I had an interesting conversation with a client of mine recently. It went something like this:
My client: I’ve always performed extremely well under pressure. If my back is up against the wall I always rise to the occasion.
Me: So what’s the problem?
My client: I have a hard time focusing and putting in the same effort at other times.
Me: You mean when things are going well?
My client: Yeah, exactly.
This is a common issue with many people when it comes to working.
When you’re in “survival mode” and the shit hits the fan you tend to increase your productivity and concentration. You’re doing this because you’re in “fight or flight” mode. Mentally you are behaving just as you would as if a bear were attacking you. You scrape, claw, do anything you have to do to survive.
But for some reason when things are going well, we relax. We let our guards down.
I want to make something very clear.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating wins. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break when you’re seeing success.
But if there’s one thing I want to emphasize it’s this: don’t do it for too long.
When Michael Jordan made or missed a shot, what did he do next?
Forgot about the shot and got back on defense.
In business it’s the exact same thing.
Whether something good or bad happens, get back to work. Put in the same effort either way.
When things go badly, push harder. When things go well, push harder.
The less emotion you can put into it and the more you can focus on the task at hand, the better off you are.
So remember, in business, there are no good days or bad days, just days. It’s what you DO in those days that matters.