Zen (Business) Habits: Stop Stressing and Enjoy the Ride
I wrote “You’re Already a Millionaire, All You Have To Do Is Show Up”. How many successful people have you heard say: I always knew I was going to be successful?
Maybe it’s supreme confidence, or maybe they realized that they were put on earth to do something and executed upon it, but my article came to one important conclusion– if you know you are going to be successful, then you will be successful. You just can’t quit. If you show up everyday, do the things it takes to be successful, then you will be.
The takeaway: stop stressing about it and enjoy the ride.
I’m guilty of trying to muscle my way to where I want to go. You know the type– if you’re late, you hurry, if times are tough, you work longer and harder, and when things go wrong, you are extra hard on yourself….
Where Are You Rushing Anyway?
Everyone says it’s about the journey, not the destination. Either that’s bullsh*t, or everyone just seems to forget to practice this critical little cliché. I look around (and inside myself) and see a hell of lot of stressed out people in our goal oriented society…. Wherever they are going– they are certainly in a hurry.
As I’ve been learning for myself, and trying to pass on to our readers at Under30CEO, enjoying the journey is extremely difficult when you always have your eye on the prize. When you are so focused on where you are going, you forget to keep calm, and be present. If you truly believed that the journey was the fun part, you’d stop worrying so much about the future .
If you’re like me, you’re in a hurry to live up to your potential, meet expectations, and “be all you can be” like we’ve watched one too many US Army commercials. Well, my potential isn’t a destination. My potential does not have a dollar sign in front of it. And my potential certainly isn’t dependent on whether 500k people or a million people read Under30CEO every month.
What I do know is that I want to inspire and lead people, be creative, build something that makes impact on the world, and have a positive influence on the people I come into contact with. And I know damn well that I’m better at that when I’m relaxed, engaged in the present moment, and not stressed out.
It’s About the Process
This Fourth of July I hit the beach with my Co-Founder @JaredOToole for a little rest, relaxation, and “board meetings” out on the water. Serendipitously, “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvonne Chouinard ended up at the beach with us, where I promptly read the first 120 pages. The very answer I have been looking for appeared– it’s all about the process.
Yvonne Chouinard, the Founder of Patagonia talked about how he never tried to build a massive outdoor equipment empire, instead, just like surfing or climbing, he focused on the process, not the destination. In surfing, you don’t know how big the swell is going to be, or where it is going to take you. Instead you focus on the mechanics of getting up on the board, and having a fluid technique for catching the next big wave that comes your way. To Yvonne, it wasn’t about the size of the company, it was about the process of delivering a quality product over and over again.
Hold On For the Ride
By focusing on the process and not the destination, you spend your time and energy solving sizable problems, instead of being overwhelmed, stressed, and worried about where you are going. You focus on the present and the things you can solve right now.
As my friend @ItsRayLand told me, when you’re in a tailspin, just like a fighter pilot, you just have to let go and stop fighting it. Just like the stock market, you’ll figure out how to get going back in the right direction somehow. An experienced trader would tell you that historically the market has always gone up over time, if you look at the big picture. If you take this approach through your own business and life, we can all learn to stop fighting it, and enjoy that feeling in the pit of your stomach– it’s why we ride this rollercoaster anyway.
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