Today on the blog, I want you to put on your best dancing shoes and do a little two-step with me. As it is in dance, so it is in your business and in your life—timing matters. There’s a rhythm to what we do as entrepreneurs. Like the rhythms within our bodies and the rhythms of Earth’s seasons, our businesses must match up timing-wise too.
So far on the Gaijin Works International Business Coaching blog, we have discussed the concept of time as one we have control over. We’ve talked about Einstein time, about time management tools and about prioritizing big rocks over little. But we haven’t yet discussed our intuitive and natural relationship with timing. And if we don’t learn how to work with those as well, we will find ourselves on an endless treadmill of stress and playing catch-up. As a coach and a friend to you, I can tell you honestly that you deserve more than that.
When a new year starts, we find ourselves forecasting the future. Where will we be in 3 months? In 6? In 12? In 24? In 100? Each of us has our own personal dream that we are trying to live up to—a spot on Oprah’s network by November, the cover of Time by the holiday season, a bikini-ready body in 3 short weeks. But how often do we allow ourselves to sink in to where we are now? In the flow of life as it is revealing itself to us in every waking second? How often do we honor the timing of the universe instead of focusing on our own?
I’ve been watching plenty of reruns of Dancing With The Stars this week, and it has me wondering: what if instead of placing long-term plans within the frame of our own timing constraints, we enthusiastically dance the next two steps and trust that the flow has our back from there?
How much more joy would we feel if we weren’t so constantly bogged down by the struggle and the fear of not advancing as quickly as we hoped, not checking off life and business events in rapid succession like we promised ourselves we would, not setting up our own expectations in a way that allow us to feel so disappointed when we don’t “get there in time”—whatever that means?
And further, how much more joy would we feel if we only had to plan the next 2 dance moves? Certainly that feels easier to accomplish than 12 months of perfectly designed blueprints, doesn’t it? You can break out the next 2 dance moves without much trouble. And then re-evaluate and break out the next 2. Doesn’t that timing feel so much more digestible than a 5-year plan ever could?
Like you, I’ve always had long-term goals. I’ve relied on them like safety nets and badges of honor. “I’m going places. I’ve got plans. Enormous ones,” I’d tell myself (and anyone who asked). But the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. You’re not always the millionaire by the time you turn 30. You’re not always the wife within 2 years of meeting him (or her).
So stay present. Let your business unwrap and ebb and flow and evolve, because you are going to unwrap and ebb and flow and evolve too. It’s meant to blossom, so allow it to. Let your timing be natural. Calm the negative chatter in your head and just be here and now, today. I know how hard that is. I have my own voices, my own criticisms calling to me too. Turn those inside voices off in favor of tuning into whatever’s happening around you.
It takes trust and faith and confidence. It takes self-assurance. It takes strength. But it’s all worth it for the peace you will feel. I know from my experience. When I chased down timing, I felt stress and frustration and anger, but when I danced with timing instead I found my happy place.
Visualize the future you want, but only move two steps forward at a time. You don’t always have to know precisely where you’ll be in one year. Make the decisions that feel good to you in the present—don’t force yourself to make too many decisions ahead of time. It’s like the idea that worry is interest paid on a debt not yet owed. Don’t trip over a future you’re not yet in. Be at peace with your timing and watch your life and business expand in unexpected ways.