How You Get Conviction

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Believe nothing. Move with the popular notions of your peers. Play it safe. Fit in.

That’s a good way to blend in without much change. It can work well as a strategy for work that is predictable and factory-oriented. In fact, most people are seeking this kind of stasis.

However, the reality of today doesn’t leave such a convenient existence as much of an option. Technology and people’s behaviors keep pushing the envelope and create new normals. And, if you are not careful, you can become disoriented, marginalized and irrelevant.

You have to have conviction.

It is the awareness, decisiveness and deeply embedded belief in what you do or value that matters most. You have to believe that it works or is true.

You need conviction to survive.

You need conviction to be valuable.

You need conviction to get results.

It’s a rare quality. And the key to getting conviction isĀ struggle. That’s right,

Struggle = Conviction

When you struggle through work or hard problems, you gain insights that bystanders and observers simply cannot appreciate without going through the same journey.

Try doing something like building your own website on a server. You make a lot of mistakes as you learn. You understand how IT works with FTP uploads, server security, blank home pages, and all sorts of tripwires and pieces that make a site work. Albeit, it’s easier today than ever. The information and instructions are readily available. And when you experience the failure along the way, you have to keep choosing to push towards your goal until you eventually launch something.

This is true for anything that is complex. You have to struggle through the work. Along the way you give yourself a gift. You know what is true and why. You gain conviction.

So many opportunities are within reach for anyone with initiative. And getting conviction in leadership, technology, organizational behavior, selling, projects, and everything else we deem as worthy work is critical. You know that you know that you know.

Outlast Your Adversity

I recently reconnected with an old college teammate to recall a running route which punished us each Sunday morning during cross-country season. I ran throughout college as a distance runner in an intensive program in upstate New York. I can remember running over 45 miles in three days and wondering if I was going to simply break like a toothpick.

On Sunday mornings after grueling races the day before, we would faithfully head out at 7 AM on our 17 mile Ellison Park runs. We sounded like a graceful stampede in rhythm running along waterways and into small towns. Some mornings, I relied heavily on my teammates just to pull me through the workouts. Showers and brunch at 9:30 AM started our days. The majority of the campus was still in bed. We were just trying to recover enough to do our 4:40 mile repeats the next day. Continue reading

Prospering Without Cleanup Duty

“Where no oxen are, the trough is clean;

But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.”

This is a proverb of the famed King Solomon. He is speaking about two types of mindsets in life – those who want a clean trough and those who want increase. Everything you and I are doing in life is about pursuing our happiness. The question is what mindset and method we are employing. As our world increases in complexity, speed and innovation, we have a choice by which we will engage. Continue reading