Zig Ziglar recently asked me (through an article he wrote):
“Do you believe there is something you can specifically do in the next seven days that would make your personal, family and business life worse?”
Yeah, I thought. I could drink all the wine/eat all the chocolate, ignore my children, and lie to clients. That would be a good start.
Then, I could give in to the urge to read Facebook all day and channel my creative energy into posting pithy sayings and funny pictures (I love doing that!).
Mostly, I could hide in my house and not push myself to meet new people, do my taxes, write, cook, or try. That would certainly damage all three areas of my life.
Why do you ask, Zig?
Instead of answering me, he asked another question.
“OK, next question: Do you honestly believe there is something you can do in the next seven days that would make your personal, family and business life better?”
The first time he asked me that, I got the answer wrong. I started thinking of what daily disciplines I could employ to make my life better over the next ten or twenty years.
“No, he said, I asked what you could do in the next seven days.”
That question made my heart race. He’s asking for action. Big changes. Hard decisions. Feeling uncomfortable. Starting today.
I started with three actions:
1. I found an accountability partner – Writing and marketing my own business is so easy to put off in favor of all of the easier/urgent tasks on my list, but the truth is that writing and marketing are the things that will help my business grow more than anything else. I now meet with a colleague bi-weekly to establish goals and to hold each other accountable for achieving them. It’s like I hired a boss for myself. Boss me, Accountability Partner!
2. I put the iPhone down – Ugh. I love reading the news (traditional and social). I confess to looking at my phone throughout the evening while my kids are home. “Mommy! Put your phone down!” Do I really want their childhood memories to be of me with my face in my phone? I’m putting it away in the evening so I can show up for my children. Maybe they’ll remember it when they are teenagers and the tables are turned.
3. I planned to take a class – I’ve been recycling the same old wisdom from the same old people. It’s time to be vulnerable and find a new teacher. For me, that means taking an improv class from someone different here in Austin. I want to hear how I’m blocking teammates or how I can contribute better to a scene.
Zig listened patiently to my plan, and said, “Think about it. You can do something about your future. To dramatically improve your odds at making it better, you must accept that responsibility.”
I’m responsible now. It’s on the record.
Con claro: What are you going to change in the next seven days?