Friday, June 17, 2011

KeFactors Friday: What does it take?

I’m always telling myself to have courage, to be stronger today than I was yesterday, not because anything bad is happening, but because the present can be so beguiling, so quiet and flat and innocent. And yet tomorrow begins today. I don’t want to cope with life by becoming an unconscious person who destroys things and moves on heedlessly.

I wrote that as my status post on Facebook a couple weeks ago, then was surprised by the reaction it got: friends “stole” it for their own status posts and later their friends reposted it as well.

But why?

Life requires courage—not always the adrenaline-pumping sort where you rush into a burning building to save a client’s project, but the extra nudges it takes to face the phone yet again (cold calling), to sort through complex questions (client may be unhappy), and to build solutions at work (too many deadlines looming), often with people you may not even like working with, who may whine and bellyache every step of the way.

Tomorrow does start today. A history buff, I like considering the influences of the past on our lives today, but to get things done—to be productive—we have to appreciate how actions today set up results tomorrow. If you don’t cold call today, it’ll be even harder to start tomorrow—and tomorrow may be when you need the new revenue. Got a problem with a colleague? Talk bad about them behind their back? Tomorrow you may have to account for yourself. Be ready.

The point to life is to become a more conscious person, to outgrow narcissism, to realize we may rationalize well, but in the end a hurtful action here and now will have a painful reaction there and later, even if the one you hurt is too proud or savvy to show how they’ve been damaged. There’s no getting around it: if you live and work heedless of anyone’s interests but your own, sooner or later you’ll have to understand what you did, and it could be a very difficult reckoning.

Next week: OK, so what?

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