How do you get grass to grow? Sow the seeds and water them. Every day.
Is the magic in the seeds or the water? Or is it in the “every day” part?
We do many things every day, and many of them without any thought or angst. Tooth brushing comes to mind. Consistent daily effort pays off in predictable ways. We can harness the power of that in business by consciously adopting the same principle of daily work. Instead of waiting until you’re in the mood, adopt the tooth brushing model of just-do-it.
Dress it up, if you want, by making it nice. Special toothbrush, special toothpaste. I mean, pleasant work space, a cup of tea in your Wonder Woman tea cup. You get the idea.
This is actually the idea behind a ritual. A ritual signals that something special is about to happen. The signal comes from the use of special objects (for example, your dedicated Wonder Woman tea cup), and repeated actions.
Here’s the ritual best-selling Stephen King does before he starts his daily writing practice:
“I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning. I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places… The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”
(From Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak)
You can adapt this to do something similar when you make your phone calls. Think about how you’d like to feel. Create an environment around your work area that evokes these feelings. Perhaps post an inspirational message nearby. Brew a cup of power tea. Use your special power mug. This is necessarily personal, so you may have to experiment until you get the optimal “recipe” for yourself.
A pleasant side effect of “making it nice” it that your elevated mood will be contagious (in a good way!) to your client. Who wouldn’t want to talk to Wonder Woman?
*Wonder Woman Pose: an expansive posture that signals to your body a powerful state of being. Think about how Wonder Woman stands. It’s a way of using your body to change your state of mind. Examples are standing with arms raised overhead or with hands on hips. For more, watch Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk
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