41. The Art of Contemplation

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/41. The Art of Contemplation

41. The Art of Contemplation


Running a business can be incredibly noisy. There’s so many ideas and shiny objects to consider for your next steps.

Practicing contemplation and thoughtful silence is a power tool that can help to bring a lot of clarity and direction.

Take some time today to sit in silent contemplation so you can get that direction.

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Hello, welcome to today's episode of smooth operator a bit of a different take today, as I'm, I've had a bit of that shiny object syndrome, these last couple of days, I don't know if you've ever experienced that, if you haven't, it's common, like shiny object syndrome is all too real. And it's very much part of our daily existence. It's part of what the various stimuli that we get the various things that we see the amount of media we're exposed to. And there's, there's not a whole lot we can do about being exposed to the media, being exposed to various opportunities. I mean, it's part of my job is part of what I'm doing to get the message out, get clients, you know, I have to be on social media, it's simply just a part of my life. And, you know, it's all over the place where, you know, book calls here, because there, and I probably shouldn't be saying this when I'm trying to get calls booked.

But more than anything, it's about working from your goals, and only taking on new things that will be in assistance to those goals. You know, there's a lot of ways of doing things. There's an infinite number of ways that we can go about living our lives can go about directing our energy. And how we're doing that. And I think more than anything, either, almost record this episode, just for me, just to take the moment just to step back. So I've started sharing this more and more. But, you know, I've been on a bit of a spiritual journey, as well. And I was reading, I'm reading this book about St. Joseph, who I'm particularly enamored with. Because in this, this chapter can hit it. St. Joseph is the patron of contemplative VHS. And it's about the fact that in all of our scriptures, you can read it front to back, tell me a single word that we have from St. Joseph, we don't have one. The silence of St. Joseph is very telling. You know, there's something to be said about being in the silence. Allowing our work to guide us and not always having to be the loudest voice in the room. But you can learn a whole lot just by shutting up and listening. And I think for operators, especially, there's a good deal to take from that.

When we're contemplative, when we're quiet. We open ourselves up to experiencing things, to having revelations to having big, tremendous, not, you know, inches forward, but leaps forward. It's in that silence that we do get that it's when we sit back and let everyone else speak. We're able to start to see the whole picture that we're able to see where we should be taking the team where we should be going. It does not come through busyness busyness is a distraction. When you when you see busy bodies, constantly bouncing from one thing to another and never getting anything done. You know, what does it really mean? What does that really do? The Busy people feel like they're doing a lot. And to be honest, they are they're they're exhausting me just watching them. We have to be more measured in our actions. When you're leading a team when people are following you, our actions have ramifications. If we implement things hastily, or without contemplation, how can we accept upset things in our teams? How can we send our team down a path that is not desired that will actually lead to more strife to more difficulty, because we didn't take the steps to consider the second third order implications of our decision making. Those second third order effects are never going to be achieved in real time. Be realized in real time, it's only through contemplation, that we start to see the big picture and start to see everything that we're seeing.

And kind of gets into, like the difference between strategic and tactical thinking, you know, tactical thinking is, by its very nature, very reactive. And it has to be when we're in tactical decision making mode, decision needs needs to be made now, very much like, you know, when we were over in the Middle East on the assault, you know, you had to make a decision now. There's no waiting for that there's no pushing that decision to the side. You need to act. It's far different from strategic level thinking that we have to do. And I think where I'm coming at this from today is that

overall, I just, I think we could all use from a bit more quiet in our lives, a bit more solitude. A bit more introspection. And asking ourselves the hard questions. So my planner every day, I have a daily planner that I use, and it's hard for me it's it's something I write out. You know, there is a connection between our bodies and our hands.

And our brains when we're actually writing something, versus doing everything on digital. You know, there are three things that I reflect on every day.

The first is where was I uncomfortable yesterday. That's a tough one. The second one is what is what am I grateful for? I do that at the end of the day.

And the third one is where did I win today. And as I was reading the last couple of days, I do go back and review the week. At one point in the week, I was uncomfortable with feeling like I was in a pinball machine bouncing from project to project and never really getting anything done. Because I came out of this. This convention I went to where lots of great ideas, and they're all great ideas. All came to me. And it made me super uncomfortable. And I realized I was uncomfortable. And I wrote that down. It was through realizing I was uncomfortable. contemplating that sitting with that. Take some time to reflect on that in my journal that I was able to refocus myself in the very next days, where did I win today is like I focused on a project and I completed it.

Small things wins don't have to be big wins can be small. You know, if you just do the, if you just do the right thing every day you will win. But it's about doing the right thing. It's about doing the hard work. And staying focused, turning off all the distractions in our lives, being contemplative and working through the work. And even shutting up in our own mind. You know, letting our mind process things go through the silence the discomfort of saying no. And actually going on, I reflect on it, you know, a business proposal came my way on on Tuesday where someone wanted to pay me money to do something for them. And I said no. Because it was going to be a distraction. It wasn't in line with my goals. And the projects that I have on my plate. So when those things come about your desk, they will as an operations person, you're going to have teammates with wonderful ideas, to their credit our team, we if you're if you're not enabling your team with the ability to come up with ideas for the company, you really should, you really should do. How I did it was I created a simple form in Asana, where it was a project versus like a good ideas project. And I shared the form with everyone on the team and it was, you know linked to our standard docs. I encourage them, Hey, have an idea put in the form.

What that does is it enables the team to be creative to think of things and have a place to offload those to download those and just like, Okay, that's a good idea I had it. And it gives them that little when that little shot of dopamine when they feel like they contributed something without the added pressure from my end of having to ignore the shiny object. I can come to it when I'm ready to come to it. So having all those good ideas that we have just focusing in on that, the big why the why are we doing this? Does this fit within our goals? Does this fit within our current projects? If it doesn't, you need to be careful about that. Careful not to be the person on the team that is thrusting the team into chaos. The operator and integrator are the rock of the team. We are what keeps things steady, and moving forward to one unified goal. And it's the goal we set forward at the beginning of the quarter, we're moving towards this goal.

You need to be that sale, that never ending direction towards that being willing and able to say no, when the time comes.

Or better yet. Maybe not. No, but not yet. That's how I would tend to phrase things. So a bit of a different episode. But I thought it's important for me to even captured my own thoughts on just being in contemplation and just slowing down to speed up. And knowing that when we do slow down, it's going to set the conditions for us to rapidly, rapidly increase our impact in our businesses, in our teams, and in our lives.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing