How to make sense of life… Even in business.
by Kevin D. Crone
Sometimes it’s tough to make sense of life, especially in business.
People – all of us, often experience struggling times. Our childhoods aren’t perfect. Our college or university period can be stressful. Getting married, raising kids, worrying about kids and money, keeping relationships strong – all of it is taxing and it can shape how we see the world. We can become consumed by trying to make it as young adults and trying to be happier as older ones. We have ups and downs in business and in our careers. All of this is real. And if we don’t watch it, we can add our emotional (not real) interpretations to it all and, inadvertently, add more problems. We can lose hope for our dreams, become dulled, and lack enthusiasm for what we do. We may set less meaningful goals, become selfish and feel entitled. If our careers aren’t star-like we can become disappointed and cynical.
Unknowingly, we can then spread our disappointments to others through our conversations and negatively impact their attitudes. We can do this to even those we love at home, and care about at work, and socially.
Many people relate to being told at one time or another that because of the current reality around them they can’t do this or that, and it stays with them. Most successful people I know have had all the same experiences but some how stay passionate about what they want. They sacrifice over and over, fail often but stay focused on what they want and always somehow keep moving forward. They find inspiration from somewhere and get back up, innovate or work harder, stay persistent even though all things around them can look too tough. Winston Churchill defined success as being able to move from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.
We just watched the movie, “I Can Only Imagine”. It’s a true story of a man (Bart Millard) with an abusive, toxic father. His father constantly told him he couldn’t do anything. Little did his father know that his son could sing. He was inspired by a high school teacher to get in the school musical production of Oklahoma. A Nashville scout saw him, inspired him and tried to sell him in Nashville and failed. Over and over he was told he wasn’t good enough. The producer said, “You just have too much bad stuff inside you and the music you sing isn’t you, but I believe in you.” He advised, “Why not write and sing about your experiences and help and inspire others?” He did and wrote the number one Christian hit of all time called, “I Can Only Imagine.” Go to YouTube and listen to it once. It is amazing. His band (Mercy Me) is famous and still going.
This story reminded me of when I was 21 years old and my original mission of wanting to inspire Canadians through Dale Carnegie’s great work. Then I had to become a business man, then an organizational development guy, then a business consultant and then a CEO – owner with many employees. I went through all the ups and downs, although not as serious or as sad as Bart’s. It reminded me how I kept going. How I read something inspiring everyday and hung around builders of people, organizations and families, people who always took responsibility for their own attitude and success. Not the naysayers and the disappointed. These great mentors were always there for me during the tough times, recessions and all.
It reminded me that we should be doing what we’re passionate about. We should stay the course, work hard at it, and constantly find inspiration that gives us hope, keeps us in the game and attracts opportunities.
Am I still seeking out inspiration daily or am I letting too much negative and destructive noise in?
Have a great week!
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
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