By David Oswald — As a real estate investor, one area in my life that has improved has been the amount of time that this particular business affords me to reflect upon other aspects of my life. In other words, it has given me an opportunity to actually look at the decisions I’ve made in the past or beliefs that I may have held pertaining to both personal and business and see them in a different light. During this process of reflecting, I’ve changed my views on certain things which used to be of major importance. In a previous article, I spoke on the value of truly preparing for a sales call and how many times that preparation will determine the result of one’s efforts. However, I began to think about why preparation and thinking something through all the way to the end doesn’t always occur even when we may know that it is an essential part of success.
I came up with a couple reasons as to why the thinking side of the business often takes a backseat. The primary reason is that we live in a world that consistently emphasizes being busy or doing ‘things’ as the answer to success. I speak to people who tell me that they are available to me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and that their phone is always on. Now besides the fact that it usually isn’t the truth and they aren’t available like they may have said, I began to think about why anyone would want to claim such a statement anyway. That doesn’t sound at all like something worth aspiring to, it sounds a bit boring and enslaving. On the other hand, I can’t tell you how many times I’ll speak to someone who I may have left a message for and they get back to me a few days later literally sounding out of breath and saying how things at work have been “crazy.” It’s become such a convenient excuse that we often just accept it with a grain of salt and get into the conversation.
By the way, if we are being totally honest here, you’ll never hear me say I was too “crazy” or busy with work to take or return a call. On the rare occasions I don’t return a call within the day, it is for a good reason. We as businessmen and women may even fall into the trap of believing that the harder one works, the more our life will eventually feel “successful.” But feeling “successful” is not going to come from doing extremely well financially if it means that other aspects of life are suffering such as family, health or spiritual matters. And oftentimes, working harder or spending more hours on work does not necessarily equate to even a better financial situation so that elusive feeling of “success” continues to be a carrot as we drown in 60 hour work weeks.
A second reason as to why thinking takes a back seat is because it is hard to measure. We want to be caught up in things in which we can say we physically did something or in which we can check off on a list that something was actually completed. Well, that just is not the case with self examination or meditation. In fact, slowing down and taking a hard look at some weak areas of your business or personal life is oftentimes far more difficult and even more time consuming than checking off another 20 tasks completed for the day. However, once this becomes a regular habit, it will be something that you look forward to and it will restore and solidify true success rather than just having that temporary high that comes from being busy. Think the game, don’t just play it.
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