Perspective is everything

Perspective is everything blog post 10One of my military leaders was a great storyteller. At the time, I was spending a lot of nights in a helicopter with a team of Americans. Some of those nights were long ones, so our leader helped us pass the time by talking about our missions, and why we were doing them. Those talks had the potential to be pretty boring, but his stories had a way of giving me goosebumps. He made every mission feel significant, even if we were doing something as simple as taking pictures. In fact, his words were so inspiring, I felt like even if I weren’t being paid, I would still be up there, doing whatever we were doing that night.

Why did this man evoke so much commitment and loyalty? Because he showed us that we had a cause. By the time he’d finished talking, we already felt like we were making a difference, just by sitting in that helicopter. And our leader was right—what we were doing did matter, but we didn’t realize how much until he found the words to express it.

After my perspective changed, my attitude improved almost automatically. Now that I had a cause I understood, I had something to work towards. I felt committed to accomplishing a task that would better the world, and that was more motivational than anything else could have been.

Just think about it. In World War II, were soldiers fighting to earn money? Not a chance. They were fighting for freedom, a greater cause that provoked passion, commitment and a sense of duty.

I’ve carried that lesson with me as I worked to build my business. Even though some days were incredibly tough, I was working towards a cause that kept me motivated. And my cause wasn’t money, either. More than anything, I wanted to give my wife a way to stay home. Most mornings, she was in tears as she left for work, in anticipation of being mistreated by her co-workers. So there was nothing more important to me than helping her out of that situation.

Although, realistically, I needed money for her to stay home, I wasn’t visualizing dollar signs when I went to meetings every day. I was focused on my cause—giving our family a way to live, grow and learn from each other.

Once I found my cause, my work wasn’t so hard anymore. I started having fun, because I was able to picturing the life I was working for. The more I pictured it, the more excited I got. And the more excited I got, the harder I worked to achieve my goals. Eventually, even the rejections got easier. I began to focus my efforts on helping others, and each small success brought me a sense of excitement and achievement that kept me going until I was able to help someone else. And now? I’ve achieved that family-oriented lifestyle I was working so hard for. And it’s all because I found my cause. What’s yours?

13 thoughts on “Perspective is everything

  1. Of all the leaders I follow in blogs, twitter, Facebook, etc., you are the only one that, while reading, I can hear your voice. May be the accent! I love both, yours, and Lana’s fantastic stories and teaching. Fired up for convention to hear from you again!

  2. It’s just like you put it during your last Zoom with us, Claude. Our choice is a (potentially mind-numbing) employee mindset … Or a purpose and a dream.
    Thanks for always challenging our mindsets and simultaneously always believing in us.

    part of Rascals of Kaizen, Albany NY

  3. Time for another re-read of your book – Toughen Up! Claude, you are an inspiration to many… and your stories bring home the lessons to your readers in a powerful way. Thanks for all you do!

  4. Great piece of writing, Claude. Very similar to your Good Courage video clip. Duty, obligation and a “man overboard” mindset toward the freedom of others. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for taking me back to my days in the military. I was the one coming up with a cause for our mission – I needed to see the big picture, but my leaders didn’t always provide that for our team. Many of the others were down and distracted as we were heading out for some training. To them, it was a waste of time because they didn’t have a cause. I love how you apply this thinking to non-military life as well !! Excellent ideas Claude, making me think in different ways- I love it.

  6. Hello there Claude

    I love how you put it in your last post
    We all need to have a reason why we will put our business together.its not just the money. It’s what we will do with it…. Looking at piles of money doesn’t motivate me but what I can do with it does……..
    It all comes down to choices…
    Just thinking of what we can do with it gives me goose bumps….
    Getting my father in law out of the retirement home is going to be amazing…
    As you know Lindsay an I are self employed so we can’t have a big retirement party for our self.
    But we will be pulling up to his retirement nursing home with a limo an have his retirement party there as he will be retiring from that nursing home soon… Then living with us…

    I can see it so clearly an that’s what motivates us to run hard…

    We all need to see our dreams like they are right in front of us!!!!!

  7. Thank you Claude, it serves as a great reminder that we all have a mission in life but it may not be staring us in the face. You’re experience and wisdom from you’re exposure to the military and business life, allow the rest of us to follow a great example.

  8. Great blog, Claude!! Perspective really does change attitude, and we have all of you fabulous leaders to thank, for striving to help us all see that new perspective, to help us see our purpose, and for helping us reach towards those goals and dreams!

    God Bless you all!


  9. Great article to us military guys. We needed those moments especially when I was on submarines at the 2 1/2 month mark on a 3 month op…..missing heck out of my bride who was left behind by herself. Pride and patriotism felt great but I found after marriage , heart shifted from country to family…..

  10. Awesome blog Claude. Commitment and belief – its all in our perspective on the stories we tell ourselves!

  11. That is truly inspirational. The more I listen & read, the stronger I can see my cause. This post gave me “goosebumps”. Thank you for sharing.

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