If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I am a fan of many different authors and speakers. Today’s post is courtesy of one such individual, David Goggins. David is a raw and real speaker that may be offensive in his language to some. He does, however, have a wealth of knowledge and great information. One of my favorite subjects he speaks on is the mindset of greatness. His best comparison is that of a job interview. When we are first interviewing for a job, what do we do days, weeks or even longer before? We make sure our clothes are ready, have our coffee cup out, a breakfast ready to be made. In short, we are preparing to make it as easy as possible to bring our best self to the interview. It usually works, and we get the job. What happens several months to a year down the line? We no longer put our clothes out the night before. Maybe our breakfast isn’t ready. Perhaps we are a few minutes late because we had to wait for the coffee to brew. We become comfortable. We have the job and so why spend the time doing all of the extras?
This can happen even sooner for some of us. It is a natural sort of progression. Should the company face the prospect of having to downsize, or we hear a rumor that we might lose our job, then we amp up our efforts once again. Of course, once that threat lessens or goes away entirely, we are back to going through the motions of going to work and coming home. Les Brown, another favorite speaker, once said we do enough at a job not to get fired, and they pay us just enough not to quit. That may very well be true. Another fact is that if you are looking to be promoted or to get a raise, all you need to do is to do more work than is required for you. Companies will not want to lose an employee with that mindset. They will do everything they can to hang on to someone who is willing to ‘go the extra mile’.
Our job is not the only place this thinking shows up. One of the places were we tend to do this the most is in our intimate relationships. When we are trying to win someone’s affection, or shortly after we do so, we act a certain way. We send flowers for no reason. We are more likely to do things for that person without complaint. Fast forward being together for years and what happens? We, almost subconsciously, take the relationship, if not the person, for granted. We think to ourselves that area of our life is ‘handled’ and we can place our energy elsewhere. We start to compliment them less. Maybe we show less affection. When they ask us to do something, it feels more like a chore.
Much like our job, if a challenge arises, so do our efforts. If the person we are with suddenly has an attractive new coworker, or maybe they do something that indicates they might be thinking of moving on, then we begin to put more effort into our relationship with them. Maybe we come home with some flowers. We might take time out of our work day to send them a loving text or perhaps a quick call. Once we become comfortable again, our efforts may start to dwindle. If you want a more amazing and deeper relationship, the steps are the same as getting a promotion or raise at work. All we have to do to take our relationships to the next level is go the extra mile. In short, do all of the amazing things we did when we were trying to win them and we will only serve to strengthen and deepen the relationship we have.
A good bonus of this thinking is that there should be more ideas the longer you are together. In the years Margie and I have been together, I have learned many new things that make her happy and feel loved. In some cases, I have been there when she discovered them for herself. I was able to do so by active listening. This means every day I am consciously on the lookout for those things that bring joy to the heart and a smile to the face of the woman I love. This took some effort and reminding myself in the beginning, but now it is second nature to me. The rewards of this have been worth their weight in gold. At any time I have a growing list of things I can do, say or make happen that will not only make her happier, but strengthen and deepen her love for me. I confess, I should probably be doing this more often, but as our love continues to grow so does the opportunities to make it grow.
Don’t worry if you have been guilty of falling into these ruts. We all do so to some degree. The secret is being able to recognize that and to pull ourselves out of them. Another way to look at this – the longer you have been in this rut and the deeper you are, the greater the opportunity for improvement! When you begin to look for and do the little extras, your life, your job and your relationships, both intimate and others, will transform before your eyes! I would love to hear what other areas of your life you feel this could come in handy.