Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When Life Gets In The Way - Live It!

You've read your favourite self-development books, listened to the CDs/MP3s/podcasts, watched the DVDs, subscribed to the best blogs. All of them say something similar:

Consistent effort breeds long-term success.

I have two book/CD sets on the go at the moment - Jeff Olson's Slight Edge and Darren Hardy's Compound Effect. Both excellent and, if you live in the UK and haven't got them, you should be ordering them from Knowledge is King. I tend to go for book and audio packages where possible as I find I learn more that way.

But what happens when Life happens? You know what I mean - the cat's sick, your child starts a new life elsewhere, you get divorced, a parent's health deteriorates dramatically, you move to another area. The issues that turn day-to-day life into Life!, the soap opera you didn't want to star in.

Simple. You revisit your plans and your tracking and you look at your life realistically. Then you revise those plans to take Life into account. If you can only manage to spend 30 minutes per day on your business, instead of 8 hours, then plan accordingly. Communicate your new plans with whoever needs to know and then stick to them. As always, always underestimate your committment and then do more than you've promised. Set a timescale to review your plans by a given date, depending on what Life has thrown at you, and give yourself permission to deal with the immediate necessities.

Don't forget, there are different ways of approaching bad news, as the following story proves:

A business woman was working away from home when her son phoned her.

"Mum, the cat's dead!"

After a brief moment of shock, the mum mode took over. "Darling, next time you have bad news like that, especially if you feel it might upset others the way you are upset right now, try to soften the blow by gently leading up to it. For instance, you could have started by saying something like - You know how the cat loves climbing the roof, well it's fallen off and it's badly hurt. We don't think it's going to survive. Then you could have called back a little later and told me that the cat was dead. OK?"

Her son agreed to try that the next time he had bad news to tell.

Two days later he phoned again, just as she was packing to come home.

"Mum, you know how Granny loves climbing the roof?"

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