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Reflections on an unexpected month

by | Mar 31, 2020 | Business, Collaboration, Reflections, Risk Management

Never before have we faced the challenges we face today, in every aspect of our lives we see change. Coronavirus has locked us in our homes, fearing social contacts, closing down some businesses, and radically changing the rest.

In his book “The Rise of Superman, Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance” Steven Kotler examines the psychological evidence of where we perform at our very best. It’s not when we are stretched to reach far beyond what we know, or have the skill to do, it is when we are stretched just outside our experience. Something that tests us, but is tantalisingly within our grasp.  He posits that stretching to around 4% more is motivating, but beyond that is increasingly enervating.  James Clear in “Atomic Habits” (this month’s Building Better Business Book Club book) calls this ”the Goldilocks Zone”

When I reflect on what I am seeing in today’s uncertainty it is that some people have been stretched too far, they feel that events are utterly out of their control and they cannot motivate themselves to act. Some are stalling. Yet others I see are motivated, active, never busier, finding joy in their learning, supporting others, building communities, doing different things, but using their skills, and stretching them. Are you letting your freedom of choice be lost to events?

Imagine two magnets on a smooth table. If you bring the end of one magnet towards the opposite pole of the other they will seek to pull themselves together. As the other magnet starts to move, if you time it right, you can move it all the way across the table without them touching. Too far away and the other magnet doesn’t move, too close and they lock together, imposing change.

In today’s situation, we have a choice. We can give in to the world’s magnet imposing its demands on us, or we can choose our own. The choice that keeps us moving, that keeps us in the zone. Choosing the achievable change, that tests you, and then delivering it, and keeping the aim of moving a little as you go.

Never has there been a time where it is more important to discuss your ideas and intentions with trusted friends to keep yourself motivated and your tasks close to abilities, yet still stretching them. Then you can keep the magnets moving, to a successful conclusion, through this rapidly changing situation.

I’m currently running a weekly zoom meeting to Start the Week – Building Better Business, (click here for details…) – come along and share your story, and be inspired by others, or if you would like a 121 conversation you can book a time to suit you here:

#reflections #buildingbetterbusiness #march2020 #business #coronavirus


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Written by: William Buist - all rights reserved.