Hope you’re having a great week. On a personal note, the ACL music festival is here in Austin this weekend, so I’m looking forward to a couple of days of fun in the sun.
In this week’s Friday Four, we talk about focus, living with option B, songbirds, and the benefit of a time out.
I’ve spent the last few weeks absorbing everything Gary Keller, the founder of Keller Williams Real Estate (the largest real estate firm in the world).
He wrote the book called The ONE Thing. It’s about focusing on doing the work that matters.
He is a huge advocate of single-tasking because multi-tasking in a myth – a lie.
The human brain can’t handle hopping around. When it does, it enters a transition state.
It takes a lot of energy to get back to what you were working on in the first place.
Apparently we waste 38% of our week in transition.
Figure out what moves the needle most today.
Do that until it’s completed.
Then move on to the next most important task.
Now, do that until it’s completed.
Rinse and repeat…
Book: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and mother of two young kids, suffered the worst nightmare.
While on a family vacation, her husband, Dave, suddenly died in the hotel gym.
It begs the question…
How does she go on?
In her latest book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, Sheryl (and the incredible co-author Adam Grant) shares what’s she learned during the aftermath.
She writes about discovering deep resilience, and specifically how she manages to put one foot in front of the other as a single mother and widow.
Or, in her words…
“Option is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”
It’s full of takeaways, such as:
a) The power of journaling
b) Focusing on her kids’ grief
c) Acknowledging “the unbelievable reservoir of sadness” so you can move forward
d) How she navigated the Year of Firsts – her anniversary alone, her late husband’s birthday.
The list goes on…
I could turn this into a 25 Things Sheryl Sandberg Taught Me About Resilience type post…
But, the ONE thing that really stood out was her advice to those who have loved ones going through a tough time.
As entrepreneurs we put on a strong game face and do whatever needs to be done out in our businesses and communities.
We start companies, donate to charity, mentor younger versions of ourselves, etc.
Yet, so many of us have no idea how to support someone close to us when they lose someone close to them.
We get confused because coping with grief isn’t in our wheelhouse.
We are fixers and doers, but don’t know what the next step is.
We feel like we don’t want to bring up the elephant in the room – the tragedy itself.
We even remove ourselves from the friendship so they “get over” the trauma (she sadly writes about this).
This is the worst thing we can do – that’s not what survivors want.
They want what we all want….connection.
She calls it “The Platinum Rule of Friendship”
It means digging deep and believing that “caring means that when someone is hurting, you cannot imagine being anywhere else.”
Yes, you show up ready to do whatever it takes.
It means, “instead of offering ‘anything’, just do something”….”specific acts help because instead of trying to fix the problem, they address the damage caused by the problem.”
Figure out something that helps, and just do it. Don’t ask for permission.
And, especially important to note, “even people who have endured the worst suffering often want to talk about it.”
Yes, TALK about it. The event isn’t going away. They want you to understand their pain.
Give them the gift of your ear.
She continues, “What worked best for me was when people said, “I’m here if you ever want to talk. Like now. Or later. Or in the middle of the night. Whatever would help you.”
1) You never hide from the elephant in the room – their grief is the biggest thing in their life so prepare to face it head on with them.
2) You acknowledge their pain, and do something for them. Anything to make their life a little easier.
3) And you make yourself available to talk about the event, 24/7.
That’s how you help someone get through a traumatic experience.
I highly recommend you read this book.
It made me very present.
I often found myself looking at my wife and kids and feeling tremendous gratitude – something that we easily forget to do during our busy, hectic lives.
Music: Songbird by Cory Chisel and Adiel Denae
Cory has done it again.
He’s put together a brilliantly written and produced album.
However, this time he puts his rock band aside, and teams up with his long time partner Adiel, to write some folkier songs.
Cory has been spending a lot of time with Roseanne Cash and Emmylou Harris over the past couple of years, and you can clearly hear the influences.
There’s something about two people in love, writing music, and singing together that makes it real special.
Check out their Songbird track.
Something To Ponder
Ask some people what success looks like to them and you’ll hear “enough money so I don’t have to go to work again.”
“Building a huge business that makes an impact.”
And if you dig a little deeper, they may struggle to expand on it because it was the answer from 10 years ago.
As you grow, your definition of success changes, but you often fail to redefine what success is.
You know what it is?
It’s getting what you really want.
Not what your spouse wants.
Not what your parents want.
Not what you think everyone else wants.
Ask yourself: what do I really want?
Go for a drive, find a quiet spot, whatever you need to do, to really think about that.
It’s super important you know what it is.
That’s it for this week, folks.
Thanks for tuning in. That fact you’ve reached this far down means a lot to me.
See you next Friday.
PS…if you want to figure out what you really want, join the Facebook group Growing Not Dying because we talk about stuff like this over there.