performance

The Art & Science of Living a Great Life

As a coach, talking to people is my job.  I talk to a lot of people in any given week between working with my clients, speaking engagements, training events, and prospecting for new business.  

 

I also have a life outside of work where, again, I talk to a lot of people.  Friends, family, and all the people in between that I interact with on a daily basis.  

 

During these interactions I’m always listening to how people relate to themselves and the world around them.  This is a practice I’ve learned to help me best serve my clients, and it’s also quite interesting to notice in social settings as well.  

 

The bottom line is that people just want to be happy.  We want to be happy with the way we spend our time and with whom we spend it.  We want to be happy with who we are and what we have.  We want a happy experience of life.  

 

Now, this is a very simple way to explain life which is a pretty complicated thing, but bare with me here.  Certainly we can agree that life is better when we feel happy and worse when we feel sad, angry or resigned.

 

Ask yourself this question: Will I be happy tomorrow?

 

Out of 100 people who are asked this question, I’d be willing to bet, 97+ of them would answer: It depends.  Depends on what?  Well, it depends on a million things.

 

Life By Design vs Dependant On Circumstances

 

What if I told you that it didn’t have to depend?  What if you could be happy because you say so?  Would that be something you might be interested in?  What would that make possible for you?

 

We’re bombarded every day with thousands of things that could potentially influence our mood.  Conversations with other people, media - marketing messages, news, television, stuff happening - sickness, hardship, and even death.  Let’s call all of these things circumstances.

 

Look, there are always things that happen that will cause us to feel some type of way other than happy.  And, what if you could be happy because you say so 90%+ of the time?  What if you could do so regardless of the circumstances around you?  Would that make a difference for you?

 

This may be a brand new thought for you and it may be the hardest work you ever do.  Just like anything else you’ve ever done that was new, you can become great at it with consistent, deliberate practice.  

 

You’re being given your first opportunity to do so right now.  Or you could choose to be a victim of circumstance like 97% of the people around you.  What do you say?

 

Choose To Generate

 

I can almost hear you asking, how in the world does one do this?  It’s a super simple answer, and again, one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.  You practice choosing to generate the experience of life you want in every moment.

 

The predictable thing about life is that stuff happens.  “Good” things happen and we feel good.  “Bad” things happen and we feel bad.  Totally normal.

 

Let’s take a sales goal for example.  When sales are coming in and it looks predictable that we’ll hit the goal, we probably feel good.  When there’s no momentum and it looks difficult or impossible to hit the goal, we probably feel bad.  Totally normal.

 

The problem with this scenario is that it’s a completely externally driven life.  In this model people are victims of the circumstances around them.  The best life ever gets is when lots of “good” things are happening.  And we all know those moments come and go.

 

The game to play is choosing to generate the feeling and experience you want to have in any given moment.  Then choose it again.  Then choose it again, and again, and again.  If you focus your attention on doing that one thing it’ll change your life forever.  Guaranteed.

 

This is art.  It’s creation.  It’s literally designing your life moment by moment, experience by experience.  If you want a symphony, you can have it.  If you want a hip hop show, you can have it.  Anything you can imagine you can create.  And if you can’t imagine it, you can’t create it.

 

Don’t take my word for it either.  If you seek, you shall find.  There are tons of books, seminars, and programs you can invest in to find out how to implement this new way of being into your life.  

 

I’ve personally chosen to be a lifelong student and practitioner of this philosophy.  I look for people who teach these principles and I consume their content voraciously.  

 

I’m not saying this to toot my own horn or to pat myself on the back.  I’m saying it with the intention of encouraging you to join me on this journey.  The journey of living a great life because we say so.  You can do this too.  Regardless of all the reasons why you think you can’t.  I promise you.

 

The Science

 

Science tells us that more than 99% of every atom is made up of energy.  The small percentage left over is consists of matter.  This obviously means we’re mostly energy surrounded by a little bit of matter.

 

Thought is what controls this energy.  There are two kinds of thought - conscious and subconscious.  

 

Conscious thought is the rational part of our minds we use to plan and make decisions.  Subconscious thought is the habitual part of our minds that control our feelings, reactions, and everything that happens unconsciously like walking and our heartbeat.

 

This conversation gets deep and I’m just scratching the surface here.  So try to think about this in the context of this article - How does one choose their own experience of life consistently?  

 

The conscious mind is the part that may be telling you right now that what I’m talking about here in this article is impossible.  The reason why it’s telling you that is because you have little to no evidence from your experience that it’s true.  This part of the mind deals with facts and figures.

 

The subconscious mind just does what it’s told.  It has no decision making capability whatsoever.  It doesn’t think about how to walk, it happens automatically.  Imagine how much energy you would need to use if you had to think about how to make your heart beat all day.  Right.  That’s why we don’t have to think about it.

 

All the familiar ways you already know you’ll react to certain situations are familiar precisely because you don’t have to think about it.  You already know you’ll react the way you normally do.  It’s habit.  

 

When “bad” things happen, you already know how you’ll feel.  What there is to do is practice consciously choosing how to respond instead of automatically reacting.  When you do this enough times, you’ll notice a new habit is formed.  

 

Then guess what?  After a while the conscious mind passes it over to the subconscious mind so you don’t have to think about it anymore.  It’s no longer necessary to use as much energy.  Instead of thinking about it, you simply start doing it.  Then you begin reliably and consistently being it.

 

Try noticing when you’re reacting to life from habit vs responding by choice.  If you don’t like how you feel and the experience you’re having of your reaction, practice choosing something more favorable instead.  

 

Once you get some facility around that then you can start choosing the experience you want in any given moment.  It’s like predicting the future except it’s completely by design.  It’s art and science combined.

The 1 Thing Your Sales Team Needs To Win Bigger, More Often

I have an immense amount of respect for sales teams that are dedicated to honing their craft and becoming the best they can be.  After all, customers are the lifeblood of any and every business.  Without customers, we have no reason to be here.

 

Sales managers and their teams have a crucial responsibility to their company, their organization, their CAUSE.  This responsibility creates pressure.  

 

The pressure can be utilized as a tool, or it can be debilitating and condemn those with the best intentions straight to the DL list.  The best sales leaders learn to use pressure as a tool to inspire action in themselves and their teams.  

 

Want to be the best?  This is your opportunity to get started now.  And this is the answer to your question - “what’s the one thing my team and I need to know!?”: it’s NOW.

 

The Answer Is Urgency

 

Urgency leads sales teams to victory.  But it’s a certain kind of urgency I’m pointing to.  A self-generated urgency.  Not urgency imposed by external circumstance.

 

Look, I’m not blind to the fact that there is a ton of external circumstance applying pressure to you and your team.  There are quotas to hit and there are much needed commissions to earn.  We all need to make money.

 

We who have been in sales for any notable length of time know that both the company and the salesperson need to make money.  And we also know that prospects can smell that need a mile away.  

 

How does it typically go for your team when prospects detect that need?  No answer needed.  You already know.  

 

This is why it’s so important for you to learn a new way to relate to urgency, and for you to train your team to do the same.  Because the external circumstance of selling so as to hit the numbers causes a certain type of negative energy.  

 

I call it the ‘I Have To Syndrome’.  It’s actually an epidemic plaguing sales teams far and wide.  From this relationship to urgency salespeople are taking action from a place of obligation vs inspiration.  And that rarely, if ever, ends well.

 

If you’ve made it this far into the article, you’re probably asking yourself, “how does one generate a new relationship to urgency?”  The answer is simple, but not always easily accomplished.  The good thing is that anything can be mastered with practice.

 

The simple answer is that it’s a choice.  All you and your team need to do is choose a new relationship to, or perspective on, urgency and own it.  

 

With practice you will start to see different results.  Bigger, more frequent wins.  And, with time, it will become easier to choose this new relationship over and over.

 

What New Perspective On Urgency Should I Choose?

 

I recommend one that creates a fun and exciting experience vs a feeling of obligation.  My team relates to our sales quota as a game.  We play the game of Urgency On Purpose vs waiting for an emergency situation where we Have To produce results OR ELSE.  

 

Or else we won’t have have enough customers.  Or else we have to cancel a program due to lack of participants.  Or else we lose our jobs.  Or else we lose some teammates.

 

What we’ve found is that when we play this game urgency on purpose every day then we rarely reach the point of emergency.  And if we do reach that point, we know why, and we know how to change it.  We simply refocus our intention and recreate our game from choice vs obligation.

 

When we’re playing the game in this way on purpose it’s fun.  When we’re playing the game from a sense of obligation it’s a drag.  And our results reflect our experience of it.  

 

This is how we play the game every day.  Like it’s our job to find the sale we need today because we want to, not because we have to.  

 

We play to win vs playing from fear of loss or not having enough.  We play for the love of the game.

There’s No I In TEAM

Seriously.  Get past the annoying motivational cliche and hear my point.  The other disease possibly plaguing your sales team is a culture of individuals trying to manage perception.  

 

This is when individuals on your team are playing for looking good.  Recognition is powerful and it’s a legitimate need for some.  Nothing wrong with that.  

 

I want you to consider that when needing to be the one to be recognized for the victory trumps the desire to see the team win the game, a culture of waiting is created and some team members take their foot off the gas pedal.  Some even pump the brakes.

 

There’s an old saying: ‘Many hands make light work’.  When that’s the culture on your team, wins are normal and expected by all.  Big wins are no longer related to as unicorns that only special people are able to produce.

 

If everyone on the team is trained to relate to themselves as the source of the results of the whole, it creates a culture of winners.  What you’ll notice is that when people aren’t running point on a deal, they’ll actively go seek out someone who needs support.  People will shift roles interchangeably and seamlessly.

 

This levels the playing field and everyone gets to see that they play an integral role on the team.  Everyone feels needed and gets to celebrate all wins instead of only the ones they feel they produced on their own.

 

They’ll notice the impact you had on creating this culture and they’ll relate to you as a true leader instead of a drill sergeant barking out orders.  And they’ll relate to their teammates as partners instead of competition.

 

What you’re on the way to creating at this point is a High Performance Team.  A team that generates more wins, more of the time.  Abundant wins.  Bigger and better wins.  

 

Your team will begin to love what they do because who doesn’t like playing games?  Especially when they win  the game more often than not.