Ambition drives depression – Business lessons from my golf coach part 2
My apologies for not finishing this topic as promised for Tuesday. I have excuses, but I won’t use them (results are what count, not excuses)
Let’s get back into it. I was discussing how my golf coach put me onto this great video from Nick Bradle where he discusses two really important golfing ideas. The first one, that I discussed on Monday, was about nerves and how they’re good for your golf game and in business. Go read it here if you missed it.
The second topic is about ambition. Nick talks about sitting next to Richard Saul Wurman (the founder of TED talks) on a flight one day and he mentioned to Richard that he felt he achieved a lot in life but he was still ambitious. Richard stopped him abruptly and asked him to never use the word ambitious again.
He said the problem with ambition is that you tend to focus and live in your vision for the future and forget about the process that’s in front of you. Nick obviously applied this to golf and explained that it’s crucial to focus on process once you have developed the picture of the future. This is how you get to play to play and not play to win as I discussed in part 1.
Great people, Richard said, look at the future vision, get rid of it and then get stuck in the process. They practice every part of their game and focus on the process of playing.
One of the biggest mistakes I made in business for many years was to focus on the end result. The picture of what I wanted to happen. I was hell-bent on getting there as soon as possible and as a result, I did not pay enough attention to process in my business.
Let me explain.
Most entrepreneurs are visionary people. They can easily float into their imaginary world and create a fantastic picture of what they’d like to happen to their business. And the more they think about the picture the more excited they get.
Suddenly you start acting like you’re there. You hang out with people that fit that picture, you dress like people in that picture (in some cases that’s good), you drive cars that fit that picture and you forget that its a journey to get there. (My dad always said it takes 10 years to be an overnight success – it’s about process)
You work hard to get ‘there’ as soon as possible and you never seem to get there. Hard work only deepens the feelings of disappointment and resentment. You look around and all you see are people that are living that picture. But you can’t seem to get there.
Focusing on process gets you to your future. Without it, your vision will always remain a dream. Richard’s advise was that you must rather decide to do good work every day and let people at the end of your career say “that must have been an ambitious person”. Doing good work should be your goal.
Process is about doing everything in your business well and honing those skills over a period of time. That’s what builds the vision. Once you focus on process you’ll find that you’re much more peaceful and you’re content with what you have, but not comfortable. This is a good space.
So if you have a world-changing vision, get rid of it and start focusing on process. Build a sound business through process (doing stuff and constantly improving on it) and wait for your breakthrough. It will come, I promise. It does for everyone.
At this point, I have to tell you about Ouch! technologies again. We specialise in a process called time and attendance. It should be the bedrock process of every business. Go check out how it can save you money at www.getouch.co.za/howtosave. Try the calculator, it will blow your mind.
Have a process filled day!