S2Episode54 Playing The Long Game Of Life

June 21, 2024

Good morning from New York City. I woke up this morning thinking about a dinner I had recently. By way of background, this is a person who is between jobs right now. A couple months ago we were at dinner, and he was telling me about an interview he had that he didn’t feel good about. He then went on to talk about his vision for this company.

During the course of that evening, we talked a lot about going for what you want. That might mean doing something unexpected, leaving a message, writing a note, doing something that you think is outside of the normal hiring process, which in this case it was. But it was also my friend going outside of his comfort zone. I think it was probably a healthy mix of being someone who wants to play by the rules along with a heaping portion of self-doubt or fear of rejection, or whatever you want to call it.

I clearly remember that conversation and this is something I say often. When you’re able to zoom out and see that life is an adventure and a big chess game, I find that can be a good way to make things a little bit less personal. In fact, the conversation that night came down to two things. What do you have to lose? And my favorite question of all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

Anyway, fast forward. We went to dinner the other night and I discover that my friend has done this amazing job of taking the bull by the horns.  So what I’m thinking about this morning is one, how cool it was to see how much clarity and energy my friend self-generated. He was true to himself. He stopped waiting to be given permission to speak up. And he brought the locus of control back to himself.

So many times in life, we feel like the locus of control is outside of us. And that can be anything from a child raging out of control to an unpleasant coworker to a partner who’s doing something that annoys you to no end. It’s so easy to focus on other rather than focusing on what it is we can do. Sometimes in life it can be as simple as reining it back in and thinking about what can I do. What’s going to make me feel good? And what is within my realm of control in whatever situation I’m in? Anyway, it was super cool to hear the story, see him so energized and all that, but here we are. It’s now gone full circle, and he finds himself in the incredibly angsty hurry up and wait position that none of us like to be in, right?

Having been a headhunter for many years, I’ve lived through that situation over and over again with candidates. I could always feel the angst coming through the email. In fact, if you didn’t hear my podcast from Tuesday, that’s one of the things I was talking about. The energy that comes through an email. Even when you say just the right words when you’re in a charged state most of the time the person on the receiving end on some level picks up on that. But what I want to say here is that my friend finds himself again in that situation when it feels totally out of his control and it’s very uncomfortable. I have such empathy for that position because as I was saying before I’ve experienced that up close and personal with so many of my past candidates.

So that’s what’s on my mind this morning. That feeling when you want something so badly that you can taste it. You’ve done everything you can, yet it’s out of your control. It’s really tough as we all know to feel like we’ve done our best work to then not be the chosen one. And that goes for romantic relationships as well, right? At the end of the day, this comes full circle and it does come back to that locus of control. In the very moment when he feels like everything is out of his hands and he’s focused on what’s happening on the other side, which by the way we never know what’s going on in a company. I said this over and over again when I was a headhunter. We never know what’s going on inside of the company –  the power dynamics, the background or past history.

In this case, the only thing my friend can really control is his mindset. How he thinks about it. He can choose to focus on his fear of losing the job. He can focus on his fear of someone else getting it, who he doesn’t respect or who maybe doesn’t make sense to him. Or he can zoom out and look at where he was just a couple of months ago and, one be very proud that he went outside of his comfort zone and that he trusted his own instincts. Two, that he got incredible feedback on his vision for this company. Three, he forged some important relationships, and people who didn’t know him before got to see him operating in his zone of excellence. He felt very proud of the work he had presented.

So this is a lot, and you know, Pollyanna me, I could go on and on and talk about all of the good things that came out of this experience but the net net here is it’s totally up to him to decide how he frames his thinking about this experience that he created for himself. He can choose to be proud or fearful. That is the piece that’s within his control. Hopefully he’ll zoom out and get back to the point where he started, which is to think about the fact that life is one big fun, adventurous game

Oh, as I’m talking, what’s coming up for me is that beautiful quote that I absolutely love. My heart is at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me. And that which misses me was never meant for me.

Speaking of playing the game of life, I hope you are gently easing into a summer pace. and that you have a wonderful weekend.

That’s all for now. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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