If you wake up in the middle of the night, what do you do? If you’re still tired—like any normal human being—you’ll try to fall back asleep.
And there’s the catch—you’ll concentrate on trying to fall asleep. In other words, you attempt to return to the previous state you were in.
I learned a trick awhile back. Instead of trying to fall asleep, concentrate on staying awake. In most cases, you’ll be asleep again in five minutes.
There’s a business lesson here of course. When the going gets rough—when sleepless nights set in—most companies concentrate on the wrong things. Cutting costs. Trying to maintain profit margins. Basically mortgaging the future to try to return to a past performance level.
Instead, I’d suggest focusing on vision, talent, and culture. Hopefully, the business was built around a belief system—rather than a bunch of outputs that generate revenue.
If you are guided by a belief system, your sleepless nights will be minimal. If all you’re capable of is fixating on the bottom line, you’re likely to be staring at the alarm clock all night long.