This past week we celebrated with about 100 other leaders at Live2Lead Pasco-Hernando 2018. All of us benefited from dynamic speakers with powerful messages, and we learned specific shifts to help each of us develop and reach our goals as leaders.
There may be nothing quite like the energy you get in a room at an event like that. There’s anticipation, passion, and excitement, camaraderie, truth, and support coming from every direction. This is powerful, encouraging, and life-changing. It’s a big win.
Sometimes, after events like this, we experience a let-down. We get back into our “regular” lives, and our normal routine absorbs all that energy and excitement. In a few weeks or even days, much of what we gleaned from that event may be forgotten, overwhelmed by old habits, old ideas, and daily distractions.
With a few specific choices, we can create a different result. We can take that excitement, encouragement, and motivation, and transform it into momentum in our daily lives, leading to real progress and growth, every day.
Write Down Your Thoughts
All change begins with our thinking. What have we learned, and what sort of impression did that make on us at the time? When we write these ideas down, we capture them more clearly. That doesn’t mean they have to be complete ideas. Maybe it’s an impression or the seed of a thought we want to meditate more on later. That’s great! Write all that down, because the very act of writing those ideas and impressions down or typing them out will naturally help us organize those ideas and remember them better.
Focus Those Thoughts
Each day, for at least a week after the event, review those notes. When we are intentional about taking the time to consider why those ideas connected with us, we learn more about where we are and what challenges or thoughts may be keeping us from taking the next step in our leadership growth. There is a reason why those ideas jumped out at us when other lessons presented at the event did not. And that’s okay. Different ideas will affect different people in different ways at different times.
In fact, the same ideas will speak to us differently at different places in our own lives. Think about a book, a movie, or a song you have experienced at different times in your life. Did they mean something different then than they do now? Do we see them differently, and do we receive a different message or meaning? This is evidence that we are growing, and that’s a good thing.
Choose One Thing
Once we have our list of ideas to focus on, and we’ve spent a few days considering those ideas and what they mean to us at this point in our journey, the next step is to take some time to think about which idea felt the most pertinent or relevant right now.
Remember, the goal here is not to exclude good ideas. Our goal is to maintain momentum after a big win or an emotional high, and the best way to build on our momentum is to have another win to celebrate.
There’s a now-famous video of a commencement speech by Admiral William H. McRaven at the University of Texas at Austin. In his speech, Admiral McRaven, has a few suggestions for the graduates about to embark on their chosen paths. They are there, listening to him while celebrating their big win of finishing college, and he wants them to understand how to build on that momentum.
Admiral McRaven’s first suggestion is simple: make your bed. The audience laughs a bit, but McRaven is serious. He explains that making your bed helps you focus and creates success momentum for the rest of your day. You will be “encouraged to accomplish another task, then another and another,” he says, before adding, “The little things in life matter…”
His point here is powerful: completing small tasks will help us build momentum and stay encouraged to continue achieving and growing. When we choose one idea to work on and choose to celebrate the wins achieved with that work, those two choices keep us focused, excited, and moving forward. Conversely, when we make a list of all the things we want to do, and try to focus on all of it at once, that feels overwhelming and discouraging.
Each day, when we choose one thing to focus on accomplishing, improving or moving toward, we will always have a win to celebrate and something that encourages us to keep moving forward.
Make a Connection
One of the most powerful motivators at any big event is the group around us. When everyone is excited and encouraged, the energy is kinetic and contagious. Then we all go home, back to our lives, our routines, and our familiar distractions. This is why, especially after such an emotionally powerful experience, it is so important that we share our ideas, our choices, and our commitments with a friend or colleague we trust to walk them out with us. Someone to help us be accountable, to encourage us after a setback, and help us celebrate our wins.
For some of us, making connections is tough. It’s also necessary. The first step is reaching out, having a conversation, maybe about how excited we are after the big event. Not every conversation we have will connect us with someone who will walk through our growth with us. But some will. And that will make a huge difference.
So, there it is, four simple choices that will help us transfer the momentum from a big win into every day success and growth:
Write Down Your Thoughts
Focus Those Thoughts
Choose One Thing
Make A Connection
Creating the wake
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