Don't be too focused on your goal
Yesterday I thought I had a pretty shitty day. I began my day with one goal: to try and get sponsorships for Kids Crüe so we can make it the best event as it’s our first event that focuses on educating our little ones on energy and hydrocarbons. This idea was impactful, different, and took action in a world of "we should be doing more". So clearly the interest and involvement would be there. Ok boom. Get sponsorships. That’s my goal. That’s how I’m going to measure success today. Coffee poured, computer up and running, some EDM to focus and here we go!
I began making the posts about information about the upcoming event, I began reaching out to colleagues and companies who I thought would want to be a part of something that was so beneficial to our community. I created new content to highlight how the day would look. The more and more I did, the less and less traction I felt I was getting. I wasn't getting confirmations, wasn't building any interest...I wasn't even getting any replies to any of my emails back! As the day went on, the more I created, reached out, and tried to communicate the less I felt motivated and validated. It was one of those days where the wind was out of my sails. Defeated. Stuck in the water.
Throughout the day I stayed focused on that goal. The goal was set by me on Sunday and by golly good molly gee whiz, I was going to achieve that goal! But the more I "pushed" to get to that goal, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere closer...In fact I felt further away than I did before I started working that day.
During this effort I was distracted by getting a couple call here, an email here and there, a text in between.
As the day went on the more blah I felt. We’ve all had those days. So I called a day around 3:00 PM to spend time with my wife and daughter. Of course like any day I feel unproductive, I squeeze work in here and there during family movie night. After all, I had to get some progress of the day. Right? If I keep pushing for something, for that mornings goal I identified, I have to get close to it. But more I pushed the further it got.
By the end of the day I was pretty bummed out and not motivated. Felt like throwing in the towel for a day or two, because all my labor was not being met with any fruit. So my ass is moping around and after we put our daughter down, I was talking to my amazing wife. I was bitching about this, griping about that, lost in deep thought of what else I could do to generate interest. So to divert focus from this negative conversation (as it was about to be bedtime) she asked about the good parts of my day because she knew I was stressed.
Passingly I told her I chatted with a good friend of mine, Chief Tauzin, today someone I always enjoy catching up with and shooting the shit. He told me he's down for another quarter in the networking group I put together. I then mentioned another call I had with the President of Texas A&M SPE Chapter, where we discussed the upcoming "podcast sesssion" where I've been asked to speak to the future engineers about the industry and other talking points. Not only will I be hosting it, but I've brought frustomers from Ovintiv, Escondido, and Paloma Resources to come and speak to the group as well. Something that has MUCH more value than me standing in front of them and bullshitting. Actual experienced industry people providing their outlooks, insights, and advice. Which actually aligns with something I put on my dry erase board as a goal: I would love to speak to future engineers at Universities about our industry. I then told her I received an email that an new idea for fun STEM education activities at Kids Crüe was being discussed at a major operator. This was big as the vision was taking form! I then told her about a text from a frustomer (friend now) inviting me to go on a trip this summer with some other great people in the industry to see Bill Burr and have a long weekend hanging out. Then I mentioned another call I got from a buddy who told me that a connection was made at an event we hosted that is going great for both of them (personally and professionally). Which is the whole point of the company I started!
She thought about it and looked at me and said "Well, that sounds like a pretty awesome day!" I paused and thought about it...holy shit she was right! (AGAIN). I was debbie downer and was getting more frustrated with myself throughout the day because I was so focused on the goal I set 24 hours previously I put blinders on the things that really mattered. The connections that are showing themselves to be beneficial for others, achieving one of my "vision board" (aka dry erase board) with speaking to future engineers, having true friendships that span outside of industry transactions, and having someone so well respected like Chief to commit to a third quarter in Crüe Club (only validating my belief in the power of networking).
So yeah, it was a pretty awesome day...BUT I couldn't see it because I was so focused on something I missed the successes of that day and the great things that happened to me and to others! I realized that sometimes it’s important to put your original focus to the side and take a step back to see how much ground you’ve gained in other areas and goals in your life that day.
Very blessed I have a teammate who can see the bigger picture and put things in the right mindset for me, as without that I would have gone to bed stressed and let down, but instead I was grateful for everything that happened that day...sponsor or no sponsor.
Sometimes achieving that original goal you had in mind isn't the greatest accomplishment you will do that day, but it's important to take a step back and reframe and observe your day.