The election day for the 2020 Presidential Election is in less than 48 hours, and I hope that you cast your vote. By now, you've weighed your options and made the best decision you could with the knowledge you have at the present time. Despite feeling like we've been on a rickety rollercoaster ride for the last few years where the wheels were about to fly off at any moment, our lives will go on once the ballots are cast. A significant number of Americans will be unsatisfied with the result, no matter the winner. Once the victor is declared, government needs to get to work, and we do too. The emotional toll has been mounting, and at the very least, the discord in America has been a distraction for long-awaited progress, not limited to our personal and professional goals.
How to Survive Election Week
So, how do we survive election week and the aftermath that so many are predicting? Pivot and refocus. As with anything, once you do all you can and offer your best, accepting the outcome is the only thing left. So, vote. Be patient as the results come in, possibly over weeks. Accept the results when the race is ultimately called. Then pivot and refocus.
You cast your vote, and perhaps you donated money and sweat. And then, what seemed to drag on forever, testing your patience and faith, suddenly ends. You might not like the outcome. But while the election will be over, fretting the decision will lead to continued wasted energy. It's no way to get the most out of the brief life in front of you. Don't lose sight of the fact that the Presidency isn't even close to being everything. Let's agree not to let it consume us.
We can't find fulfillment if you're in a constant state of finding fault, even if the fault-finding is earned. Most of us have been there. The President is the chief executive of the United States, but while you live in the United States, you don't work for or live with the President. Your life is yours, and how you live it is more important than who's President. How you spend your time is more important. Your mission, family, dreams, goals and pursuits are more important. Find ways to contribute to produce the changes you want to see, in government and in life.
Finding What You Should Focus On
What can you prioritize no matter who holds the office of President?
If there was no such thing as a President, what would you spend your time thinking about or talking about?
What can you do no matter who is President to better position yourself for the life you want to live?
The Power of Focus in Finding Fulfillment
On my bookshelf of books on business management and marketing, I keep a faded 1996 copy of the book Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It, written by Al Ries. In the book, Al Ries offers advice to corporate leaders on how to focus their companies in the minds of consumers and strengthen their brands. My mother gave me the book way back when, and her notes are still in the margins. Over the years, I observed how my mom, a corporate executive herself, achieved great success when she was focused on a single clear goal. Beautiful, classy and smart, my mom was multitalented. She had many interests and things that she could do. There were a few occasions when she allowed herself to get out of focus, spreading herself too thin across multiple ventures. She was most successful when she chose from among them. The book was a great read for both of us.
Focus is critical for success. Al Ries instructs companies to "pick a word."
"Owning a word in the mind is a powerful driving force both inside and outside the company. It tells employees and customers what the company's primary focus is." From the book Focus by marketing guru Al Ries
I imagine Ries might ask what word do you want to "own?"
"...the primary job of a corporate leader is not to manage the corporation but to find the future. Not just the future in general but the specific future for the corporation under his or her care. A focus is the future in the sense that it makes a prediction about where the future lies and then takes specific steps to make that future happen." Al Ries
On Election Tuesday, no matter the outcome. No matter if the election still isn't called. You've done what you can, so it's time to pivot and refocus. It's time to regain your time and attention, your peace and happiness. Pick one word that will illuminate your best options (out of many possible options) and guide your next simple, achievable step. At the very least, you'll start heading in the right direction.