It’s time to choose your course for 2021 and beyond.
Australians always stumble reluctantly back to work in January. Christmas merges with summer. School’s out. Holiday head and holiday hair rule.
A slow start is expected. But my clients tell me this year is different. Many staff have come back particularly ‘flat’. 2020 was a rough track we know. It seems a lot of us expected all that to magically disappear at the stroke of midnight on 31 December. When folk returned to find exactly the same challenges they farewelled at the fag end of last year, heads dropped.
What to do?
I believe people are falling into two piles.
Pile 1. Victim
This is the, “it’s all shit, not my fault, I am powerless, why doesn’t the Government/management/boss/they/someone do something/more?” pile. It is for people who expect to be rescued or bailed out. The plan is no-plan. Just wait, trust to luck and hope it will all be somehow OK in the end.
Pile 2. Hero
‘Hero’ needs explaining. It’s not ‘Hero’ as in capes and superpowers. This is Hero as in we can all be Heroes in our life story. We can all take responsibility for being our Heroic best self and making the most of our talents, resources and opportunities to create a life of meaning and purpose. One that we can be proud of. One that others would value and respect.
It may sound harsh, but the time for playing the victim is over.
Please do not mishear me. There are many genuine victims of COVID (and other things), who should be fully supported. But that’s not the case for most of us. We can and do choose to play the Victim or the Hero.
As we start another challenging year, it’s time to choose again.
How do you choose?
Victim is easy
Do little or nothing.
Take no responsibility.
Blame everyone and everything else for where you find yourself.
Hero is HARD (but good)
Hero is 100% taking responsibility for your own life.
Set out a plan for where you want to get to.
DO THE WORK to make that a reality.
What does that look like?
It starts with an honest conversation with yourself. How are you currently showing up? We all have a bit of ‘Victim’ in us, but has it become your default setting? If ‘yes’, it’s time to take action. Time to take back control of your own life.
That may sound a bit wanky. Or idealistic. Or unobtainable. “You don’t understand Mark”. As I said, maybe I don’t. Maybe you are a genuine victim. I have several clients who really are doing it incredibly tough right now. They ARE victims of circumstance – but they are not choosing to be ‘Victims’ – instead fighting with every fibre for business survival. That’s what Hero looks like. And even if they lose everything now, they will win in the long run.
Three ways to unleash your inner Hero
1. Get clear on what you want from your life
Have a (big) plan on where you want to be in 10 years, 5 years, 1 year from now. This will:
- Give you direction
- Create perspective (it’s tough right now, but over a decade, this will be insignificant)
- Generate a sense of urgency (I’ve got a lot to do, time to get cracking!)
2. Do the self-work
The biggest common denominator for the people who I see as being the Heroes in their own life story is that they work on themselves.
That’s about self-awareness, self-discipline and self-improvement. It’s a disciplined morning routine and exercising, sleeping, and eating well. It’s about being curious, having a learning habit and always working on some area of your growth.
Doing this gives you the best chance that you will show up with energy and confidence. That equips you to do the hard yards in your work, whilst also standing out from the crowd. In turn you are more likely to be noticed, promoted, retained.
There is a clear correlation then between the result of your self-work and your success. And self-work starts with YOU.
3. Surround yourself with other Heroes
I’ve no patience for those who choose to be Victims. I recommend you do the same.
Make no mistake, it’s likely you will be in a minority. Many of us live in countries where victimhood is encouraged. But it is no way to live.
Seek out those who also share an abundance mindset. Join communities, listen to podcasts, buddy up with an accountability partner to help keep your personal Hero’s journey on track once the inspiration has expired – as it will.
Like I said. This is HARD.
Hard – but GOOD. It will change your life. And it’s enjoyable (but never easy).
What are you choosing?