In this episode, I dive into the psychological thrill of planning and why it triggers so much happiness in us. And what inevitably follows after the planning is done.
Hey everyone, this is Julie. I hope you guys are doing amazing. I had a funny thought the other day as I was coaching a bunch of new business owners, entrepreneurs and I realized that planning, the act of planning is actually quite sexy and then the act of implementing is not. And so I wanted to kind of look at what happens psychologically in those two activities and how once we understand that about ourselves, we can then kind of adjust our perspective and our mindset to make sure that we’re really making progress in our business.
I want to tell a story and it’s not even really that exciting of a story except that I have noticed over and over and over again. You know, that I work with Russell. Now. I kind of got the idea of the whiteboard when I saw Russell. I remember a long time ago seeing Russell writing on a whiteboard and some advertisement and then you started to see lots of people do the whiteboard thing, right? The flip chart, the ads, you know, scribbling that kind of like mad scientist genius, you know, just writing the secrets of the world on this whiteboard. And it’s super fun to watch and it’s also super fun to do. And I realized after getting a bunch of whiteboards and doing this, this kind of thing, there is some massive adrenaline rush, at least for me. Maybe if you’re not creative, you don’t feel this way, but the thrill of a big giant whiteboard in front of you and the idea that whatever you want to create, whatever you want to plan is just ready.
It’s like the universe is waiting. And so it’s super sexy, super fun and everybody loves a good planning session. You know, for some people they like the science of planning. They like thinking about the dates and the lists and the to-do’s and how are we going to do that.
For others of you, the part of planning that you might love is the creative side, the strategic side of planning. Kind of like, how you’re going to conquer the world or dominate this market or whatever. I see that with Russell. Russell doesn’t want to look at spreadsheets and timelines and dates, but he does want to create on the whiteboard. Whereas if I was hanging out with James Freal maybe on a whiteboard, we’d be doing a little bit more like the science of the plan.
Anyway, no matter which way you do it, it’s sexy to say. It’s like so much fun to plan a new business. Plan, a new product. The sky is the limit. But with every high comes a low. And I think one of the things that I’ve noticed in coaching is that so many people mistake the high in the plan as the universe’s way of telling you that this is going to be amazing.
Now it may, in fact, be amazing, but don’t be fooled. You’re just on a high because planning is sexy and planning is fun and planning ignites the imagination and the adrenaline and the dopamine and all those kinds of things. And that’s why you feel that high right now. It may be an awesome idea and it may make you millions and may suck as a terrible idea and you may hate it three months from now. So don’t mistake that feeling you have when you’re sitting in front of a whiteboard and you’re so excited as the universe’s stamp of approval that you’re going to feel amazing about this forever because you probably won’t.
And in fact, the thing that’s funny is I can sit with somebody and do a plan and just see them light up and be so excited and then when it comes time to execute that plan, all of that thrill and happiness kind of starts to dwindle, right? Because what happens when you execute a plan, right? It’s like when you pour water or water spills, it’ll find every crack, crevice, rabbit trail it can find. So you have obstacles, you have rocks, you have mindset blocks, you have real life butting up against what your dreamy whiteboard plan was showing you.
The actual execution of the plan is not nearly as fun as the planning of it. And this is exactly the way making babies happens, right? The thrill of having sex and making a baby even in that first flush of pregnancy. And some of you, if you were happy pregnant, maybe you felt that all nine months where you just felt amazing. But then the actual carrying out of raising a child is the most freaking hard thing to do in the entire world. And all of that happiness at some point on that road just completely goes away.
However, when you are no longer happy about raising your kid or you’re just struggling, you don’t ever doubt that you’re going to do what you’re going to do, right? You’re going to take care of your kid anyway. That if your kid was in trouble, you would jump in front of a bus. And yet when we take our thrilling plan off of our whiteboard and then go to execute it, we get so squishy and we’re like, ah, I don’t really feel excited about this.
Maybe you know, maybe this isn’t the right thing. Right? And then what do we do? We go back to the whiteboard. We erase it. We start again. We get a high or like, oh, this is it, this is amazing. That first plan wasn’t my plan. This is a better plan. Right? And we get so excited, right? And we’re like, and again we think, oh, this feeling I have right now I’m planning is the sign that this is the right move. And then we go to execute. And what happens? That feeling goes away, right?
The high dwindles down and we go to execute it. It gets hard and sticky and all that didn’t quite work, right? What do we do? Maybe I’m just, maybe this isn’t right. Maybe I need to think of it. Maybe I need to pivot and again and again and again, we do this.
Guys, we do it in relationships, right? We fall in love with somebody. We get the rose-colored glasses of love. We get so excited, right? And then people get married and then that dwindles down. And then they feel like, oh, I don’t know if I really love you anymore. They start to doubt themselves. They start to think the grass is greener on the other side. We all know it is not greener on the other side. It is not greener on the other side. That’s the truth.
But our emotions tell us this, and so we then we break up, we go find a new love. It’s amazing, it’s high, and we think, ah, okay, this is right, and then eventually it fades. And so the advice I have for you in your business as your planning, I think that we all deserve the thrilling, the thrill of planning. And the good news is in a business you can have the thrill of planning.
Every time you have a new product or a new campaign or a new service or a new this or that, you do get to do it again, right? It’s like falling back in love with your spouse again. Right? You get to, you get to enjoy that thrill. But don’t mistake the emotion for, for the planning as the emotion you’re going to feel about the plan as you execute the plan because you will then think you’re on the wrong path and I guarantee you that anything worth doing is hard and anything worth really truly doing is going to come with moments of wanting to quit.
And so when you say, I don’t know, how do I do this? When I’ve lost my motivation? One of the things I often say to myself, I’m not the prerequisite for doing something is not figuring out how I feel about it. It’s doing it because I said I was going to do it or I know this is what I need to do. Motivation has nothing to do with it. It has to do with the ability to see beyond the immediate pain or difficulty of that circumstance.
And so, you know, I tend to make fun of the, some of the woo-woo culture and I don’t mean to in a mean way because there’s a lot of things about that culture that I agree with. But I think that “it doesn’t feel in alignment with me” bologna tricks us into just like everything is just by a whim and a feeling and that’s what toddlers do. That’s not what adults do.
So if you find yourself in the execution of the plan, not feeling the thrill you felt when you were planning, that’s normal. And don’t wait for motivation or some lovery cupid to come out of the sky and get you excited about what you’re doing because it’s hard work.
Sometimes what I have done is I’ve felt this feeling of like I’m in something and I’m like, you know, 80 percent in and I have lost all thrill, excitement, motivation. I know Russell does this too. He has great ideas and then he loses that feeling. He has learned how to push through anyway. I have learned how to push through anyway. You know, he’ll make the joke of like, oh, there’s so much pain associated with finishing. And I was like, it’s so true. It’s like the ideas, so much fun, but the pain associated with actually finishing the plan, executing, doing what has to be done.
The difference between people who can actually finish and people who can’t are the people who can actually finish, don’t necessarily have more motivation. They don’t necessarily have more emotion. They don’t necessarily have more dopamine in the brain. The only difference is those people know that they can’t wait for a feeling. They know that there’s pain associated with it and they don’t look at that as an alarm bell that tells them to stop. They look at it as, oh yeah, this is exactly what’s supposed to happen at this point in the game.
And so I’ll leave you with this little story. I had a client, she was getting ready to, you know, build this funnel again. The plan just ignites this emotion is so fun. Right? And then as she executed, I didn’t hear from her for a while and then finally I heard from her and she did exactly what everyone does at this moment where they doubt themselves. The emotion is gone. They find all the holes, it gets sticky, it gets hard and they want to quit and they’re instant thought is, maybe I need a new plan.
It was like, if you know that that’s exactly what you’re going to hit, then you can tell yourself when it hits you’re like, oh, this is the moment. This is the moment where the pain associated with finishing begins. This is exactly what’s supposed to happen. That means I’m doing the right thing. And you can trick yourself into recognizing that the pain associated with finishing is actually a sign that you’re doing the right thing and to not use it as a flag to turn back but to keep moving forward even though it doesn’t feel good. All right guys have a great day. Appreciate you all. Talk soon.
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