The Magic Pill | Lisa Steingold

The Magic Pill

Everyone wants a magic pill; myself included. My whole life I’ve been looking for “the magic pill” – the one that helps you create the life you want, grows your business, rids you of obstacles and that creates miracles. In the past nine months of my life, the toughest I can remember, I found it and let me tell you, it’s a bitter pill to swallow but boy does it work!

Once upon a time…about four hours ago

I’m going to start with a little anecdotal story. Today I decided to go exploring in the Asturian mountains; a remote part of Spain where I’m currently based. The weather was magnificent, I was well prepared with drinks and food in my back pocket and off I went. If you haven’t been to Asturias, I can adequately describe it in one word, okay two; magnificently mountainous. Half way through my ride I grew tired. After months in London, my legs just aren’t used to climbing so much. In this light, I decided to take a “shortcut” home.

Yes, it was a shortcut, distance wise on Google Maps. I did however find myself in a valley with two passes to cycle up to get back home. I stopped on the side of the road and took stock; there was no way but over. Even if I turned back I’d have to ride up two passes. I had a drink, ate half my sarmie and once I’d accepted that it was tough, things almost miraculously became a little easier. It made me think and here I am to tell the tale.

In all of life’s challenges there are a multitude of solutions so how do you choose the right one?

What the point of my story? The point is that to all of life’s problems, there are a multitude of solutions. We can try ‘this’ or try ‘that’ but, and this is purely my perspective, is that truth is the only one that has the power to truly transform anything, even if it’s not in the manner expected.

This is why you can’t always take someone else’s view on your life. Most people operate from their own viewpoint so be careful of anyone who thinks that they have the answer for your life. At the same time, it can be quite arrogant to think that you know what’s best for someone else.

Let’s consider an example of someone who wants to start their own business or perhaps have a child. Some will say that it’s never the right time so just do it. Others will say that there is such a thing as perfect timing so it’s better to wait until such a time perhaps when there is some money saved. Others might say do some homework first. All of these are valid and there may be additional answers. So which is the right one given the individual and their context? Context, of course, must be considered as everything is relative.

So what’s in the magic pill?

The magic pill is comprised of two sets of truth. One is the individual’s truth and the other is the worldly truth. The individual needs to be honest, mostly with themselves. Do they really want to start a business / have a child? Are they prepared for the difficult days? Have they considered the consequences of the decision? (We can apply this to weight loss, climbing a mountain, deciding whether to emigrate…and a multitude of other challenges that we humans look to a magic pill to solve).

There are a few additional truths which you may or may not agree with and I merely want to present them here for you to consider. They are what I consider worldly truths.

The worldly truth is that…

  • …life, the world and people (yes ALL people included, even your mother) don’t owe you a thing.
  • …things won’t necessarily work out even if you do everything right and work hard.

So what now?

What now is that you have the magic pill you’ve been looking for and this is how to take it. Drink a big glass of water, usually because that really helps clear the mind and then;

  1. ASK YOURSELF, REALLY? Do you REALLY want this person in your life? Do you REALLY want to start and own a business considering everything that goes with that? Do you REALLY love this person despite all their flaws? How do you REALLY feel?
  2. OPEN YOUR MIND TO CONSIDER ALL THE OPTIONS. Have you opened your eyes and mind to get a proper perspective of the problem either through asking others opinions or doing your own research? Of course others can only give you advice from their own perspective and ultimately you must do what’s right for you but great advisors will often ask you the right questions to help you unlock your own truth. Unfortunately this researching effort didn’t work out all that well on my cycle but I was confronted with worldly truth. C’est la vie:-)
  3. FACE THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. What’s the worst that can happen? Most people, because of how our minds are wired, generally consider the best case scenario of a decision. E.g. If I start a business, I’ll be making XXX and I’ll have days off. The truth however is that reality may contrast strongly to the best case scenario and if you’re prepared to deal with the worst case scenario and you STILL want to go ahead then I wish you every success because you’ve swallowed most of the pill!

Then consider those worldly truths. Are you expecting or relying on someone else to make it happen or in pragmatic terms, to give you the business? It may not despite all your best efforts work out, what then?

How does this relate to business?

This relates to business just as it relates to individuals. CEO’s make hundreds of decisions a day but in the strategic decisions, keeping the magic pill in mind, will ironically do wonders to boost both company morale and sales!

Now what?

Now you get to decide!

Do you want to ride home or have a cry on the side of the road, in my case? Do you want to expand your business or close it down? Do you want to live in New York or do you want to move to the countryside in Kwazulu Natal? Do you want to have the day to yourself? Do you want to stay married? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to be involved with a certain person?

If you can swallow THIS, then watch the magic unfold and be prepared for a wild, sometimes heartbreaking but also breathtaking ride!

Until next time

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