Recently, I have encountered a number of executives who are working extremely hard, yet seem listless, and lacking passion. When I investigate, I find they are allowing themselves to be defined by their task agendas. They grin when I ask them if they’ve lost their mojo, but it is the grin of someone who just got caught in a little white lie rather than a grin of joy.
The conversation immediately turns to “shoulds”, “oughtas,” and “need tos.” Highest on that list are things like get more sleep, eat better, cut down on the wine, and exercise more, none of which are likely to happen given their mental state. The lack of changed behavior gets blamed on the holidays, quickly followed by “I’ll get right on it after the first of the year,” yet not much has changed.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I recommend re-grounding yourself in your vision, purpose or what we like to call your “Yonder Star.” Take some quiet time to reflect on the “why” in each area of your life and then sort your task list based on what is truly important to you. How does each of the items fit in with what your life is really about? Pick the key pieces and commit to them. Schedule your exercise, eating, sleep, and family priorities in first and then make the rest of your tasks fit into the remaining time.
If you are “deep in it” this recipe might sound “Pollyanna” to you. Stop for a moment and consider the alternative. Where are you without your health? What are the long run implications of poor self-care habits? What master are you serving when you get buried in the task agenda and how efficient are you when you are in a worn out state anyway?
I’m seeing clients who have restarted themselves with their Yonder Star in mind and re-sorted priorities and tasks accordingly, quickly revitalize. Life suddenly gets a lot lighter, important things get done, and much that seemed urgent falls to the bottom. To be sure, that may mean having to deal with some upsets and disappointments for folks who didn’t get their email answered, the immediate action they wanted and so on. When you’re feeling fired up and pleased with what you are getting done, however, it’s far easier to deal with the noise.
The remaining challenge is dealing with the thoughts in your own mind. Note what that “little voice in your head” is saying to you. Are you fearful of what certain people will think, worried about disappointing them, feeling fearful about what you may have missed? Pay attention to the monologue in your head. If you watch the patterns of what it says you will gain insight about what stops you so you can begin to handle your “gremlins.” In the meantime, you’ll have your mojo back!