On a scale of one to ten, where ten is the growth potential that you want to achieve a couple of years from now in your business, personal life, relationships, fitness, or anything else, and one is where you haven’t started yet, where are you right now? For reference, five could be where you know exactly what to do and are doing it, you are halfway to your goal. Reflect for a moment.
Where are you on that scale?
I’m guessing you are somewhere between two, three and seven. Even if you are a seven, or eight for that matter, it’s clear that there is still some growth to be done. Still some distance to be covered.
How are we going to do it?
Where are the resources going to come from? And I don’t mean the technology, the funds or the time, those things will be found. I mean where are we going to find the audacity to believe that we can achieve that growth? Where are we going to find the determination to put ourselves at play and to take risks? The resilience to not give up, and the wisdom to know when to give up and try something else? Where are we going to find these things?
I have built seven businesses and I know for a fact that these resources are already there, within us. They are just untapped. Much like Aladdin’s lamp, a tiny lamp with enormous power. You rub it, and this big blue man comes out and grants your wishes.
I believe we all have our own lamp. We just need to learn to rub it the right way.
Rub the lamp for the right questions
It begins with asking questions. The right questions. Instead of asking ourselves questions like:
- Why me?
- Why can’t I do this?
- Why don’t I have that?
- Why can’t I find clients that like us?
- Why can’t I find clients that are not assholes?”
We could ask ourselves better questions – similar, yet much better. Questions like:
- How can we solve this?
- How can we find customers who we like and like us back?
- How can we find and keep good people?
- How can we come up with good ideas?”
- How can we win more business?
When you ask yourself, ‘How can we’ and ‘how might we’ questions, I know that you will be pleasantly surprised. I was. When we started asking ‘opportunity’ questions instead of ‘scarcity’ questions when facing problems, problems became opportunities.
A problem became the messenger, the announcement of a solution. And the solution was often, if not always, the beginning of something better. A better version of me, a better version of the company. And as you start asking yourself ‘How’ questions, you begin to see solutions coming to you when you least expect it. The mind is a wonderful lamp. It’s powerful.
Rub the lamp of your attitude
Another way to rub that lamp the right way, is to look after it. If that lamp is your secret genie, you’re going to have to look after it. Get rid of stressors. All things that cause you to feel stressed.
Get rid of toxic people that cause you to feel stress. Get rid of tasks that stress you out, delegate them. Get rid of the peak hour commute if you can, travel off pick or take transports. That task you have been putting off for some time because you hate it, be it paying a fine or booking a doctors’ appointment, do it today. Then it’s gone. And so is the stress associated to it.
If you can’t get rid of the things that cause stress, then get rid of the stress. Approach it in a different way. Easier said than done, I hear. Yes! None of this stuff is easy. It takes time and effort but it’s simple and the results are damn good; it’s worth it.
Change your attitude, change your outlook on things that make you stressed.
Are they really that important? Does it really matter if you get there five minutes late? Does it really matter if you stained your shirt? Does it really matter if one client leave? Does it matter that the guy on the road cut you off? Everything matters, to a degree, I know, but do they really matter enough to get stressed about it. And, crucially, does anything get better if we stress about it?
Rub the lamp of physical and mental health
Make time to look after yourself, to look after that lamp. Meditate. Don’t have time? Then you need to meditate twice as much. Wake up half hour earlier in the morning. Meditate 10 or 20 minutes. Not a morning person? Do it a lunchtime. Sometimes I lock myself in the bathroom, on the toilet sit lid and meditate. Don’t know how? Headspace, Calm, both are great.
Move your body, exercise. Don’t have time? Seven minute workout, sometimes that’s all I do. I promise you, you can do a seven minute workout and that’s enough. Stop taking the lift. Walk to the shop. Take walking breaks. Do ten, or even two, press ups in the morning and in the evening. Eat proper food, vegetables, greens. Fill yourself with things that help you feel better, feel healthier, feel stronger. That’s how you rub that lamp.
The person that I was when I was £50,000 in debt, trying to start a business, whilst our first child was on the way, is exactly the same person that I am today. Today I’m more resourceful. Today I know more because I learned to rub the lamp. The athlete that wins the rematch after a loss, is the same athlete. They have just learned to rub the lamp and get more out of themselves.
Remember times when you found things within you that you didn’t know you had, when you went for an interview and nailed it. Pitched for a new client and won. When you won a sporting event even though you didn’t think you could. You just rubbed the lamp the right way.
The analogy of rubbing the lamp has been important for me because it represents a constant reminder that we have most of what we need within. We need to shift our thinking. We need to change our habits. We might even need to change the people we surround ourselves with. But it’s all within.
So many of us spend years looking for the resources, for external resources to grow and achieve their goals. They look for these things outside. They look for Aladdin’s lamp. They never find it. Because they are looking in the wrong place. All we need is inside. The lamp, is inside, we just need to rub it the right way.
Keep rubbing the lamp.