The Baby Crib
For anyone who has raised a family, the words some assembly required bring feelings of dread and failure. For us, it started with the baby crib, a generous gift from our parents for our firstborn. We had picked out the perfect crib within our specified budget and were more than excited to get it home. After barely getting it into our car then opening the large package, Greg and I dove into putting it together. Visions of soft blankets and a spinning mobile for the first addition to our family were running through my imagination.
Halfway through the some assembly required crib, with numerous steel rods, nuts and bolts to hold the polished oak pieces together, we realized there were some essential pieces missing. Upon this revelation and after several hours of painstaking assembly work, we immediately contacted the store. The salesperson just told us to just return it for another crib. That meant we now had to figure out how to fit all the pieces back in the box after disassembling what we had already put together. Anyone else ever try to do this? Not easy, but we did cram the pieces in the now torn cardboard box and got our replacement.
Then the Scooter
Then there was the scooter with some assembly required noted in small letters on the box. The scooter included a hand brake with cables that extended down to the wheels. The picture looked so easy! We didn’t pay to have it assembled-- what could be so difficult? We didn’t realize at the time that the directions inside the box were in 5 different languages and we couldn't find our own. After several hours of struggling to get the brake to work just right, we gave up and brought it back to the shop, willingly handing over the assembly fee. Within one day, we had the scooter back, fully assembled and ready to ride. It was worth every penny!
Connecting the pieces in life and business are very similar to both the crib and the scooter as there is some assembly required to move forward with personal goals, an evolving career or even a personal life-change. What many fail to do at those times is ask for help when they can't quite decipher the directions. . Most men and women face huge changes after the age of 40, which is halftime. (see: How Do You Know You're at Halftime?)
Mindsets are extremely important at this stage. For example, my husband was a professional athlete and he has continued to hold his own quite well on the basketball court. However, the recovery time and process from the intensity of running hard down a court is starting to wear enough on his body that he has to make changes in his mental attitude. (Mainly from my pleading as I watch him hobble around for days!) Facing a change of mindset pertaining to what he can or should do is crucial at halftime, but where do you start? Here are three ways.
MINDSET ONE: Don’t panic! Identify the problem calmly. Whether it’s a crib with missing pieces, a scooter that doesn’t work right or a body that can’t move after an intense game of basketball, look at the picture realistically. Then identify the root problem. (Such as missing pieces or the type of workout)
MINDSET TWO: Accept the fact that there is a solution. It may not be the solution you desire, but there is a solution. This is an important mindset. Many get stuck right here, and feel absolutely hopeless with negative energy and self-talk. (Such as: I’ll never be able to work out hard again. Or: This is way too much work to return the product so I’ll just quit)
MINDSET THREE: Decide to act, then DO ACT on a solution. This is also an important mindset. If there is no action, there is no change. Missing pieces can sit forever—you can find many of them crammed in garage crevices and corners. You can also find many people who forego physical workouts , frozen with the fear of getting hurt.
These three mindsets will help you move forward when there is some assembly required. Every new year or season of life brings those feelings of some assembly required. This can bring a sense of uncertainty as where to best use time, energy and resources. Focus on the starting point of a healthy mindset for developing certainty, assurance and confidence!