Getting dusty, running wires. Stripping with a pocket knife and my teeth. Hammering staples and running screws. I had a few fun projects at the restaurant this week. Behind the bar, a big remodel, and adding a stereo system too, I was up early and working late.
Getting motivated and being energized, was no problem at all. When I have a fun project to do, time disappears. I was totally engaged, everything else took a backseat. I absolutely love this sort of work. I was able to take my ideas, talk to the experts and make it happen. I wanted to expand our capabilities and yet keep almost all of our present functionality.
We cut away a bottleneck of butt-rubbing, that slowed us down often. We added a new drink station, so we could double production of pop, tea and water. Tiny improvements were made all over the back of the bar, that will help in the smallest, but important ways.
I love this kind of work. (Did I say that already?)
Here are a few reasons why:
- We can use existing construction, and improve upon it. We don’t have to start from scratch
- We can design changes in the moment
- From behind the bar, or in the back office, we can be, ‘rustic’ in our procedures. It doesn’t have to look perfect. Perfect for me, because I don’t make things pretty.
- The changes we make, are immediate. Having an idea in the morning, and watching it come together, before opening for business, is so fun!
- Creativity, problem solving and improving the experience of both staff and customer, combines all of my favorite things!
Yeah! Lots of excitement, lots of energy, I can’t wait to get up there today, to see some more get accomplished. We have more plumbing fixtures going in, and another piece to the puzzle will arrive.
So, if I am so capable of this high energy, high production and enthusiasm, why don’t I bring it to everything I do? If I can love this project so much, why can’t I love more of the projects around there in the same way? If I brought my same upbeat, creative and bouncy self, to the scheduling, or making our new menu, or even my working relationship with my brother-in-law, I wonder if all those things would be more fun…
What do you think?
Yeah, okay, you’re right. Truth is, although I do ‘get through’ those other tasks, and make them work, on some level, I don’t bring my best self to those projects.
I know that too. I could say the same thing, about my ‘other job’ at Front Row Sports. I could say the same, about mowing my lawn (which I don’t do), or maintaining healthy habits, even after the diet competition is over. I could add, that my prayer life is dismal. I have been skipping Bible study for a couple months now. I hardly hold up my responsibilities as a Session member at church. I don’t have my garden planted at all. I am looking at handwritten flyer for a charity event, that I need to turn into pretty graphics, and the desk it is on, is a wreck.
I had a small fight with my wife this week, that I wish I had handled differently. The same thing, with staff members too. I didn’t wish enough people happy birthday on Facebook, and I am behind on returning text messages from two weeks ago.
Ha! My upbeat energy and high production this week, doesn’t seem too impressive now!
What a great duality. I did speak in front of the congregation on Easter morning. I got up there and said some stuff. I almost cried through the whole thing, but didn’t shed a real wet tear. I had people tell me, they appreciated my words. It was cool. Of course, I wish I had planned better, and said more, or said less, and made it perfect, but not really. What I’m glad about, is that I did it. I did something, that I set out to do. I told a small part of my story. I praised Jesus. I brought one of my ugly days in front of the ‘Church People’, the ones I used to be afraid to be in the room with… because of my ugly-ness.
Basically, I see this week, more than ever, that Commitment, is the doing of things. I see that what I did with my hands, what I did with my feet, what I did with my actual body, I was committed to doing. It showed a result.
So much of life is lived within our heads, and expressed with our mouths. So much is thought about, talked about, considered and pondered. So much is wished for, and regretted and mulled over and over and over. Reliving the past, creating false futures, missing the moment, over and over and over, can become for me the meat of life sometimes.
This week brought back action. Up on ladders, kneeling on the floor, running errands to pick up equipment, pulling the jacket off a wire with my teeth. Making decisions on the fly, and then following through with that. Not just a ‘future idea’, or ‘someday thing’. A ‘right now thing’. A ‘hammer it in’, or ‘screw it up’, or ‘break it, and then fix it again’ thing. A ‘walk my nervous-self up in front of a crowd thing’.
This week, shows results, it shows Commitment. I must accept that being in action, costs money, costs time, brings good things and bad things. When we are out of ‘thinking mode’ and into ‘doing mode’, we open ourselves up. We’re not on the sidelines anymore. We are in the game. We can win it, or we may lose it. But we are playing the game.
I noticed a moment this week, where I saw a distinction between Critic vs. Creative. Someone expressing their opinion, doing the talking, about the work of someone else, is the Critic. Someone considering the results of what someone else has actually done, and tossing in their two cents, is being part of the peanut gallery.
The Creative, however, is the one who initiates. They are the one who is taking the puzzle pieces at hand and actually making something out them. They are putting themselves out there, along with their own sweat and making their ideas come to life. They are the artist. They have done something. They have my respect.
Even in failure, the Creative has won. The one who did the work, has the ultimate benefit to themselves, to everyone. They are in the habit of honing their skills, and learning how, not just to not fall down, but how to fall, fall frequently, and get back up again.
I wonder if the Critic, is too concerned about that fall, to try it for themselves. So on the sidelines, they notice and point out the failures they see in the work of others.
I am too often, the Critic, not enough, the Creative. This week, I leaned a little more into the work. I was more in my body, than in my head. I’m thankful for the fun it was, and how I was reminded I can do that too.
So much of what I just said, has been already mentioned, in better and more powerful ways. I am rich in knowing and learning to see these things coming to life, in my own world, that have been taught by a couple of my mentors.
The real excitement for me, is knowing that these projects in my life, including this blog, are real challenges to me. I am growing and learning and failing and attempting things, that I never used to ‘think’ where possible for me. I am daily engaged in a personal mission and a purpose, like I have never known. Relationship with Jesus, with my Wife, with this business and with my own demons, is obstacle course enough, that I am never bored.
I talked at church about my sobriety. 937 days as of today. Applause filled the room. Why is that? I used to feel applause, while downing another round of shots, or beers or wine, or scotch, or whatever? I used to feel accomplishment and approval, in the sharing of spirits. Now, I felt it while talking about the stoppage of that.
I think it goes back to Commitment. People respond to a fully committed individual. Others engage, when you are fully engaged. The One and only thing, people really want to know, is where you are headed and what you are willing to do to get there. Commitments can be healthy or unhealthy, but either way, we want to see and feel your commitment, it is fuel for the fire of our own.
Where is my commitment today? I now quit clicking these keys, to head up to the Iron. I will be there till possibly two in the morning. Yes, I am committed to that business. I will see you again here next week. I am committed to this blog. Complete commitment, may cause me to drop and release some things that seemed like commitments before. It just is a way of me being more honest with myself every day.
What do I really want? When I look at my commitments, I will know my answer.
13 Things That Entrepreneurs Who Thrive Know That Give Them Their Edge
By Dusan Djukich
My intent is to help you, to help yourself to thrive. You have to generate the commitment. Commitment is the fuel that results run on. If you are not willing to do that, you are wasting your time.
1 They realize that it’s not enough to understand powerful things. You must create them for yourself. Talking about doing great and wondrous things, and bringing them forth into actual reality, are two entirely different worlds.
2 Without commitment nothing happens. Commitment is “doing what’s required, to get an intended result.” Commitment is created. If you don’t generate commitment, you won’t have any. Knowing “that you should be committed” is worthless without “being committed.” If you want to know what you have been committed to in the past, look at your results.
3 There is a huge difference between core values and operational values. Core values are what you believe in, and many times think about, and talk about. Operational values are how you actually live. Saying you value health, fitness, and an active lifestyle (core values) while engaging in over-eating and a sedentary lifestyle (operational values), will produce a life dominated by operational values. Your results in life don’t come from what you “believe in” or “talk about” but “how you live.”
4 Brief unmitigated speech is in constant use. Long-winded explanations reduce power and impact. They weaken your message. When asked, entrepreneurs who thrive are able to say what it is that they do, in one sentence. There is no such thing as, “softening people up” by being artificially nice, or utilizing cute platitudes. They show respect for other’s time and life by getting to the point without hesitation.
5 People have great intentions, but their impact many times misses the mark. Most people would rather be judged on their intentions, rather than their impact. The problem is that others don’t know your intentions – only your impact. The other problem is that people don’t usually care about how well-intended you are. They care about what you can do for them. You are the only one who can take responsibility for generating effective impacts in life.
6 Purpose management vs. time management confusion. People don’t have time management problems; they have purpose management problems. If you don’t have a basic purpose in life, you had best create one. Don’t go looking for it, as that’s just another way to put off this vital and necessary part of life. A big purpose that you are truly committed to gives a life of substance and depth. Create it now. If it’s not a good match for you, you will know soon enough and you can create another. A purpose will always let you know what to say yes to, and what to say no to. Just know your purpose and that will tell you what to do next.
7 Always deal in specific measurable results. By observing specific measureable results, you will know where you are at, and what to focus on next. They make a great compass. So say what you will accomplish and by when. We are talking precise date and time. Purposely being vague is an attempt to create a back door if things get tough. You must follow through on clearly stated declarations in order to thrive.
8 True intent is demonstrated in behavior. That goes for both yourself, as well as others. Never assume that logic is running the show. Examine the current reality. What is really so? The only proof of a person’s true intention is found in how they live. Do they honor their word? Don’t lie about it or rationalize it. You will just keep enabling what’s not working in your life.
9 Always learn from the past, but don’t be attached, or dictated to by it. Using what happened in the past as an excuse for not living fully and completely in the present, is one of the most irresponsible things that you can do. The past no longer exists, unless you want to constantly recreate it, and carry it around with you. If you are living in the past, know that you are living in a place that isn’t. It’s dead – move on. The past does not cause the present. The present is the source of the past and also the source of the future.
10 They are very black and white about results. They don’t play games with themselves. They confront the question of results head-on: “Exactly what result am I producing? Is that what I really want?” They don’t spend years climbing up and down a tree with no coconuts.
11 Refuse to be a victim, regardless of what was done to you, or what your present circumstances are like. There may be people in your life who invite you to buy into this mentality. Ignore them. Living in blame, shame, and regret doesn’t work, and will only serve to keep you stuck. Self-pity breeds entitlement. Psychologically mature people don’t blame others for the life that they have. Create an “ownership mentality” for your life today. Owners focus on what they want to create. Victims focus on what they want to avoid.
12 You won’t have a conversation with the world that is any different than the one you are presently having with yourself. How you operate in life comes out of your speaking. You either speak powerfully, or you don’t, and there are consequences to each.
13 The only thing that stops anyone is an action that they are unwilling to take. And the reason this happens is because of a thought that they allow to paralyze action. Thoughts are just thoughts, no matter how scary. You don’t have to obey them.
Dusan Djukich is the innovator of Straight-Line Coaching and the best-selling author of Straight-Line Leadership: Tools for Living with Velocity and Power in Turbulent Times. He resides in Northern California and can be contacted through www.straightlinecoach.com.