On Unshakeable character
Ever thought about all the little things that get in the way in your day? Your computer suddenly stops working, the check that you were expecting didn’t arrive, the plumber you called in to come and fix your issue didn’t call/didn’t show, the bank statement shows someone has taken money out of your account you don’t recognize?
And all these things happened within a couple of days of each other and suddenly your normal routine gets thrown off. The time you’d scheduled to do things you wanted to do, gets used up on nuisance stuff: Call the bank, be on hold, find another plumber, chase up the check, find a computer repair place/buy another computer.
This stuff derails us. It taxes us mentally, emotionally, physically. We lose sleep over it. We get into a bad place. We start to question ourselves. We lose sight of what we were doing before all this stuff happened. It sets us back.
What I want to talk to you about today is ‘Unshakeable Character’, something the hero of a story has. That’s why these heroes are written about. That’s why we watch movies about these people. What do they have that we don’t?
They adapt, they improvise, they innovate, they pivot, they overcome!
I’m going to be offering a course that helps those of us who need this get really good at Adapting, Improvising, Innovating, Pivoting, Overcoming. But more on that later... (email@example.com)
I want to offer you something here that can help you. And that is: What if we don’t let these things get to us? What if we recognize that we can only control the things that WE can control? Other people’s actions, decisions, inactions, motivations are not really something we can control, or take control of.
What I’m asking you to consider is not easy. I recognize that.
I have spent many years of my life fighting injustices done to me, righting other people’s wrongs to me, not allowing people to get away with trying...I share this so that you know I know a little something about this topic.
But what does it actually achieve in terms of my time? Can I ever get that time back? Could I have used that time in a more productive way? If I lost money, did the time and effort and grief and heartache spent (yes all of these are costs), trying to retrieve the money take away time from making way more money?
Did I adapt? Improvise? Innovate? Pivot? Overcome?
This is what I’m talking about.
Have you ever wondered why people are not queuing up to make a movie about YOUR life? Because probably like me, like most people, you’re coping. But coping isn’t really what heroes are made of. They don’t just cope.
Imagine if in the movie “Taken”, with Liam Neeson where his daughter has been kidnapped in a foreign country, he sits by the phone, he reports it to the police, he consoles his ex-wife because they both have lost their daughter....they’re both distraught. They’re coping. Is that the sort of movie we want to watch? Do we want to reaffirm our own helplessness by watching a movie about characters who are helpless.
Or does it give us satisfaction to see him prevail?
Now you could argue that Liam Neeson’s character had things to do in his life. And then suddenly his daughter is kidnapped. And now he needs to drop everything he’s doing for days, weeks, etc. to fly to a foreign country, to learn what he needs to learn to get his daughter back. Should he according to what I’m suggesting above have left his daughter’s fate at the mercy of the kidnappers and got on with his life, married again and had another daughter. Clearly I’m not suggesting that!
So the point of this is picking our battles. Some battles are worth fighting for and must be fought. Other battles are not worth the fight.
The point is there will always be battles. And they come at a price.
The person with unshakeable character EXPECTS battles. Battles don’t throw him/her off. But they have a strategy for dealing with battles. They don’t take on every fight and they don’t shy away from every fight.
So what’s the work?
The inner work each of us has to do (and this changes as we age, evolve, have greater number of life experiences, etc.) is we must evaluate what business people call ROTI (Return on Time Investment). What is the Return on Time Investment for what we’re trying to achieve?
Spend 4 days finding the right place to get our old computer fixed for £100 or buy a new computer for £500?
Spend several weeks chasing up a payment we were owed for £25 versus using that time to come up with a plan to make £2000?
Wait days to get the cheapest plumber in or tell an expensive plumber to come right away?
These choices are for each person to weigh up.
Our Life is measured in time. We all have the same amount of time. The heroes use the same number of hours in every day to do more of what they want, make more money, have greater successes (whatever their individual definition of success may be) and live a fuller life. The cope-ers muddle through day after day with one issue after another, unhappy, dissatisfied and with the feeling that they have no control over their life.
Which one do you choose to be? The coper or the Hero?
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