How to Know When You Suck

Scenario: "Dude, I'm so tired. But I know being this exhausted means I'm working very hard! Yay!" You know all those business "mottos" telling you:

  • "Work tirelessly!"
  • "If you're not feeling pain, you're not working hard enough!"
  • "Having fun won't get any work done!"
  • Yadda, yadda, yadda.

So, your well-intentioned self might figure: "Hey, work should suck!" Our theory to this whole shenanigan dates back to the 18th century:

  1. Without amazingly awesome business books available, the first established American businesses produced dictatorial bosses.
  2. That spawned others who emulated them.
  3. That vicious cycle of bad bosses continued into the 21st century.
  4. So, trustful managers -- modeling themselves after their predecessors -- now expect effective work as painful, excruciating, and demoralizing.

That's why people dread Mondays. That's how work gets a bad rap. And, that's how you create a workforce that's sluggish, unmotivated, and unproductive. Net Loss: Billions of dollars in productivity every year. If you're seeking super-amazingly-productive-kick-booty work, your work life -- as it turns out -- should resemble heaven. If it doesn't, you know something's wrong.

"So, how do I specifically know when something is wrong?"

It starts with this simple question: "Does my life absolutely, totally, rock at this moment?" If you're feeling tired, exhausted, unmotivated, lacking passion, or feeling tense, that's your body/mind/soul telling you: "Yo! I suck right now." Your negative feelings are sending you signs:

  • "I'm overworking myself."
  • "I'm doing unproductive business work."
  • "I'm procrastinating on my sales report."
  • "I'm debilitating my body."
  • "I'm lacking sufficient exercise."

Use this rule of thumb by renowned performance psychologist Jim Loehr, who studied what distinguished all-world athletes from the sucky ones: The more toxic and unpleasant the energy, the less effectively it serves performance; the more positive and pleasant the energy, the more efficient it is.

"So, what should I do when something is wrong?"

Like in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, it starts with confronting how you're feeling.

  • If you're feeling tired constantly, that's your body telling you: "Exercise!"
  • If you're feeling burnt out, that's your body telling you: "Relax!"
  • If you're feeling you suck at sales, that's your brain telling you: "Try another sales method!"

Confronting your negative feelings helps you check yourself before you wreck yourself. That gets you in line to answer: "Yes, my life absolutely, totally, does rock at this moment."

"But wait! What about when 'wrong stuff' inevitably happens?"

Say, you just dropped a deal. Or, you received an influx of customer complaints. Or, you missed a sales goal. People typically respond to the 'wrong stuff' in two fashions:

  1. distraught
  2. invigorated

We're taking this number strictly from our behinds, but we'd say 99.9% of people feel the former: "Oooh. Why me? Why? Oooh." Kick-booty business-builders (like your fabulous self) -- on the other hand -- feel invigorated after the 'wrong stuff' happens. 'Wrong stuff' to them and your badass means:

  1. "With every failure, I'm getting closer to success."
  2. "Now, I know where my badass can improve."
  3. "I'm building my supremely awesome resilience every time.

Invigoration. Sexy. And more important, that gets you answering: "Yes, my life absolutely, totally, does rock at this moment." So when you're out rocking the world with your business, recite this sucka as your every-second barometer:

"At this moment, does my life absolutely, totally, positively ROCK higher than a mutha-@^^%^& tapered falcon that has a 42-inch wingspan, weighs 970 grams, swoops in at 180 mph, and comes in at 510 millimeters in size?"

(Trust us.)

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Posted on February 12

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