So many times I see people get stuck in fighting the way things are.
They lose themselves in a conceptual world when they compare their personal mental picture of “how things/persons should be” to “how it is”.
This leads to a world of frustration, loss of efficiency, well being, productivity and performance.
We all know these people, they often refer to themselves as “perfectionists”. They are happy when the world matches their “how it should be” picture (which is almost never) but they are in a constant state of worry when there is a disconnect between the two (which is almost always).
Consider this example:
A VP doesn’t like the results of a project and, instead of checking in and getting to the bottom of it he finds all kinds of reasons to explain why the results are what they are. He might come up with reasons and people to blame but it never helps in the long term.
Get this: Explanations and reasons don’t get you anywhere in the long term.
Someone wise once said this:
“You can have either results or the reasons that explain why you don’t have the result. I choose results.”
The key is this powerful little insight: when you choose things as they are (not as you’d wish they’d be) you get immediate access to improving what you’re dealing with. And this is common sense but so hard to see for people! The human ego, when running in overdrive, wants to explain and blame. It does not want to look at itself because that equals pain.
But the really great leaders recognize this little trick and know that they need to be bigger than this. They get over themselves!
When that VP can get over his initial disappointment and sees the results as they are, he immediately regains his power to influence the situation as it is. He stops blaming and starts empowering, he stops rationalizing and gets to the source of what’s stopping him.
The path to misery is comparing “what is” to “how you wish it was”.
The acces to mastery is choosing things as they are, not as you wish they were.