I just finished working two straight hours reviewing the manuscript for my upcoming book Leading with Significance (I’ll share more about the book later). Oliver (our now two-year-old Yorkie) has been jumping on my legs for the last 30 minutes to come play with him. His bed is on the corner of my desk and after he eats his morning treats, he usually settles down for a two-hour nap while I work. Not today! He is full of energy and he wants me to play chase with him. It’s his favorite game and since I have been ignoring him and need another cup of coffee for the next hour of editing, I jump up and chase him into the den.
Mid-chase I remember I didn’t save my edits. I should go in there right now and save it, it will take two minutes. Naw, nothing is going to happen. It’s not like the electricity is going to go off in the next 15 minutes. Right?! I finish playing, get a fresh cup of coffee and head back to my desk.
Setting my coffee down, I pull my chair out which is hung on something. Using all the patience of a two-year-old, I yank hard and then harder again, and now my chair is loose. Feeling good about conquering that annoyance, I look up to see my screen has gone blank. Looking down, I realize the chair was hung on the power cord which is now in two pieces as I have pulled it loose where it connects.
Wonderful, the one thing that I said wouldn’t happen, did. I’m not sure if it’s possible to hook a computer up quicker and login than I just did. Luckily, autosave is on and my document could be recovered. I think I might have broken down if I had to start over.
This stress and fear of having lost my work was all brought about because I didn’t take two minutes to properly save my document. Two minutes to do it right. 30 seconds if I had saved it before I got up from the chair. Easy to do, easy not to do.
That’s actually the way of most of the choices, habits and decisions that propel us to outstanding and put us on track for our full potential — they are easy to do and easy not to do. Sometimes, we can recover as I did today (lucky) but most of the time it leaves us a little out of the spotlight, a little less influential and certainly on a slower path to our full potential. What else are we ignoring today that is setting us back or slowing us down? Where have we pulled our power cord in two and what’s the best way to get back on track?