What is going best in your business? When I ask executives this question, more often than not, they stammer and say something like, “Hmm…that’s a really good question, uhm, er, hmmm… I think it’s…”
Conversely, the floodgates open when I ask, “What is not going well in your business right now?” Almost everyone has immediate, lengthy and seemingly definitive answers to this question.
Now you and I both know there are things going well and many, many things that have gone well over the course of the year. However, in business as in life, we often find ourselves focusing on what’s missing rather than what actually exists. We focus on what we need to change, and we forget to pause and consider all the good things we have in place. The good things don’t need to be changed, but instead need to be replicated.
This week, why not take a look back over your own year and begin to implement these two practices that high achievers regularly make time for?
1. Reflect on Success
Successful people know why they are successful. They are intentional in their actions and don’t leave them to chance. They take time each day to reflect on what is going well and identify why. It’s proven that focusing on the positives can dramatically improve your happiness, your energy level and provide a foundation for continued success. It creates space to be grateful instead of stressed out. We’re all familiar with the phrase “winning breeds winning” and it sure does – if you know why you’re winning. Here are some questions to get you in the winning frame of mind:
What customer(s) have you really impacted? How did it make a difference in their lives?
What growth have you made in your career? How has that benefited you?
Who are the people on your team? How have they helped you build the business?
What is going best in your business and why?
What processes or technology have you implemented that made you more effective and easier to do business with?
What new habits have you created? How have those improved your results?
What experiences or opportunities have you taken advantage of that have had a positive impact on your business?
Pick a subset of these questions to ask yourself every day or create a couple of your own. Spend five minutes taking inventory on the successes of the day – both big and small. Journal, meditate, or simply make space to think about the good. You’ll find both your happiness level and your achievements accelerating!
2. Reflect on Failures
Now here’s the important thing. Take the time to reflect on what didn’t go well, (i.e. the failures), and you must reflect on them in a way that turns them into “successful failures”. In other words, identify the lesson you learned, which ultimately makes the failure a success in the end. Ask yourself these questions:
What obstacles did I face? How is my life different as a result? What can I learn from this?
What poor decision(s) did I make? What can I, or did I, learn that helped me in future decisions?
What was I too afraid to do? Knowing what I know now, how will I act differently?
What did I learn the hard way? How can I teach others based on the experiences I have had?
You can’t physically go back in time and change the scenario, but you can magically go back in time through your thoughts and reflections and identify the lesson you learned. Confucius has been identified as saying:
“Learning without reflection is a waste.Reflection without learning is dangerous.”
Sara Blakely, CEO and founder of SPANX is one of many high achievers widely known for learning from failures. Here is a short video on how she was raised to seek out failures in order to grow and eventually find great success.
As the calendar prepares to roll over to 2020, it is a great time to begin new habits. The habit of Reflection should be on top of your list if you desire success and happiness. Use the motto “Hindsight is 2020” as your reminder.
At Butler Street, our mission is to help companies and their people grow. We work with organizations to help them scale and repeat their successes and learn not only from their failures, but from our experiences and those we have captured through our work in the industry. Contact us to help your 2020 become one of high achievement.