By Casey Grey
Some things are easy to measure and track.
If you have decided to begin playing the piano, it's easy to see your progress. If you play baseball, it's easy to follow your stats and see the areas that are changing. If you lift weights, it's easy to track if you are getting stronger. If you invest your money, you can see it go up and down.
But what about things like your emotional strength? Or your parenting skills? Or your character? Or your leadership skills? Or your relationship with your spouse.
Often, the things that are most important are the hardest to track and since we can't track them we don't give them the attention they need.
Tracking is important, especially in business, but it's not everything.
When I was a kid, my step dad ran his business from our home. I remember coming home from school and regularly having to sit patiently at his desk while he finished a phone call before I could ask him whatever I needed to ask him. It was likely 2 minutes but it seemed like an eternity at that age.
Now it feels as though days, weeks and months fly by. Knowing that reminds me to continue to exercise that skill I was learning as a kid.
Easier said than done (just like when I was a kid).
I want the nice house, fancy car and regular trips down south now. I want this blog and podcast to help millions of people today. I want The Conscious Builder Show to have millions of subscribers now. I want Younion to have thousands of members benefiting from all the amazing classes and programs now.
But we're not there yet.
And that's okay.
Everything is happening exactly as it's supposed to. The universe is working for me. The universe will give me what I'm ready for.
It's my job to make sure I'm prepared.
And so the journey (and my training) continues...
P.S. Last night we celebrated the journey so far with The Conscious Builder team. Here are some facts/stats from 2019 that I shared with the team to show we ARE making an impact:
On January 8 of 2019 I committed to a Daily Blog and I kept that commitment. 365 days of a posting a blog every single day!
Not only have I kept it but I will continue to write every day. I will commit to another year and I suspect it will continue on after that.
But that’s not my commitment for 2020...
Today, January 8, 2020, I am committing to something new...
I’m committing to a daily podcast.
I will make sure that everyday you will hear my voice (if you choose to subscribe to Lean In with Casey Grey).
Just like when I committed to writing daily, I am doing this because I want to be better than I was yesterday (or in this case, last year). I want to become a better speaker and storyteller so that I can help people find that inspiration inside of them and release it!
I said it last year and I’ll say it again. New Year's Resolutions are useless unless you are committed.
What are you going to commit to today?
How often do you go out and look for feedback?
How often do you ask for feedback?
Do you only ask when you know it's going to be positive or are you open to the negative?
In reality we're constantly getting feedback.
We get feedback from our bodies in terms of how we feel. If we're fat, that's an obvious sign that we're not eating healthy. If we feel sluggish or have a foggy brain, that could be a sign of lack of sleep or also not eating healthy. If we have have pain in our joints, that could also be related to food or lack of exercise. If we feel anxious, perhaps it's a sign that we need to get something off our mind. Whatever it is, it's up to you to listen to the feedback and do something about it.
We get signs from our kids. They are sponges and products of their environments. If my son starts to be rude, get frustrated or show any signs of inappropriate behavior, the first place I look to is myself. Did he learn this from me? If so, it's a sign I need to change. If it's not me, perhaps it's a sign he needs to be in a different environment. If your kid is hyperactive, perhaps you need to cut back on the sugar he eats. If your kid is showing signs of aggression, perhaps he needs to watch less TV. If your kid is not listening, perhaps she just needs some more attention. Once again this is all useful feedback.
We also get signs in other areas of our lives like our careers, our relationships and our finances. If your career is not going as planned, perhaps you are in the wrong field or working for the wrong company. If your partner is being distant, perhaps they need a little more attention. If you don't have the money you want, perhaps you're spending too much in the wrong places or perhaps you're not delivering enough value. The list goes on...
But it's not all bad. If you have lots of money or your kids are fantastic or your career is going great or you're in the best shape of your life, that means you're doing something right. Figure out what's working and do more of that!
Just don't ignore the other signs.
Keep in mind that it never stops though. Things are changing all the time. It's the natural way.
Be open to feedback and go out looking for it. You will be better because of it.
I know I need to eat healthier.
I know I need to exercise more.
I know I need to spend more time with my spouse and kids.
I know I work too much.
I know I need to sleep more.
I know I need to read more.
I know I need to meditate more.
I know I need to quit my job.
I know I need to start this new business.
I know, I know, I know...
Knowing is not enough. You need to take action.
What are you actually going to DO this year? Make 2020 a year of action.
Brian and I are starting the year off with a bunch of recording today. Watch out 2020! Here we come!
2020 will be a year of focus. 20/20 vision so to speak.
Focus is a powerful skill although it needs to be directed properly. If you are focused on the wrong things, the outcome may not be what you were hoping for.
"What's the one thing I can do that will make everything else obsolete or easier?" is a good question I learned from The One Thing. It gets your brain thinking about what's most important as oppose to what's easiest.
Another way of thinking of this is in terms of energy. Here's the analogy of the field mice and the antelope by Newt Gingrich from Tools of Titans:
"A lion is fully capable of capturing, killing, and eating a field mouse. But it turns out that the energy required to do so exceeds the caloric content of the mouse itself. So a lion that spent its day hunting and eating field mice would slowly starve to death. A lion can’t live on field mice. A lion needs antelope. Antelope are big animals. They take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride. A lion can live a long and happy life on a diet of antelope. The distinction is important. Are you spending all your time and exhausting all your energy catching field mice? In the short term it might give you a nice, rewarding feeling. But in the long run you’re going to die. So ask yourself at the end of the day, “Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?"
What are you going to focus on today?
Over this past year, writing every day has been a powerful experience and something I plan on continuing for the foreseeable future.
As we role into 2020 I'm contemplating what I would like to commit to for my next personal journey.
Something I would like to get better at is storytelling. A good storyteller can captivate an audience. They can get your attention and keep it. They get you to WANT more.
Perhaps I will commit to one podcast episode a week where I share something powerful. Where it forces me to become a better storyteller and ultimately a better speaker.
When things are simple, the mind says "that can't be right." It has trouble trusting things that are simple. It wants an explanation.
A tree, for example, needs good soil, water and sun to grow. Simple on the surface but complex when you dig into how it does this. Do I need to know the complex workings of a tree to understand and trust the process? No, but the mind wants it.
When I think of my life, simplicity comes from my intuition. Deep down I always know what I need to do and what is right for me in that moment. But then my mind gets in the way and tries to rationalize everything and turns it into a complex mess that takes me off track.
My heart and gut have never steered me in the wrong direction. My mind on the other hand... Well... Let's say I'm still working on fixing those complex workings.
Where are you adding complexity to your life that, if you listened to your soul, would be simple?
"There is a principle of Mathematics, but none of error; there is a principle of health, but none of disease; there is a principle of truth, but none of dishonesty; there is a principle of light, but none of darkness, and there is a principle of abundance, but none of poverty."
-- from "The Master Key System" by Charles F. Haanel
If something is not working for you, perhaps you are not following the principles.
The world is full of labels.
Passive House, Energy Star, R-2000, LEED Certified, FSC Certified, CSA Approved and HVI Certified are ones that come up often for me in the construction world.
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Paleo, Raw and Flexitarian are all labels for different types of diets (and I know there's more).
Mental disorders are a whole other game. There's a 3" thick book called the DSM-5 that explains all the shit that's "wrong" with us.
I'm not a fan of labels but I understand and appreciate the importance they play in our society.
As somebody who primarily eats a vegan and gluten-free diet, I appreciate seeing those labels.
As somebody who builds healthy and sustainable homes, I see the value in having a third party certify a home and prove that it was built to a certain standard.
When labeled with a mental disorder, it can be beneficial in the sense that the person may gain access to additional resources and realize that they are not alone.
The issue is that most of us have no idea what the labels mean.
If I were to show the general population the Passive House label, chances are they would not know what it meant. If I were to show people at a Green Building Show that same label, most people would likely recognise it but I guarantee you a lot of them would have no idea what was required to get that label.
People who do not put a lot of attention into the food they put into their bodies won't necessarily know what vegan is or where gluten comes from or what foods contain what. Personally, I'm still not sure what a paleo diet is...
Since I have no education in the mental disorder world, when I hear somebody is labeled with something specific I have to do research if I want to understand what that means (a.k.a. I ask my wife because she does have formal education here).
The other important factor to understand is that labels often only account for one aspect.
A Passive House does not mean it was built with healthy products (it puts the attention on performance).
A LEED Certified house does not mean it is energy efficient (it puts a lot of attention on materials).
A Vegan diet does not mean it's healthy (refined sugar and vegetable oil is vegan).
A diagnosis of ADHD does not mean the person is not smart or can not focus (most entrepreneurs I know would fall under this category).
Don't get caught up in the labels. Although they tell us important information, it's not the whole story.