Earlier this week I spent some time thinking about failure, and came to the realization that, like beauty – failure is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes, what you’re failing at isn’t the acton itself; instead it’s failing at letting go of the preconceived notion of what that action, and its results, are supposed to be.
While talking with a trusted advisor this week about that very thing, she challenged me to really think about the lens through which I was viewing our problem. As a recap – we were, for several reasons, trying to get Baby PT to learn to sleep on his own. Long story short, it was not working. At all. As in, not even a little bit. And so, she challenged me to really think about why this was an issue. At five months old, was it really a problem that our son needed the comfort of a parent to fall asleep? She asked me to think about, in both a positive and negative way, how that might impact the boy we are raising. Were there other solutions we might put into place so that everyone in the family received what they needed?
She then asked me to think about why I felt it was so important that Baby PT be able to sleep on his own. What was truly driving this push? My answer? The internet. Friends with babies. Our too small bed. Basically, everything except the cues our own baby was giving us. He was just supposed to be able to do this. Except he wasn’t doing it.
Her next question really, truly, changed my perception. If we had to make this decision out of love, what would it be? If we had to make this decision based on what was best for Baby PT, and for us as a family, what would it be? If I could tune out everything, and everyone else, and base it solely on my motherly instinct, what decision would I make?
She reminded me that making decisions out of love isn’t giving a loved one whatever he or she might want – it’s making the decision that will keep them safest – mentally, emotionally, and physically. As a parent, that really struck a chord with me. Shouldn’t that be how I’m basing my decisions?
But as a business owner, it really struck me, too. So often decisions are made based on what we’re supposed to be doing. What’s standard in our industry. What our competitor is doing. Even if it doesn’t feel best for our business, as business owners we still often feel the need to do it, just because. Because we are supposed to.
But what if we didn’t? What if we took that information, carefully reviewed it, and then decided what was best for our business out of the love for our business and those it supports? Again – that’s not making decisions that make us the happiest in the moment. We have to take the health of our business into account for every decision – its financial health. Its longevity. Its ability to edge out the competition. The happiness of its employees. What if we stopped doing what we are supposed to do, and do what’s best for our business?
We’re going to start making decisions for our family – and our business – out of love. Based out of what’s best for each of them. What would your life look like if you made your decisions out of love?