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Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying
You can either wait and hope for things to happen to you or you can act, live and make things happen
“Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying” is a quote from my all time favorite movie, The Shawshank Redemption. There is not a single thing in this movie that I don’t like. I have watched it several times and the voice of Morgan Freeman, the actor and narrator in this movie, still speaks to me. Every frame of this movie is made with immense care and there is nothing that is out of place or extra. It’s pure excellence. I am absolutely fine if you have to stop reading this right now to go watch it. If you haven’t watched it, you should. You are missing something.
This particular quote has stayed with me from the very first time I watched the movie. It is pure wisdom in just a few words and is something that one can apply to personal as well as their own professional lives. It is a powerful tool that I have personally used to trigger action.
As a leader, you increase your chances of success with a corresponding increase in the number of actions you take. Success is one aspect, longevity is another. You can act everyday towards getting better and in turn ensure that you are living your life. Or, you can stay stagnant and allow time to pass by.
Another quote that comes to mind is the one from Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher:
We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one
While both of the above quotes were stated with reference to life in general, you can use it to your advantage to motivate your team and instill the importance of action. Here are a few ways you can use the essence of these quotes to foster a progressive and winning culture within your team:
Use all the opportunities you get to remind your team that they can be a catalyst for change by gradually stepping out of their comfort zone any chance they get and taking the extra step to go above and beyond.
Instill the attitude of, “how can I do” and eradicate the approach that begins “why I can’t do”
Remind the team of the opportunity they have in their hands and the impact they can bring in for the organization as a whole.
Allow the team to take calculated risks and reward them for going after something challenging, no matter the result. It is during such risks that innovation blossoms and the overall discomfort in the process, leads to learning.
As the saying goes, “There is no better time for planting a tree than today”, remind your team the sooner they engage in bettering themselves the more opportunities that will come their way.
It is quite possible that your team will only have a few years to work together before the individuals within the team branch out for further growth and opportunities. Urge them to collaborate selflessly so as to accelerate their learning from each other.
Remember to celebrate tiny wins in any way possible.
While the suggestions above were directed to your team, these are directly applicable to you as a leader as well. Act on it and live each day.
You can surely be busy doing nothing and taking things as it comes, or you can choose to invest in each day to make it slightly better for you and the people around you. In other words, you can get busy living, or get busy dying.
I hope you found this piece insightful. If this resonated with you, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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