Bring Your ‘A’ Game Every Time
My friend, Jack, likes to play a round of golf every week with a group of colleagues. He says he enjoys the comradery and the spirit of competition. Yet as he approaches every game, he manages to defeat himself. His thoughts run through his mind seemingly nonstop: “I hope I don’t drive the ball into the trees. I bet I will overshoot the long putt and end up in the sand trap. I know my score will be way over par.”
In some very powerful ways Jack creates his own reality. His vantage point is affecting his vision and his expectations.
Jack would likely get a very different outcome if he shifted his thinking from imagined problems and deficiencies, “I hope I don’t hit the ball into the rough” — and instead focus on strengths and success, “My shot is going straight down the fairway.”
We see what we look for.
We attach great significance to what we see.
And we constantly scour the environment for data to validate our point of view.
You do it all the time in all kinds of ways. It goes something like, “My boss is out to get me. I can always trust him. I’m going to close this sale.”
If you are often cynical, you tend to see what is wrong, count the ways things fall short, are disappointed (and feel justified complaining) when things don’t line up just as they should.
If you are mostly hopeful, you look for signs of possibility, notice any glimmers of light (sometimes straining your neck to see), and feel encouraged as you move toward your goal.
This is not predictive of course. You can be cynical and delightfully surprised. Or be optimistic and terribly let down. Still, we often don’t realize the impact of expectations.
Do you want to experience what I mean?
Try this simple exercise.
1. Before you show up for your next important meeting, create a specific intention.
2. Walk into your meeting with a clear cut and positive target of what you want to accomplish.
Here are a couple of examples: “I want to be helpful. I want to be productive. I want to be creative. I want to be of service. I want to stay calm.” You get the idea.
3. After the meeting analyze the impact of your internal “intention creation” machine.
Is it possible that creating a practice of anticipating what you do want has power beyond measure?
It sure does.
Take my friend, Jack. I suggested that he try the same exercise around his golf game. He was amazed at how much better his game went. He keeps telling me that his new way of thinking has off the charts power, and not just for his golf.
Now is the perfect time for you to create a new habit, too. Make positive intention creation a regular part of your meetings, your day, your leadership, maybe even your life.
And like Jack, you can start to tee up for even more success with whatever comes your way.