Why You Don’t Want Results Right Now.
Maybe it's time to start thinking about results a little differently.
It's not the first time we've needed to rewind.
The 1990s created a generation of bipolar performers. We were told that you had to leave your office tasks at the office and come home with a clear head -- ready to forget all about the stress of the previous eight hours.
When we entered through that front door we were suddenly a new person -- a home person, instead of an office person.
And so the results that we produced were emotionally unstable. Instead of letting our personal experiences influence our work results, we were taught to separate the two. Instead of taking the best principles on leadership from the office and using them in our personal lives, we were taught that being "balanced" was key to being a high performer.
Incidentally, at the same time the pharmaceutical industry saw dramatic growth in prescriptions targeted at mental problems. Problems partially caused by looking at results in damaging ways.
That was to change though.
The 2000's brought about a change to this way of thinking. The idea of the "whole you" became a prevalent psychological understanding. This was aided by rapid advancements in our understanding of the brain. From a chemical perspective, scientists were able to actually watch the brain function in parallel to certain activities.
But this knowledge seem to be nonexistent in the interactions of the business world where our understanding of results seemed to change again.
Achievement was no longer enough by itself.
The idea of results became synonymous with the concept of opulence. Extravagance became the calling card for those who wished to show their success.
And quickly, the idea of results became mired in materialism. Soon, it became impossible to tell between the two. We began to question success if it did not show the results of wild spending and unnecessary waste. Sadly, we began to confuse waste and financial indiscretion with true results.
And when banks begin to fail and credit sources dried up, all that was left was unpaid extravagance and an unhealthy dependence on appearances.
We learned that things were not always what they seemed to be. That living large did not mean we had large dreams or adequate talents.
This new thinking shapes our understanding of results as we think of them now.
As 2010 showed the first signs of economic rebound, business leaders began to take a new stance on the idea of results. Results would have to be bona fide -- proven on paper.
Results aren't results unless they're results right now.
We don't want promises. We don't want excuses. We don't want anything other than cold, hard facts.
Results have a very simple definition:
"Verified, demonstrable, reproducible, easy-to-understand success that happens right now..."
Not next quarter. Not next month. Not next week.
And there is value to that way of thinking.
It keeps you grounded. It keeps you in business. It helps you make clear, unemotional decisions.
But it might also be the reason why you aren't getting the results you want. (Why you aren't as successful as you really could be...)
And here's why:
Results right now are never as big as the results you could have with a little more work tomorrow.
Very few amazing feats of outrageous success happen overnight. And if they do, it's because someone worked the previous 574 nights trying to be successful and failing.
The more audacious the results, the more time it takes to achieve them. It took thousands of tries to build a light bulb and yet we expect to get the right results the first time we put in a little effort.
Big results come with big amounts of effort. Big amounts of heart. It can seem risky to give up short-term gains for long-term value, but those results are the ones that you really want.
Results right now mean burning relationships and taking shortcuts.
Usually, when you try to force things to get done faster than they ordinarily would, someone gets hurt. You have to step on somebody else in order to gain short-term positioning. It's inevitable.
The other alternative is you cheating the process. Which always comes back to hurt you. Since you've gained results without investing in the disciplined effort that will help you reproduce these results, you can find yourself hopelessly trapped in this stage for the rest of your career if you're not careful.
Results right now don't take into account the valuable progress you've been making.
Misguidedly, we've begun to think of success and failure as the destination rather than just part of the journey. The real destination is "continuous progress".
Maybe it's because we set goals for ourselves that are unrealistic. Maybe it's because we let social peer pressure dictate what our results should be.
When you focus on "right now", you lose sight of the bigger picture. You don't see that you're successful in tiny ways each day. And that those tiny successes combined together are going to give you the results that you really want.
Let's be frank.
You don't want results right now.
And just so we're clear, waiting for the right results isn't the same as excepting mediocrity.
Results do matter.
But so does your perspective, your attitude, and your belief in your future. Your destiny.
You don't want results right now.
You just want to know that what you really want will be worth the pain and patience that it takes to get you there.
But deep down you already know the answer to that question.