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Changing Gears

March 28th of last year was the last time I visited a client in person. It’s March again. Actually, it’s really April again.

Inertia is a wild thing. When we’re humming along, it doesn’t take much to maintain and keep up. And when we’re stopped — or still — it doesn’t take much to stay like that either. But overcoming stillness to get moving, or overcoming the energy of motion in order to get to a state of stillness… that is something quite different.

Remember when this whole thing slowed us down a year ago? So weird. And so scary. But then somehow… less taxing? Maybe even relaxing? Inconvenient but yet convenient? And slower. Even though separated, also connected. But certainly slower. Now we may be starting to feel something a little different again. The ice has been melting. The engines are on and humming again.

I have been asked by many people — many in this meeting — do we have to give up the good things we’ve gained? How do we hold onto practices, people, presence? How do we keep the new and virtual clients?

I’m happy to dig into more practical ideas at another time. But this morning, rather than attempt some kind of top secret formula, here are three basic concepts to consider. Three ideas to leverage in whatever you’re up to.

First of all, the most fundamental and crucial thing to remember is that it is all ultimately up to you. Yes, there will be new trends. But whether or not you float along with that current — a little bit, a lot, or at all — that’s on you. And me.

The next thing… this is a big one… no matter what your plan, no matter where you are heading, live in the present moment. Be. Here. Now. The idea of “catch up,” is completely “made up.” Yes, inside a particular project or goal, there can be a specific timeline. And if you get sidelined then you fall behind your target. But other than that narrow context, the game of “catch up” that most people play is an illusion. It’s a trap. Don’t fall into it.

You are here. And you live toward the future over there. Period, the end. Wherever you “should” be or were “supposed to” be, is a fictional narrative in our heads.

Now if you want to talk timelines in a way that will energize and empower you, then let’s talk about leveraging the group. Because you better believe that there is someone on this Zoom call right now who used to be where you are, and is currently where you are dying to be.

You might even know who it is…

Who are you scared to talk to? Bingo.

Who do you think is too busy for you?

Givers Gain. Givers also need those to give to. So ask. Be clear — know what you are asking for. Don’t have them do the work for you. Be specific. But do make a request. This is a responsive group. But even if that person says no, you can still feel great that you made an ask. It will be infinitely less difficult the next time. And if they say yes and are able to help, well… have you ever hit a home run? Have you ever gotten something eighty percent off? It feels pretty good.

You’ll be amazed at the horsepower under Elevate’s hood. But you got to lift it up and take a look!

And my final suggestion for the day is, communicate. That means listening. Really listening — not just waiting for your turn to be brilliant again. But it does also mean talking. Not only just filling the space. But being aware of your impact. Your tone, and your content. And what you’re intending to accomplish by speaking.

When you open your mouth, what is the effect you are having on the person or people in front of you?

What’s the effect you want to have?

So remember, it’s up to you — the one thing we can control is ourselves. Plan for the future but live in the present. And, your most powerful instruments are your ability to speak and listen. Do both with purpose and your life will change.

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