What if this were your last post? Or day at work? Or dinner with your family? Or holiday to your favourite place? Or conversation with your BFF? Or presentation to the executive leadership team?
You never know if this is the last anything, but if you did what would you do? How would you treat the experience? It’s like if you knew you had 60 minutes, 1 week or a day left and then it would be over for you, what would you do?
It’s all about priorities and focus
When it gets down to your last moment what is really important? What needs to get done?
Organizations and individuals need to start thinking this way. But it’s way too easy to put off stuff till sometime later and not own it NOW.
Everyone thinks they have time on their side but they don’t. Random unexpected events have a habit of disrupting this notion of comfort. You might think you have 6 months to decide on something but WHAM! you now have 2 days or less.
This circumstance is not unusual in the fast pace world we live in today; it’s the new business as usual.
You don’t have time. Period!
Hockey stick mentality leads people to believe they have until year 4 of a 5-year plan to get it done. Young professionals think that since they have just entered the workforce, they have 40 years to sort out what they will do for their retirement.
It’s simply not true. The reality is that all you can influence is the next moment in your life.
In business, it’s the norm to put things off until there is a better time. A more favourable set of circumstances that would yield a better outcome. Let’s wait until the exchange rates are better. Let’s wait until regulations change in our favour. Let’s wait…
In careers, people turn down an immediate opportunity because they believe it’s not a perfect match in terms of their career goals and that they should wait for a better shot. Let’s wait…
Organizations and people need to pay more attention to NOW. I know I might sound like a yogi but I’m more of a pragmatist than a spiritual beast.
NOW is all you’ve got. You don’t have tomorrow or next week or next year.
You have to make a call on the basis of the best current information you have.
The important thing is to DO IT NOW
Act on what you know and you will soon find out if you made the right choice. If you did, YAY! If you didn’t, too bad but move on quickly and decide what your next step is. Make that call and see what happens. The truth is you will only know if you did the right thing when you look back on it. When you have the benefit of knowing how things turned out.
But in the moment you made your choice you didn’t know. And regardless of how much research and study you out into it you still wouldn’t know — rigorous analysis doesn’t improve the accuracy of your call it just makes you feel good that you’ve used all tools available to decide. And if you just take a little more time analyzing maybe the risks of your choice will disappear.
Treat every experience as if it were your last. Bring all of the emotion you have to muster to the table.
Make the call
Be brave. And be comforted with the knowledge that your decision will turn out to be wrong in some respect as future events will undoubtably have their way — imperfection breeds success; there is no positive return on your decision making investment by taking more time to get it perfect.
It’s really a matter of how imperfect your call turns out to be and what you do in the face of falling slightly — or significantly —short of your goal.
NOW moments are gifts to people who are able to focus and act; they have the potential to catapult you forward on your journey.
And if you DO NOW you have the opportunity to step out and be different from the crowd because they will never risk it.
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