Monday, June 6, 2016

Cutting Off Our Nose to Spite Our Face

Do we throw tantrums as adults?  I remember when I was young, we went to visit my grandfather in Fair Lawn, who was doing yard work on that day.  The visit was to be brief, as we were planning to go out for ice cream.  My dad must have said something that I disagreed with, because I remember saying that I would plant tomatoes instead of having ice cream.  As my parents and two brothers rode away, I stood there crying over the choice that I had made.  There was another time, I do not remember the details, where we all did something fun one weekend where one of my brothers said he did want to go.  He stayed home, while the rest of us had a great time.  I understand that when we are young, we sometimes do not have the ability to see the bigger picture.  So why do adults sometimes make the same mistakes?

These two incidents from my childhood made me wonder if we ever “cut off our noses to spite our faces” to ourselves.  Thinking that we are standing the high ground in front of others, whether correct or not, at least, in our own minds, means we are proving something.  So, do we do this to ourselves, where we end up sabotaging our own success to prove something to ourselves?   When I was doing network marketing, one of the key activities (i.e., productivity), was to make phone calls.  I remember Debbie saying, “Don’t you have calls to make?”  I went down to my office in a huff and surfed the internet thinking I will show her.  I’ll show her?!? There went the left nostril.  I bought into a program, where following in the footsteps of others can lead to success.  I thought, “I am not giving up my freedoms and choices.”  There went the right nostril, because I did not understand that pinpointed sacrifices can lead to specific successes.  From Napoleon Hill, to John C. Maxwell, to Darren Hardy, all discuss the importance of working in a group (develop a mastermind).  “I can do this myself,” was something I believed for a long time…and there went the rest of the nose. 

In the heat of the moment, we let our emotions step in, react and make a decision that might not be in line with what we are striving.  In that one moment, we forget to take that deep breath, take a step back and put what happened in perspective of the larger picture.  In my example above, the objective was building a potential additional revenue stream that would have been residual in nature.  Seemingly, small choices, made hastily when not in the best frame of mind, can have a huge impact and we derail our own efforts.  OK, the proboscis magically grows back after I toss the nose that I just cut off into the drawer that has the prior noses that I cut off.  I cannot focus on prior past bad decisions, because I know that the past does not dictate the future.  As long as we value the lesson that we learn, dust ourselves off, and realign our goals, we can then point towards the future. 

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