How to Get Results
Last Update: Nov 25, 2016
Ever feel like this guy?
Sysiphus was a self-absorbed dude who managed to get on the wrong side of Zeus.
Bad move. Zeus sentenced him to roll a boulder up a mountain for all eternity. Every time Sysiphus would roll it close to the top, the boulder would roll back to the bottom and he'd have to start over again.
For all eternity.
Maybe, and I'm just saying maybe,
You're working your tail off.
Doing everything you're supposed to and more.
But revenue is down or non-existent. Results seem like a dream.
You're rolling that boulder up, but it keeps rolling back.
How about taking a little lesson from what Sysiphus doesn't appear to be doing (I'm assuming he's still at it somewhere – for all eternity).
Try celebrating the little accomplishments.
Work just on what's in front of you.
Let go of expectations, i.e., results.
And enjoy it.
I know, I know.
We're in this for profit.
It's a business.
There's work to do and we expect results.
But Sysiphus' problem wasn't the physical battering of pushing the boulder up the mountain. His real punishment – Zeus was clever – was the mental one. The futility of rolling the boulder up again and again and again and again and ultimately achieving nothing.
Joseph Goldstein, in Breath by Breath, talks about exactly how our minds deal with this kind of thing. In the moment right after we feel we've completed something, our mind expects a reward.
A pat on the back. Money. Eternal peace of mind. Something.
And then it serves up another goal. The next chore. The next hurdle.
The boulder rolls back down the mountain.
All too familiar?
We want to think that what we're doing matters. We look for engagement, praise, validation.
Except this doesn't always come.
And we want to think that at some point we're finished. We've arrived. We have results.
Except once we're done a post, or a page or a blog entry we know we're not done. There's going to be another post, another page, more research to do, more people to help, and on and on.
So how do we deal with that fact and actually get some results?
Celebrate your accomplishments.
And do it frequently. Daily if possible. Set achievable, daily or half-daily mini goals – say, first draft of a post, keyword search done, research done - and give yourself something when you finish. A walk. A snack. A car. You decide. And enjoy it. Then...
Dive into the next small thing – and enjoy it for what it is.
Whether it's researching or writing or building your site or helping someone in the community or outlining training or developing a product, jump back in. Work on just what's in front of you. That's it. Just that. The best defence against dreading all the work to do is to be engaged in what you're doing, moment to moment, for the work's sake. Without thinking about results.
That's why it's so important to work in a niche you love.
And as hard as it is to do sometimes, it's the act of being present – enjoying what you're doing for its own sake – that releases the mind's craving for results.
And frees you up to create.
It's a mental game.
It always is a mental game.
You've set the course. You know the work you need to do.
If you work on just what's in front of you – if you can dive in and enjoy the work – work will magically get done.
And the results?
Leave that to the Mythical powers.
They evidently have their reasons.
I'd love to hear what works for you. What do you think?
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