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If we only focus on our successes or failures, we miss out on so much

David FullerA couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear a talk by Kaleb Dahlgren, a young man who was a member of the Humboldt Broncos Hockey team that was hit by a bus in 2018. Sixteen of the 28 people on the bus died. Kaleb survived and, despite a serious brain injury, has gone on to live a life dedicated to serving others.

One of his messages was that life can be a grind. However, when we embrace the grind, the hard work, and the struggle and look for opportunities to lift the burden of others, life can be very rewarding.

“So what” you might be saying. “I have heard it all before!” What can a hockey player know about the grind of a business leader? Yet the struggle, the challenges and the grind of an athlete are not as different as you might think.

Having had the opportunity to coach high-level athletes, I have seen their struggles when things are not going their way. While they might not have to worry about making sure there is money in the bank to pay employee wages or suppliers, they do deal with dressing room drama just as you deal with the drama in the office, and they do stress, as you do, about their performance, understanding that a lack of performance affects their teammates and ultimately their career.

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When we look back on our lives and our careers, the days blend together. We remember the good times and the bad, the struggles and the successes. Those intense moments in our daily lives, whether they occurred months, weeks, days, hours or even just a few minutes ago, are seared in our memories and psyche. We constantly relive them, whether they are moments of deep regret or intense joy.

But too often, we forget the grind. We forget the hundreds of hours we spent with our customers and suppliers, our employees, or even alone learning the new concepts that eventually led to our success. We fail to remember the blood, sweat and tears it took to overcome our challenges and climb that mountain of success. Unfortunately, too often, we let our success or failure alone define us.

For most of us, life is a grind. We don’t always perform at our best, our teams don’t always win, our companies don’t always have the best week, month or year. Our families aren’t always perfect. We often feel mediocre; we don’t see the change, the results, or the difference we make in the ordinary every day. However, as Kaleb Dahlgren repeated last week and others have said before. Enjoy the grind!

It’s in the grind that we live our daily lives. The grind is where we mingle with our family, co-workers, and customers. The grind is where we make the most difference and can fully be alive. If we only focus on our successes or failures, we miss out on so much. Embrace the grind today and throughout the rest of the week – Enjoy the grind!

Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner with Pivotleader Inc.

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