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Your But's Too Big!

Jim Hinshaw
Contributing Writer
Improvement Professional, President & Sales

Just finished a great book (Your But’s Too Big) written by pastor Travis Hearn from the Impact Church in lovely Scottsdale AZ.  Full disclosure, May and I have been to his church many times, but his book has applications for all of us, no matter where you are in life.  His message, we can do amazing things in life, but…

That is his message, your but’s too big.  You begin to believe it yourself, and if you believe you can succeed in sales, but the economy, but the weather, but the time of year, but your family situation; see where this is leading?  He starts the first chapter with an analysis of the word “worry”.  It comes from an old English word that means to strangle or choke.  Later on it came to be used to “assault verbally” and later “to be troubled or uneasy”.  No wonder it describes the torment so well, and yet, in reflection, we bring this misery on ourselves.  Worry and the stress it brings can cause dementia, physical problems of all kinds, and many consider it a complete waste of time.  One study followed a group of people who had recorded their worries, at the end of the study, 85% found that the very thing they worried about never occurred.   At all.  Mark Twain said, “My life has been filled with calamities, some of which actually happened”.

Young children are sometimes frightened; they imagine the shadow of a branch of a tree just outside their window is a monster trying to grab them.  We carry that with us thru life, imagining a financial issue, job change or health problem will get us.  When the shadows of the unknown begin to bother you, remember, they are only there because of a source of light.  Think on the light, not the shadow.  Look for the light so the shadows fall behind you.

Another opportunity in our minds is what do others think of us.  Actually it is a huge time waste to dwell on what others may be thinking about us, they usually are thinking about themselves more than us.  So Travis has two words for us: Who Cares!   Another trap of thinking what others are thinking about you is the tendency to compare yourself to others.  Don’t.  I can remember as a kid, the days after Christmas, we would gather around the candy store and compare what we got for Christmas.  We all wanted to show we got bigger, more expensive, more exclusive gifts than the others.  Not a sustainable model.  When we compare ourselves to others, one of two things happen, either we think better of ourselves or we think less of ourselves.

So what do we do?  Do your best.  For yourself and your team, your business, your family.  Forget what others are doing or have done, just measure your results and continue to improve.  Key is to measure.  And improve.  In the Olympics, one of the elements most athletes look at is their personal best.  If they do better than they ever have before, they have raised the bar to a new level, even if they did not get the Gold.  Understand, Gold is the goal, but a great effort that results in a personal best is still worth celebrating.  So if your company sets new records in sales, profits, customer satisfaction, celebrate those wins.  You may not be the biggest in town, but if you have done your best, that is a good thing.

Travis has a great quote for us: Proverbs 4:23, Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts.  So keep your mind on the positive aspects of your job, your relationships, your life!  Dwelling on the negative is not positive.  Bob Richards (men’s pole vaulter, ’48, ’52, and 56 summer Olympics) says: You are what you think, you are what you go for, you are what you do!    While I am quoting famous people, Henry Ford said: Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t-you’re right.

So this year, take a hard look at where you ended up and are starting from.  Did you achieve your goals in sales, profits, customer satisfaction, referrals, or any of the other measurements we judge our businesses by.  Set the bar higher.  And concentrate on the end goal.  Don’t get fooled by your mind saying things like: well, we could do ______ next year, but if the economy…, but if we don’t have a strong winter/summer/fall…, but if yada yada yada.  Don’t fall into the trap of waiting on the weather, this year resolve to make your own weather.  You can quote me!

Thanks for listening, we’ll talk later.

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