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blog  /  

Psychological Cycles [Part II]

September 26, 2021

Winners never quit. Quitters never win?

Last week, I introduced you to Robert who “never quit” but may or may not have won. I also introduced the concept of cycles. I want to elaborate on that today.

If you have a business model that makes money, it means that the more you scale the business model, the more money you make. However, if you have a business model that loses money, the more you scale, the more money you lose.

In an obvious way, life is very similar. If you have patterns in your life that are beneficial, doing more of them will give you more benefits. If you have patterns that are detrimental, doing more of them will hurt you.

We all have patterns and cycles in our lives for nearly everything that we do. There are innocuous ones like getting a cup of coffee when we’re tired, which causes us to be energized, but then maybe we have poor sleep, which causes more tiredness, and then more coffee. There are more serious ones, like closing off when we’re feeling hurt, making our loved ones feel isolated, causing them to become more distant, and then causing us to feel hurt, then making us close off, etc.

There is a significant advantage one can gain by identifying these cycles and taking a hold of them. Once you’ve identified the positive cycles you can do more of them. Once you’ve identified the negative ones, you can work on reconstructing them so they become positive.

How do you identify cycles? That’s the hard part. That’s the therapy, coaching, meditation, or prayer work you need to do to step outside yourself. But let’s go back to the Robert example last week.

Robert saw declining sales. His action was to continue doing what he’s doing. This, unsurprisingly, leads to more declining sales. This keeps going until he’s forced to borrow from a bank to make ends meet. And the cycle continues.

Robert can break the cycle by introducing new ideas and perspectives. If he opened up to his employees, they might have better insight into why sales are declining. Or maybe he should have built in a “If I lose x% in sales, then I will need to hire a consultant”. Or maybe he should have a stop gap measure of “If I go below $X in sales, I will sell the business.” All of these measures break the cycle.

In order for you to identify your cycles, you’ll need to reflect on your actions, why you do those actions, and how the results lead to other actions. It all sounds complicated but it can be simplified. I think it might be worth discussing next week.

Dr. Eric

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