Perception can jack you up.
Everything looks bad when things are bad, but it can turn bad too because you get comfortable when it's going well.
In his book, "The Change Agent: How a former QB sentenced to life in prison transformed his world," Damon West wrote,
Many in jail don't have a chance because they have a problem with perception and proportion. Perception makes daily life difficult to discern in a place like prison where you're surrounded by liars and con artists. Because of perception, most people become accepting and give up.
There's a big difference in getting from the day vs just getting through the day. Those in prison slept in and did just enough to get by, but West squeezed the juice out of every minute of each day by rising early and working hard on his mental, physical, and spiritual health through proportion- taking one day at a time.
Proportion is your key to growth. You can't do it all at once, but you can do it once all of the time.
It goes back to the old saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
To keep himself moving forward each day, West repeated his mantra, "Do your time. Don't let time do you."
For you, maybe you're in a toxic situation right now. Or maybe you find yourself stuck in a dead-end job or working for a manager who is dumb as a box of rocks. Just because you are in the environment doesn't mean you have to accept and act like that environment.
Don't let perception color what is right now as all there is.
Damon West was locked up in prison, but his mind was free.
So is yours.
Think in chunks and work in proportion. Don't think about it all, just do next.
What is one thing that you can do right now that will improve your situation?
Can you learn for 30 minutes throughout the day? You may not have a solid block of time, but you can learn in the gaps throughout the day. Driving to work; standing in line at the grocery store; pumping gas or walking upstairs to your office. are all slivers of moments where you can listen to a podcast, play a video, or read a few lines on your Kindle. There are times when I am waiting for a customer to connect on Zoom that I'll gap it up. It may be three sentences or 30 seconds of a video, but I am learning in the gap of time. Doing that every day will equate to a massive difference in a year.
The same is true with The Sales Life Podcast. In 2017, I committed to recording a 5-minute podcast for one year. The commitment created consistency, and because I knew I had to come up with another podcast the next day, it made me aware of everything around me. Everything was material. Teaching what I learned enabled me to live what I wrote.
I applied proportion to my health too. Even though I was in a toxic relationship, I was at the gym every day at 5 AM. When I was demoted, triple broke, and inches away from wanting to end it all, it was proportion thinking that got me through. Some nights it'd be 9 PM, but you'd see me running for miles. Running created space for me to think and a win for me to build upon.
Proportion thinking leads to bigger portions.
Now here's the twist. Proportion thinking is not just for bad times; it's for good times too. Perception can lure you to complacency. Because things have been going so well, you start doing less, leading to disaster. (Remember 1% improvement every day is 37x improvement by the end of the year, whereas 1% worse every day will equate to near zero by year-end. And that's just the first year!)
Good or bad, punch at success every day. I just read Trevor Moawad's book,"Getting To Neutral."Neutral thinking has nothing to do with the past and has everything to do with next.
Don't let perception cause you to give up or get comfortable. Work in proportion. Lay the brick.
I'm pulling for you!
Remember, the greatest sale you'll ever make is selling you on you.