Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just One Thing

Recently, I was reading through the Harvard Business Review and came upon a blog post called To Change Effectively, Change Just One Thing . I know, the Harvard Business Review sounds like it might, at most, inspire a giant yawn, but it’s actually full of fascinating and surprisingly easy to read tidbits. Take a look sometime, you’ll probably get hooked just like I did.

This particular article began by focusing on how changing just one thing about one’s diet can lead to significant and sustained weight loss. Now, I don’t really need to lose weight, but I am interested in learning and improving as much as I can, so I kept reading. And I was glad that I did, because the author then went on to discuss how the “change one thing” principle can also be applied to business and to life in general.

That got me thinking about the one thing I could change right now that would impact my life. 

I’ve been dealing with a challenging situation for a while. It involves someone that I’ve done business with for many years, who seems to always have their hand out, asking for more and more. I finally came to the difficult conclusion that it was not an equitable situation, and that I was being taken advantage of.

I’m a giver by nature – it feels good and it attracts people of a like mind. However, I’ve found that it also, unfortunately, attracts the takers. So, I’ve had to take a really hard look at a life lesson that’s been staring me in the face – how to discern between those who share my love of giving and those who merely take advantage of it. This is not an easy thing to do! I would much rather give without reservations and have life be nothing but rainbows and unicorns. 

The thing is, though, closing my eyes to the truth doesn’t shield me from the reality of that truth.

The situation I am currently dealing with helped me choose the one thing I can change right now – and that is, to be discerning in my dealings with people. If I find myself making excuses for someone’s behavior, or when I notice them acting in their own best interest, above being honorable and fair, then I know that the time has come for me to stand up for myself.

I definitely come from a place of abundance, and that is not going to change.  It’s who I am and I love living in a world where there’s plenty for everyone. But, going forward, I will be sure to also extend my generosity toward myself – if a situation doesn’t feel right, I have a right to stand up for myself.

I pondered this decision for the better part of the day, and, while I knew that it was the right thing for me to do, I also felt that it was a bit of a downer. And then, as these things often happen, the answer came to me in a form that seemed totally unrelated. I was writing a friend about something I remember my daddy saying to me: 

Find something to laugh about in every hard situation; it does the heart good.

Now, that, I can do! So, I’m going to work at laughing more each day. Thanks to my dad, the solution was there all along. Of course, it’s up to me to actually use the knowledge he gave me, and though I might find it tough to do from time to time, just having such a simple plan of action already makes me feel happier and more empowered.

And then, I kept thinking about the second half of that article, about how this “one thing” principle can be used in business. I’m already starting to brew some ideas about what we can do at E3Live to make things even better for those of us who work there and for the people we serve - our customers and clients. I’m actually energized and excited about what ideas we can come up with.

So, I guess my “one thing” has really become three things. But, I think that’s how life is. Anytime you put your thoughts and energies toward a certain direction, what you focus on grows and expands beyond your wildest dreams.

What about you? 

Is there one thing you can change right now that will take you where you want to go?

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