I admire Gary Vaynerchuk, as I know many of you do, too.
He recently wrote on Medium about having alternatives. It’s a short read, and you can find it here.
I like that he has a framework for thinking through things, and I’m happy the alternatives framework works for him. At the same time, I think it’s very black/white, in a world that’s anything but that. Life isn’t set up so that if you’re not one thing you’re doomed to be its opposite. If you’re not positive you’re doomed to be negative. If you’re not working out you’re doomed to be unfit. If you’re not working hard you’re doomed to be lazy.
With opposites, you can put them on a spectrum, like this:
When you look at that, you have to see that there are countless spaces between the two. And that means that rather than having just two options, you have a powerful number of them.
Sure, you can work hard. Sure you can be lazy. But what if you look for the other possibilities? You can also work hard sometimes and not others, because you know the benefit of rest. Or, you can decide that working hard isn’t your thing, and get help to make it so you can achieve what you like without having to work “hard.” You could even leverage what you do so that it amplifies and there’s no need to work even a little bit hard. All options, and none of them make you lazy.
A friend’s father used to say, “When you see two options choose the third.” I’ve adapted that to myself by adding to it: “When you see two options, choose the third; that’s where the magic is.” It’s a reminder that there’s always at least one more way to go, and truly, usually there are many more than that.
I see restriction in what I call “or” thinking (“this OR that,” “here OR there,”). I’m much more of an “and” girl, myself—so much so that I have an ampersand tattooed on my left wrist to remind me of my options, because there are always options, and options are freedom. Being open to options/possibilities feels amazing. “Or” might get me to a decision faster, but “and” helps me make sure I’ve gotten to the right one by reminding me that the world is my oyster, and that most anything is possible. I love “and” for all those reasons and far more.
If you tend toward “or” thinking in your own business, consider doing an exercise where you make a list of ways that it might serve you to give it up, and, instead, look for the magic in your options. I’d love to hear what you discover if you do the exercise.