Stick to your guns

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Jake 2.0, Philosophy
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday afternoon I self-realized a bit, which doesn’t happen too often for me.  For those who have been keeping up, I’ve been on a path of making healthier decisions in my life, and have lost a decent amount of weight in a relatively short period of time.  I continue to progress in what I feel is the right direction, and I’m pleased with the results thus far.

But what happened yesterday–that thing that I’ve been focused on, as a separate and distinct part of my life, starting melting into the other areas of my life–my personal life (I’ll explain that distinction here shortly) and my professional life.  Here’s how:

I was at a meeting with a client yesterday that ended with, among other things, that client’s request for us to justify the cost of additional services that we are asking them to buy from us.  It’s a fair question, and not at all a surprise.  Let me paraphrase…it went something like, “I like everything you’re saying, and I’m buying in to everything.  But because what you do is so unique, it’s hard for me to confirm that what I’m being asked to pay is a fair price.”  Nobody could possibly fault this person for making that point.  What’s even harder, though, than asking that question point-blank, is answering it without stammering.  If I were the only representative from my company in attendance yesterday, I’m not sure I would have been able to put together a response to the customer’s liking, and in truth, I’m not sure we did.  Instead, we answered by more or less saying, “This is what we do.  We don’t treat one client different from the next, they all get the same cost-plus pricing model, and what you are paying for you won’t really be able to appreciate until after you agree to pay it.”  It’s a hard answer, but the message was simple: we are a partner, not a vendor.  Or, in other words, we don’t want to be a part of your payables–we want to be a part of your business plan.  We both are making a commitment here, and we stick to our guns.

Needless to say, optimism was high after the meeting; it went well, and my colleagues felt we have a good chance at expanding the relationship with that client.  On my way home after the meeting, I called Janine and told her that it went well, and that I was going to be home about a half-hour early.  Then, something weird happened–another paraphrase: “I’ll get home a little early, get a good run in, yeah.”  At that moment, the work I’ve been doing to make healthy decisions became a part of the every-day, not something I knew was going to get in my way, but something that I just did because “this is what I do.”

Then I started thinking about commitment.  I’ve been waiting for someone to say, “oh, have you lost weight?”  Maybe it seems kind of silly, but part of losing weight is looking good naked, right?  So you want people to notice (not necessarily in the “naked” context), to call attention to it, because we’re all the center of our own world.   But instead, if I switch focus to the results as they impact me, and not as the impact others, I fulfill that commitment to self.  I certainly am not dieting, working out nearly daily, so that other people can see me as thinner…that’s NOT a healthy decision.  But by setting goals and meeting them, I can look at myself and see me as thinner.  I’ve clearly made a commitment, and an investment, and I am sticking to my guns.  After nearly 30 days of this, it starting to become ingrained into my consciousness, as automatic as brushing my teeth before bed or avoiding late-night snacks.

But obviously, the lesson is deeper than that.  Because I am the “lord of my own, tiny skull-sized kingdom,” it’s easy for me to equate yesterdays meeting, and focus on commitment, to this one big thing that has occupied a significant amount of the last month.  The self-realization part is rolling this out to other aspects of thought and action, like avoiding road rage even when that asshole driver behind you deserves a flat tire, or eliminating frivolous spending from your monthly budget.  I’m hopeful that I can continue to make that happen.

Thanks as always for reading, and I hope you have a safe and happy new year.  Be well and stay tuned!

Comments
  1. Lori M. says:

    I heard a quote recently, people who are successful in keeping their healthy resolutions are the ones who frame things positively…instead of saying, “I’m giving up candy…I’m giving up pop,” they say, “I don’t skip my workout…I don’t skip my run.”

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