A few weekends ago, I needed to dedicate some time to complete technology upgrades. I had reached the end of my subscriptions for my website and email hosting and needed to either take action or pay up for another term.
I’d done some research and didn’t really want to stay with my current provider because the tools weren’t great and had become a limiting factor for me around growth. Of course, the alternative – selecting a new provider and enduring the steep learning curve of brand new tools – wasn’t appealing either.
I mean, who wants to spend a weekend doing a tech upgrade? It’s definitely not in my top 10 list of fun weekend things to do! Even though it was a necessary next step for my business, it basically would entail 72 hours of work to put me in the exact same spot I was before the weekend started (with a functional website and email marketing solution).
Why did I willingly agree to this change rather than take the path of least resistance and stick with my existing toolset? The short answer is pain. I’d finally gotten to the point where the pain of my current situation (and staying in it any longer) was greater than the pain of the change.
And so, I made the choice to dedicate a weekend to the work in the hope that it would be a way for me to slow down in order to speed up. In other words, do the the hard thing now knowing that I’d be in the midst of a steep learning curve for a while, but with the belief that it would set me up better for the future.
And that’s how many changes we make in our lives feel, isn’t it? The decisions to eat better or spend less are challenging in the moment, but will set us up for future success. Most of the time, they don’t feel like they’ve moved the needle toward our goal at first. In fact, it feels almost the same as before that decision but worse, since change is hard AND we don’t see immediate progress! Case it point: my tech upgrades actually took a full week before everything was running smoothly-ish again.
Eventually, it comes around, though. I take great comfort in this wisdom from Agnes de Mille, “No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.”
The decisions that “future me” will thank me for aren’t always obvious in the moment. Sometimes we need a little distance and some hindsight to see the benefit of a particular choice. I don’t know yet if my choice of website providers will pay off big, but I am enjoying the early benefits of improved ease of use. That’s a win I’ll take as I continue to monitor progress!
The same is true for any decision you need to make to set yourself up for future success.
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#PositiveAction What area of your work would benefit from the slow down to speed up approach?