Just recently I was challenged to do 22 press ups for 22 days to bring awareness to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for British service men and woman returning from war zones. It moved me to find out that 22 ex-service men and women are committing suicide every day so I decided to give it a go. My mind-set was that if I could help raise awareness with my social media following and help save just one of those lives along the line then it would all be worthwhile.
I had to film myself doing 22 press ups every day for 22 days and then upload it to Facebook along with my nomination for someone else to take up the challenge each day. Those of you that know me will understand when I say I’m not very good at sticking to the rules, so I nominated six people to do the challenge instead of one. Two ex-professional footballers, two clients, my personal trainer and my best mate of 40 plus years, so you would think that there was a very good chance of them ALL doing the challenge.
Be ready to be surprised… Or am I just wishful thinking that six people that I’m quite close to would put others in front of themselves? Only one of the footballers and my personal trainer actually took up the challenge! To say I was shocked and disappointed would be an understatement and in my mind there can only be four reasons;
- They can’t do 22 press ups!
- They are worried what other people might think of them!
- They haven’t got time!
- They don’t give a toss about a cause bigger than themselves!
Their behaviour reminded me of this quote by Richard Bach from his book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull “Nothing happens by chance, my friend… No such thing as luck. A meaning behind every little thing, and as such a meaning behind this. Part for you, part for me, we may not see it all real clear right now, but we will, before long.”
As a performance psychologist I am very aware of behaviour and language patterns that people use on a daily basis and I know that about 85% of our daily actions are habit, so it got me thinking where else is this behaviour showing up in other areas of these four people’s lives?
Let me go through the four reasons and connect it with other areas of life;
- They can’t do 22 press ups! Where else in their life or business are they not doing their press ups? In other words not doing what it takes to get the job done. I see lots of “Wantrepreneurs” that want the results in their business but are not prepared to do what it takes, they talk a good game but when it comes to actually getting down and doing the press ups they can’t do it because they haven’t been practising. My personal trainer can show me how to do a perfect press up, however, I have to actually do it. I may be able to show the “Wantrepreneur” how to make more money, but he/she has to actually do it! If you can’t do a full press up at the moment, do it on your knees until you can.
- They are worried what other people might think of them! With the best will in the world we will only get 80% of the people to love us, which means 20% will hate us, and if the 20% that hated us loved us then another 20% would hate us just because that 20% loved us! Can you see the foolishness in expecting everyone to love us? Most people judge other people by their own standards and who’s to say that their standards are right in the first place. Trying to please everyone is fruitless journey which will never be achieved and stems from a low self-esteem and compounded by a compulsive negative habit pattern. This will have been learned in childhood from a perceived withdrawal of a parents love and continued in adulthood as the desire to please everyone. My favourite quote from Dr Wayne Dyer is “True happiness comes from being independent of the good opinion of other people!” If you or anyone you know has a low self-esteem then have a read of this book by Maxwell Maltz called Psycho-Cybernetics.
- They haven’t got time! This may come as a shock to you… All of us only have 24 hours in each and every day. Why do some people get loads done in a day when others simply seem to struggle to do anything productive? It’s not about time management, it’s about task management. Those of us that get a lot done in our 24 hours tend to prioritise everything into a list and work on the things that make the biggest difference to our lives. Watching Eastenders or doing something to make my business better? I know what I’d choose…
- They don’t give a toss about a cause bigger than themselves! Bob Burg has written a great book called “It’s not about you!” This sums up the purpose of life for me, life is all about how we can contribute to the greater good and focus on how we can help others less fortunate than ourselves. A lot of mental illness comes from being self-obsessed and in a lot of cases the route to getting better is to start helping other people. Just think, if each of us could help just one person each day what a better place this world would be? If you can’t help one person each day, start with helping one person each month, then each week. Whichever way you look at it, life would be so much better if we helped each other instead of using each other. A quote from the Dalai Lama “People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used!”
There you have it, four tips for you and your business;
- Do your press ups in your life and business!
- Stop worrying about what other people think about you!
- Task management not time management.
- It’s not about YOU!
To the people that I have nominated for the 22 press up challenge and have taken it on thank you, I really appreciate you helping make a difference in this world.
To those that have done nothing with it I’d say this “You can make a difference or you can make an excuse!” What will you choose?
My new book Soft STUFF for business! How to turn soft skills into hard cash! Is coming in the autumn. If you would like to pre-order it please click here!
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