Last week, I did four interviews to support the launch of this year’s B-School program, and one question came up again and again. The essence of that question was this:
Marie, when you make big decisions– how do you do it? Who do you call to help you figure out the best thing to do? What’s your process?
Whether it’s deciding between ordering the kale salad or a tuscan panini, or deciding whether to make a bold move in your business — all of us face a million choices every day.
Big choices. Small choices. And many seemingly “insignificant” choices. As you know, every decision we make helps shape our reality. Compounded over a lifetime, those decisions create our ultimate destiny.
So what’s the key to being a great decision maker? What’s the “secret” to always knowing the best thing to do? Well, I can tell you one thing not to do.
Over the weekend, I ran into a friend at a coffee shop. She’s 5 months pregnant, growing her business and planning a jumbo event here in NYC.
She wanted an update from me, and I shared that I just came out of one of the most intense creative times I’ve ever had.
A time when my mind kicked up thoughts like, “Are you freakin’ serious?!?! How did you ever think you could possibly accomplish all this — this fast?!”
Maybe you can relate. You see, I knew exactly what needed to get done. The end-game was crystal clear. My deadlines were non-negotiable.
But here’s the kicker.
The outside world didn’t know my schedule. And just because I was in a demanding creative time — that didn’t stop the rest of the world from making requests of my time and sending in new opportunities.
And that, my friend, is the reason most of us drown in overwhelm.
Because no matter how well we plan, we can’t seem to stay on top of what we want to get done and the seemingly endless demands that show up from the outside world.
But, you know what? There’s a simple fix. And, it works like a champ.
What we’re talking about today is often a #sbd dream killer.
(#sbd = silent but deadly. Usually used to describe farts, but equally applicable to habitual mental patterns that limit your experience of success and happiness in life.)
This particular thought pattern often lingers in our minds and gets triggered when we compare ourselves to others. Sadly, it also leads to chronic creative wuss outs.
That’s when you never actually create anything because you’re too afraid it’s all been done before. The thought loop usually goes something like this…
“Whenever I see someone doing the same thing I want to do — it takes me down! It’s a confirmation there’s nothing unique or original about me or my ideas. I’m a fraud. And, they’re all light years ahead of me. What’s the use in trying anyway? It’s all been done already.”
Let’s talk for a minute about what it takes to accomplish something important.
Writing and selling a book. Starting and running a profitable business. Reaching your ideal weight, and staying there. Working your buns off to create lasting social change.
You know. Bringing any seemingly out-there or even “impossible” creative idea into physical reality.
Most of us start new endeavors with total optimism. We’re either super confident. “I soo got this.” Or at least, enthusiastic and hopeful. “I think this could really work!”
But during any project, there comes a point when the proverbial shiz hits the fan.
Plans go haywire. You get sick or creatively blocked. Key players disappear, have accidents or meltdowns. Technology decides not to work. In other words, you get slapped hard by Murphy’s law.
It’s usually around this point when the thought of giving up crosses our minds. We wonder…
Taking the past two weeks off has been a huge game changer for me — and for our whole team. Personally, I loved stepping outside of my everyday routine and shaking things up.
I got an enormous amount of stuff done. Things that have been on my mental to-do list for what feels like f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
Simple stuff, like ordering an airpopper to make healthy popcorn (my favorite movie-watching treat!) to finally getting a proper soap-dish for my bathroom (I’ve been using a sushi dish for over a decade!), to totally cleaning out my kitchen and cupboards so that we’re free from unnecessary chemicals and toxins.
I worked out hard-core almost every day, nixed alcohol, watched some incredible shows (Peeky Blinders anyone?!?), danced, cooked and journaled my buns off.
My life got a total reboot from the inside out and it feels magnificent!
Now typically this time of year, many of us set our goals and visions for the year ahead.
We ask ourselves, “What do I want to create over these next 12 months? What’s the big future vision I’m committed to bringing to life?”