Our biggest problem isn't time or the environment; it's not poverty or the wage gap; it's not health care or the trade imbalance.
Our biggest problem is the way we think.
It has astonished me to discover that people honestly believe that they think. That they actually make thoughts happen. That they actually believe that there is a rational process they go through to come to the conclusions they do.
Oh, I'm sure that the more analytical of you believe in your power of thought, but in my experience the process of thought isn't what we believe it to be, nor do most people I meet actually have a process at all.
For example, please take in what's happening at this very moment.
You're reading this conclusion of mine, and you're reacting to it.
You call your reactions "thought."
That's the way most of our thinking works--in reaction.
And where does the reaction take place?
In those body of thoughts, feelings, conclusions, associations that make up our previous thought--in the one who has been concocted in our past. In our memories of successes, of failures, of hurts, of wrongs, of good feelings, of bad feelings.
In short, in the composite of you...the sum total of you up to now. In your persona, your personality, in the human called, and walking about in, your name.
And, that's a problem. Yes, for most of us it is.
Because once it begins--and it began a long, long time ago--it never stops.
It continues to reward itself, blame itself, confuse itself, and congratulate itself, for the decision it has made, and continues to make, as to its success or failure at making its way through the world.
(Don't say no, please, just "think" about it.)
And, once you do, then apply that logic to the nature of your business.
Because your business does exactly the same thing. Through the people who work there. Through the people who used to work there. Through the decisions, conclusions, reactions, behaviors, each and every one of them have had, and continue to have, on the personality, the behavior, of your company, today, and tomorrow, and forever, until...something changes.
What would change, you ask?
The way you think.
About time, about money, about management, about marketing, about the very thought of thinking itself.
How you think determines every single thing you do.
How DO you think?
Ask yourself that question.
And as you do, you will begin to better understand what I mean when I say working ON your business, rather than just IN it, is more than a catchphrase--it represents a fundamental and transformative change in the way we think about business.
It's been a pleasure thinking with you.