By Casey Grey
Questions are powerful.
Want a better life? Ask yourself better questions.
But even when you ask yourself questions, be aware of the underlying purpose.
Are you genuinely interested and curious or are you trying to prove that you are right?
Our ego does not want to be wrong so naturally we ask questions in a way that gives us the answer we want, whether we're asking ourselves questions or somebody else.
The real power in asking questions is not about being right, it's about being open (unless you are a lawyer defending your client).
It's a necessary step in order to get to what you want quicker.
My wife and I are looking for a cottage. Beyond the budget, we have priorities.
Without priorities, how do you know where to focus your time and energy? There are hundreds of cottages for sale right now but only a few that meet these requirements.
If you fail to prioritize, expect to waste lots of time and energy for everybody involved.
Everyday we trust without realizing it.
We trust that the person on the other side of the road won't come into your lane.
We trust that the food was prepared properly.
We trust that our emails are working properly.
We trust that our kids are in good hands.
We think we have control, but we don't.
The more we trust, the better our lives will be.
Trust in yourself and your abilities.
Trust in your team.
Trust in the process.
Trust that everything happens for a reason.
Unexpected things throw me off my game and ultimately make me feel like I did not accomplish anything. I adjust but I feel "off".
Yesterday was one of those days. I had things to get done but the day did not go as planned.
I planned on starting the day with a short workout with a group of people at 6:30am. After the workout, the plan was to meet with my friend at the coffee shop, get some financial stuff done and continue working on some website updates up until my meeting at 11:00am (I also had a phone call booked in the middle of that).
After my 11:00am meeting I was jumping to some project management stuff for the team which would take me to my 2:00pm meeting. Then it would be some emails before I headed to pick up Sullivan at 3:30pm. Then some more emails, dinner time, cutting the grass, bath time and back to the computer to make sure important stuff was completed and the next day was planned.
My day did not play out like that...
My day started out with a flat tire...
That basically through off my morning so I did not get the financials completed before my 11:00am meeting. The phone call before was also rescheduled so I had to rearrange some stuff.
My 11:00am meeting went almost 2 hours which cut into my project management time but I was not done my financials task from the morning so I had to continue that first.
Then my 2:00pm showed up a little early...
Overall the meetings were great and I got the most important stuff done but I did not get as much done as I "planned for".
Yesterday was another reminder that life happens.
Planning is important but planning for the unexpected is just as important (especially for my mindset).
I wouldn't plan a 10 minute layover for my flight. I would leave time just in case the first flight was delayed.
What if instead of trying to convince people you are right, you were open to being wrong?
How would that change your interactions with people?
How would that change your opinion of the situation?
What would you learn?
Would you ask more questions?
Would you get better answers?
Leave your ego at the door and see what happens. You have nothing to lose... Except your ego that is.
Sometimes I go through my days wondering why I "have to do" certain things.
The truth is I signed up for all of them whether I like them or not.
When Natasha and I decided to get married, we signed up to being with each other through the thick and thin. We're there to support and love each other no matter what. Not just when it's easy. We signed up to taking care of each other when we're sick, arguments, laughter, road trips, amazing vacations, questionable vacations, foot massages, long conversations, movie nights and everything in between.
When Natasha and I decided to have a kid, we signed up to parenting for life. We signed up to raising and taking responsibility for a human being. Playing with toys, planning family trips, sports games, biking to the park, reading bedtime stories, taking him to school, taking him to music lessons, cooking meals, a million and one questions and whatever comes next...
When I started my business, I signed up to dealing with people. Leading them., following them, learning from them, hiring them, firing them, selling to them, paying them, talking to them and everything else people may need or want. I signed up to late nights, early mornings, hard decisions, good times, bad times, freedom, demands, pressure, headaches, times with lots of money, times with no money and the potential to make big change.
When I purchased my 1977 Volkswagen Van, I signed up to good times, frustrating times, lots of smiles from other people, breaking down on the side of the road, oil leaks, driving slowly and great memories.
The point is... I am doing what I'm doing because I made the decision.
Did I know what I was getting into with each one of these decisions? No.
Would I change anything from the past? No.
I am who I am today because of decisions I have made.
Before you complain about what you have to do today, ask yourself...
"Did I sign up for this?"
And when you're loving life... You signed up for that too :)
Technology is great... When it works.
Relationships are amazing... when they're going well.
Business is fun... When sales are good.
Driving my 1977 VW Van is a blast... When it's running well.
Writing is liberating... When I feel like writing.
The reality is that:
Technology will have glitches.
Relationships will have hard times.
Business is not easy.
My Van will break down.
Writing is often a pain.
But knowing this stuff will not prevent me from experiencing the great joys I get from each of these items. It only makes it better when things go well.
And without the bad, I would not know the good.
Yesterday, I took the scenic route to my aunts house to celebrate her 70th birthday. It was just me in the van so I was not in a rush. The weather was perfect and I was in the mood for cruising.
I rolled through a little town called Tweed and stopped at a bakery called "By The Way" to grab a coffee.
When I came out of the coffee shop, there was a mother taking a picture of her daughter by the van. I offered to "pop the top" for their photos (which I think is hilarious) and of course they were a little embarrassed that I walked up at that point but it lead to a nice conversation.
After they were done, I sat down on the side of the van where the sliding door opens up and pulled out my phone to google where I could find a flower shop.
As I zoomed in on the map, I realized I was sitting directly (and I really mean directly) in front of a flower shop.
Sometimes in life, all you need to do is open your eyes. What you're looking for may be right in front of you.
When you were a kid, playing hide-and-go-seek, what was more fun? Searching for your friend or finding your friend?
Once you found your friend, what would happen?
"Found you! Your turn!"
And it would start all over again.
Yes, finding your friend was a burst of adrenaline but the fun was in the search. The anticipation of the unknown.
Achieving the goal is only temporary fulfillment.
Lately I have been turning away more projects than ever. In fact, I just came from a meeting from which I said "no" to the project and instead referred the individual to 5 people who could help.
It's easy to look at sale as a dollar sign but looking at it as a single transaction is short sighted.
We have developed a scorecard for our company for which we rank the person with 5 questions:
If the score does not add up to the score we want, saying "no" in a polite way is the best thing we can do for everybody.
Do we still help them? Absolutely! That's why I passed on 5 contacts to the person I met with this morning.
It's not about not helping people, it's about staying focused on the mission. And saying NO is a must to stay focused.