It was a tied game. There were 4 seconds left in the final quarter. He’s taking a foul shot. The crowd is screaming. The people behind the basket are waving things that look like pool noodles and make a horrendous racket. He’s played almost all night. Surely he’s exhausted? The sweat is pouring down his face and I watch, mesmerized, as he bounces the ball once, twice, looks up, takes aim, and sinks a gorgeous shot as if it were effortless. As if there weren’t thousands of people screaming and praying he missed. As if it didn’t matter one bit that this shot — THIS SHOT — meant the difference between his team winning…or not.
That man was clearly in his zone. And it was glorious to behold.
And after the game, as I marveled further about his ability to tune everything out around him and focus in on his “one job” in that moment, I realized that one of the biggest components to him being able to do that was his love of the game.
And it got me thinking even further about being in my own zone. Those moments when the world just falls away around me…and how deep my love of my work is in those moments…and I realized with a longing I had not known existed within me that what I want more than anything this year (and into the future) is to create even more of those moments for myself.
SO here’s my invitation to you…
If you find yourself pondering this very same thing (as I imagine many of you are…it’s no “coincidence” that we are connecting like this today), let’s support one another in this initiative to live more and more of our moments in Our Zones.
When you’re on calls with clients, are you focused on every word they are saying (and the nuances underneath those words) or are you replying to email as they talk? (I know that sounds like “no one would ever do that” but trust me…people do!)
And if you’re able to focus on “most” of your client calls, or “some” of your writing, but not all of it, then ask yourself what makes certain calls / writing harder to focus on than others. Is it the time of day? Are you hungry? Thirsty? Tired? Bored? Or maybe you have to pee?
Make note of these moments:
1 pm client call went beautifully — fully present
2 pm client call — a total delight — in the zone
3 pm client call — ugh — tired — not focused — did not feel I served well
And begin to watch for patterns to emerge.
It may be that every day at 3 pm you hit a slump. It is simply solved by taking a 15 minute break at that time and having a snack and recharging.
Or you may note that you are just fine on 3 pm calls with every client…except one. And that you dread your calls with that particular person…and don’t feel very good about it. So perhaps that means it is time to let that client go so that s/he can work with someone who adores their work together.
Take note also of the things that you avoid doing. One area that I have really been struggling with lately is email. I do not often feel like I am “In My Zone” when applying to email. This seemed, at first glance, to be odd since many of my emails are from clients and I really enjoy my interactions with them…and yet, I was not enjoying this part of it one bit. I was completely avoiding it!
It took many weeks of careful observation and detective work to sort out what was really going on. And here’s what I discovered: I only feel In My Zone when I reply to email when I have the time in which to really think and reply thoughtfully. When I am rushing about between calls, I don’t feel good and I don’t like to reply during those times. I feel guilty that I am not serving well…so I avoid it instead. (Which I know is silly because then I am not serving at all!)
So now we have a new system in place: Specific times of the day are slated for returning client emails and we’ve set up a brand new email address for Clients Only so that when I open that inbox, I am inService Mode and can focus only on them and get the job done right. Is it working? Am I in my zone now when I do email? I will let you know 🙂 We’ve only begun this week!
As many of you know from reading along in my blog lately, my two favourite topics have been around Alignment and Mastery. It is my thinking that the more I am in Alignment with Who I Am inEverything I Do, the closer I will be to achieving Mastery.
And one of the “doing” bits around achieving Alignment and Mastery is making certain that the tasks I am doing are also in Alignment with Who I Am, and that I am In My Zone when I am doing them (which means I can be Masterful at them.)
It also means NOT doing the things that are not in Alignment with Who I Am…and sometimes this is the trickiest bit.
It may mean no longer writing at all if that doesn’t truly float your boat.
It may mean letting go of some clients if you don’t feel that you’re able to be In Your Zone when you work with them.
It may mean that you stop doing your own appointment booking and pass that task off to someone for whom that WOULD be in their zone.
And it may mean letting go of some of the ways in which you’ve “always done things,” such that you can achieve more moments of glory like that basketball player who sunk that beautiful shot and won the game.
We are, I believe, works in progress. Every step I take towards making my life more full of moments in which I am in My Zone, means another step towards a happier life for me, my children, my clients, my family and friends. The ripple effect of this is a wonderful thing!
So I invite you to join me in this initiative to dig in and discover the “whens and whys” of being in your own zone, to make the changes necessary so that you can work from THAT place more often. And do please share with us what you do find out about yourself along the way, and how it affects your life and the lives of those around you for through sharing, we all learn.
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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.