Joel's Thoughts & PhilosophY:
A Short Introduction To Joel's Philosophy on LEadership, Success, Motivation, and Playing with Mousetraps
Play With Mousetraps:
This is simple. We learn and we grow when we take risks. When we feel comfortable for too long, things get boring. When things are TOO risky, we get panicky and shut down. The key is to find the right amount of risk. Besides, life is risky, jobs are risky, the market is risky, and relationships are risky. We need to learn how to deal with risk. Hopefully, we learn and grow by making mistakes with stuff that doesn’t permanently damage us, other people, or our planet.
Enter the mousetraps. Most people are terrified of mousetraps. Many people refuse to touch them at all. Usually people have a story about why they’re scared. They had a bad experience, they are accident prone, their wife is the one who deals with mice in their household, etc. And those are nice stories.
But the reality is that mousetraps are not very dangerous to people. They’re quite dangerous to mice, but mice weigh only as much as a AA battery. Mousetraps are high in perceived risk, but low in actual risk. If you get snapped, it’ll sting, but you’re not going to need a hospital visit.
Driving a car, on the other hand, is the opposite. Low perceived risk, but high actual risk. Driving is certainly one of the most risky things people do on a day to day basis, but many more people are scared of mousetraps than scared of driving.
So why play with mousetraps? Because playing with mousetraps will help you push your comfort zone. You’ll learn about yourself. You’ll learn about how you react under stress. You’ll learn about how much courage you can demonstrate. You might even have fun. You might get creative. You’ll surprise yourself, actually, and that’s a healthy thing to do, because we’re all a lot more capable than we believe ourselves to be.
You probably don’t believe that a mousetrap can help you do that. And if you don’t want to try it, you probably have a really good story at why YOU wouldn’t be well-suited to an activity like that. That’s just a story though, and while it’s probably very convincing to you, you might ask yourself if there’s a chance that you’re just nervous and making it up because your brain is trying to keep you in your comfort zone.
The fact is that thousands of people have had positive experiences playing with mousetraps. Thousands of people who are just like you – they had a story in their mind. But the good thing about stories is that they can change. And that’s maybe the biggest message of all – our stories can change, and when the stories change, our capabilities change with them. So when you’re ready to reconsider your story about mousetraps, I can’t wait to help you figure out what’s holding you back in the rest of your life.
JOel's Definition of Leadership:
There are hundreds of definitions of leadership out there. I suggest reading as many as you can, and then see what resonates for you. This can take some time and thought - I was two years into my career as a "leadership facilitator" before I forced myself to settle on a personal definition of leadership. But - if you DO do that thinking, you'll have a deeper understanding of leadership than most people, and more importantly, it will help you in your pursuits.
Here's my definition: “Leadership is the set of behaviours and interactions that inspire and facilitate movement in a common direction.”
Three key points:
But enough about MY definition of leadership. What's YOUR definition? I'd love to hear it!
Here’s how I see motivation. Everyone cares about stuff, but not everyone cares enough to get off his or her duff (“duff” is slang for “the buttocks”). Caring enough (ie, being “motivated” to action- saying "I will.") requires three things:
This is, in a sense, a guide to diagnose and understand why someone is unmotivated. So after you know this, what do you do?
One last thought: Motivation follows action, not the other way around. Typically, when I take action on something, I immediately feel responsible for the result, I begin to see that I am capable of it, and I am inspired by initial small successes so I keep pushing ahead (even though my decision is not always logical – I sometimes put off something more important in order to finish something less important, for instance.. but at least I know I was motivated to do what I was working on.) What’s the lesson? Schedule time for the things that are the most important, and then just start doing something. The motivation will follow.
"Do Awesome STuff"