who are moderately successful find it difficult to make a new decision that would position them for greatness. When the pain is at a level so high that anything else must be better, the point of decision is near. This is where tension can help you to mobilize, but too much tension can immobilize you.
Clarity of purpose allows you to see and understand the value of your struggle. You must know you are playing in the right sandbox and for the right reason. Now comes the promise of success. Through example or belief, you now know success is possible and you can make a decision to go for the success. If you are off purpose, are settling for less or see your world from the window of scarcity, you might make the decision of indecision and only move toward failure.
The decision to move forward or to make no decision, the choice is yours. Knowing what to hold on to and what to discard is crucial to your well being. This is where your emotional ownership comes alive. No decision, no ownership and a continual decline. Yet, with a new decision, all becomes possible. Look for your emotional strength and security rather than comparing your self to what is not real. Be cautious of not falling into the impostor syndrome, thinking that you are not really good enough. Look for your moments of decision. A friend quit drinking, and I ask him about his moment of decision. He told me that it was one night while he was hanging out his second-story bathroom window, about to fall out and in a drunken stupor and realizing that he should change his life. He said that he knew if he didn’t make some changes soon, he would no longer have a life.
8. Paying the price and taking risk:
This is the truth detector. This is the point on your journey where you must internalize the intellectual ownership of your decision. You must be willing to pay the prices. Nothing good is free. Having a track record of previous success and concrete examples of other successful person’s journeys will help. It’s now time to stick your neck out!
9. Getting help:
Relationship building at its finest. Nobody goes it alone. Every successful person seeks help. You may end up with some unlikely partners; especially people that can help you connect with your inner strength. Receiving help connects you back to all your previous steps. Also, you must accept help in anchoring back to your moment of decision.
10. Accepting Success:
Self-confidence and self-worth go hand in hand. Accepting that you are worthy of success is key. When you have completed your journey to Emotional Ownership, you do it all over, repeatedly. Additionally, you must realize that you are currently at different steps in different aspects of your personal and professional life.
Every day you are starting another journey in a different area of your life; personal and professional. Your journey always comes full circle; you can never just sit back because another phase of your total life journey is about to start. Enjoy your journey.
Ed is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He has been called “the dynamite that broke up our log jam” by association executives—rarely politically correct and almost always provocative—and from a dozen years as a United States Soccer Federation referee, Ed calls it the way he sees it. Exceptional resources at www.rigsbee.com.