As silly as this may first sound, your new decision to always walk faster may very well be the most lucrative business investment you make all year. First, let's do a pre-test. Tonight, stop in the parking garage for a few minutes and watch the office crowd perambulate to their vehicles. Take special notice of John, the mid-level manager. He walks slowly, head and eyes down, shoulders rolled forward, his gait appears random, rumpled raincoat, battered briefcase, takes him forever to reach his sensible pale green compact car.
But wait, here comes Susan, the newly promoted Director of Marketing. She is weaving her way through the flock, long strides, quick but not hurried pace, checking her watch one more time, a few "good evenings" to her co-workers but no time to chit chat, appears on a mission, accidentally bumps into John but apologizes and keeps it moving.
Now your brain has already registered a tremendous number of assumptions about John & Susan. Your subconscious has already locked in a long list of facts which it believes are true, even though your conscious brain may think these ideas are meaningless or irrelevant. Your subconscious believes that John is unsuccessful, lazy, passive, not valued, unimportant, has nowhere important to go, no one is anxiously awaiting his arrival, and his entire life has probably been one big disappointment.
Your subconscious also believes Susan is successful, driven, high-energy, assertive, highly valued at work and in her personal life, is late to see her important client or charming paramour or son's championship soccer match, has always been a winner, and her future is so bright she's got to wear shades! As exaggerated as this may initially sound, study after study confirms these leaps of attribution.
This week us JAM Views members are committing to picking up our heads, fixing our eyes slightly above the horizon (it will feel weird because we are used to looking down), pulling back our shoulders, returning the head back to its proper position, straightening our backs, slightly increasing the length of our strides, quickening our pace, feeling the muscles in our legs making an athletic step, and remaining solid and balanced on the balls of our feet. We will be significantly more successful the remainder of the year at work, in our relationships, and with all our interactions and objectives with the outer world, all because of this commitment to walk faster and stronger. I promise you.
Years ago, I visited the chiropractor due to a sharp pain in my shoulder and neck. It felt like an ice pick repeatedly stabbing me in the back (I later discovered it was just the New York investment bankers bringing me another solar company deal for our hedge funds!). The chiropractor showed me my x-ray, which he labeled "the middle-aged executive slumping over his laptop for twenty years." The head gradually moves forward, the neck loses the reverse-C curvature, and the next thing we know Granddad is four inches shorter. In horror, I signed up for every gadget and therapy available, because everyone knows no one is easier to sell than a salesman! This physical degradation is inevitable unless we take control and reverse the process. Just stop by the grocery store tonight after the parking garage, and watch everyone shuffling through the store. It is truly scary!
Then, on top of the physical challenges of life gravity, we have the even more difficult emotional and psychological challenges of this human experience. Life can be quite a burden and doing our Atlas impersonation supporting the world just beats us down over time. It becomes very natural to stare at the ground, shuffle our steps, and focus on all the bad breaks we have received during this adventure. We tend to not remember on planet Earth we call all animals which walk around with their heads down grazers, and we forget that eventually all grazers get slaughtered!
Walking faster and stronger not only illicits an entirely new set of perceptions from the outside world but also produces physical, mental, and emotional benefits for ourselves. Tony Robbins is an expert at coaching people to understand that instead of our feelings creating actions, it is actually our actions which, in turn, create the feelings we desire. If we wait around all week until we feel great and motivated about going to the gym or making those sales calls, we likely will never make it there. But almost inevitably, after our workout or prospecting hours we feel more motivated, confident, and happy that we drug ourselves out there. Walking faster works the same way. Picking our head up, throwing back our shoulders, and walking faster actually stimulates endorphins, increases serotonin, and reduces cortisol. Instead of waiting to feel good before taking more confident actions, this action makes us feel good so that we may, in turn, be more confident. When we feel and believe we are strong, energetic, successful, worthy, and loved, other people view us with these same attributions.
A-Players and Overachievers know that business is a contact sport, and they want to do business with people they perceive to be as strong and sharp as themselves. The A-Players hustle down the office hallways, making eye contact, offering greetings, and exuding positive energy which others truly can feel. The C-Players move slowly because no one important is waiting on them to begin the meeting, they glance at their paperwork so as to not make eye contact with others, and they suck energy and oxygen from the hallway.
Perception is reality. Just as we must dress for our next promotion, not for our current position, we must also convince others, and most-importantly ourselves, we have great worth, our time is valuable, and damnit, we have some place important to go! Walking faster, stronger, and with more purpose will quickly become a habit which we execute naturally. We truly will create more confidence and energy in ourselves, and the rest of the world with notice immediately.
Finally, remember the Laws of Thermodynamics teach us energy is neither created nor destroyed, yet merely transferred. You are either giving energy to your office, team, company, and family, or you are taking energy away from all of these people who need you. Today, consciously pick up the pace, throw those shoulders back, and leave the fear and weakness behind you. Your odds of closing the big deal, earning that promotion, and building more productive relationships will increase immediately. Don't laugh this one off. This is a great opportunity!
"The will to win, the will to succeed, to shape one's life, to take control, can only be harnessed when you decide what you want, and believe that no challenge, no problem, no obstacle can keep you from it." - Tony Robbins