Recently, XINNIX had the great privilege to host a webinar with our CEO Casey Cunningham and Krish Dhanam—acclaimed author, CEO of Skyline Success, Global Ambassador for the Ziglar Group of Companies, and motivational guru—about how to stay motivated when we’re facing challenging times. For the past two weeks, I have covered two of the five key principles Krish and Casey discussed in staying motivated during difficult times—the A, B, C, D, and E of motivation. Last time, we talked about B, the Behavior of Belief. Today, we’ll learn about C, the Character of Completion.
Who Are You When No One Is Looking?
Before we talk about the Character of Completion, we must first define exactly what character is. Krish says, “Character is who you are when no one is looking.” What’s motivating you? Are you simply trying to meet a deadline set by your boss, or are you diligently working to move the needle forward on your business?
Challenging times have a way of revealing our true character, of bringing out the reality of who we really are. How do we conduct ourselves when the business isn’t flowing in like it used to, and every day feels like an uphill climb? Have we built up the endurance to keep putting in the effort, making calls, and following up with our contacts and referral partners?
Having a Character of Completion means we finish what we’ve started, even when it’s not easy or exciting. Casey shares this insight: “In any market, what sets top performers apart is their commitment. They get up every day and keep moving forward. Even if they keep hearing no, they still pick up the phone and make the calls. You can’t discourage them because they know that eventually if they keep putting in the effort, they will hear a yes. They will be successful.”
Embrace the Everyday Work
Krish has another unusual way of defining the Character of Completion. He says, “One of the best definitions is having pride in the mundane, what we do daily. Most people take what they do daily as rote or routine, but I think it determines character. Somewhere along the line, we got the wrong bill of goods. Variety might be the spice of life, but monotony is what buys the groceries.”
This mindset is not always easy to achieve, and it’s far too easy to start feeling suffocated by the monotony of the everyday. We long for that next great achievement, but instead, we’re staring at an endless to-do list. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Valerie Keller and Caroline Webb offer powerful advice for changing that perspective.
They encourage employees to ask themselves, “‘If I get this task done well, what bigger aspiration of mind will it support?’ Perhaps the never-ending spreadsheet you’re building will result in better financial decisions by your board. At face value, it may not feel like the most inspiring thing in the world — until you realize your work may make it less likely that the company’s community and staff welfare programs get cut. And that’s the kind of meaningful goal that helps you power through the task.”
We can’t achieve greatness without first taking pride in our everyday, mundane work. These tasks might seem less exciting, but each one is another brick in the wall of our success.
Build Habits of Completion
You can’t build a Character of Completion overnight, and it’s something that will take work and effort. However, you can start right now. What are some simple tasks you can make sure you complete each day until they turn into habits?
For Krish, this plays out in a way some people might deem unusual. No matter his schedule, he wakes up every morning around 4 AM. It’s not so he can be at work extra early or get a jump start on his emails. This time serves a different purpose—starting his day with positive input.
Krish says, “From 4 to 4:30, I read something inspiring—good, clean, pure, powerful, and positive. Psychologists have found that the first input into your mind is more powerful than the next five. So ensure you’re not just glancing at your phone or reading something without value.” He finds that starting each day with positive input and a small task to complete is setting up the rest of his day for success.
Casey says, “Reaching the next level is all about little wins that lead to big wins. They are what will make you successful. There’s no better feeling than checking something off your to-do list; it’s addictive and gives you the motivation to keep going and checking things off that list. Of course, by actually doing the work, you will start to see success. If you want your future goals to become past milestones, keep moving forward.”
Having a 4 AM wake-up call may or may not be the right move for you. Every person’s situation is different, but determining what you can do today to build a character of completion will set you up for tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to start small, and you’ll soon find that you are closer to your goals than you ever imagined.
To learn more about the five key principles for staying motivated during difficult times, read our previous entries on an Attitude of Gratitude and the Behavior of Belief. Also, be sure to check back next week as we learn all about the Disposition of Discipline! Want more from Krish Dhanam and Casey Cunningham about motivation? Read our recent article, How to Turn Challenges into Opportunities and Improve Sales Performance.