You’re in a large building. You need to get to the top floor. You have an appointment in twenty minutes and you planned your entire day for this. In the lobby, you need to check in. The receptionist is on a call and she’s alone so you have to wait. Time is ticking for you to get to your appointment. After 6 minutes, she’s finally able to check you in. Done.
Down the hall you see a hallway of six elevators. Five elevators are down due to construction in the building, and the one elevator has about twenty people waiting for it.
You have 12 minutes to get to your appointment. It’s not that bad now that you’ve checked in. They’re aware of the construction in the building and they’re making allowance for things to happen along the way.
You see a sign for the stairway.
“But that will take me forever. I’m not prepared for the stairs. I was expecting the elevator,” you think to yourself.
You now have 11 minutes to get to your appointment. You’ve just wasted a minute arguing with yourself about why you don’t want to take the stairs.
– it takes work
– you weren’t prepared
– the elevator is quicker
– everyone else took the elevator successfully
– you’ve taken the elevator so many times before and it has worked.
Now what? Possible thoughts:
“Maybe my appointment isn’t so important.”
“Wait, why am I even here?”
“It’s okay I’ll give someone else my appointment. It’s just too much for me. ”
All of these thoughts aren’t incorrect. But are they damaging?
Say you choose the stairs. It’s 7 flights of stairs but you are guaranteed to get there. Your appointment is waiting for you so you have the green light to take your time. On the second flight of stairs, you miss a step. You trip. You sit and take a break. What do you do on a literal staircase ?
Do you reason: “Well I fell down. Might as well go back down and start all over. ”
No, you don’t.
You stand up and keep going.
At the top of the 7th floor you’re huffing and puffing and needing water and you’re mad that the stupid elevator worked for everyone else and not you. You may even dislike those people and you don’t even know them.
Business is a staircase. Sometimes, it seems like just because we have personal goals to reach that no matter how badly we want them, we won’t reach them because of everything else around us.
“Had that receptionist been quicker …. Had the elevator been working … Had I worn better shoes for the stairs…”
Blame. Blame. Blame.
Your goal knows you’re coming for it and your obstacles know it too. What are you going to choose? Are you going to just stop because you didn’t reach the rank you’d hoped for? Are you going to stop or even slow down because “life” happens? Are you going to give way to doubt or fear because the elevator is broken and you’re not getting there as fast as you expected?
The stairs give you time build stamina, give you time to see where you may need to get into better shape, give you a chance to see what you’re made of.
So I ask you, how do you think you’ll feel when you get to the top of the 7th floor and hear “your appointment (goal) will see you now.”