Thursday, October 08, 2009

Prime the Pump

When I was child -- until I was 10, I think -- in the summer we used to go stay with my grandparents "in the country." Mom-mom and pop-pop lived on a farm, raised hogs and chickens, and all that. The house they lived in was in the middle of great fields, and each year there was a different crop. My grandfather drove a tractor -- or a combine or whatever he needed to -- to help harvest whatever crop was planted.

It was kind of fun, most years. Back then, we kids didn't realize it was WORK going out in the fields to pick baskets of peas or corn or potatoes to bring back to the house for my grandmother to cook. We were under the impression that we were having FUN! We didn't even realize we were getting exercise running through those fields, we thought we were playing :-) It's amazing changing how you look at something, changes how you feel about it. So we played, and had fun, and ate really well, and slept very peacefully each night.

But back then, the farm house -- 1960 or so -- had no running water, per se, but out on the back porch, there was a hand pump, so whenever we needed water, we went "out back" to pump it. But sometimes when we got there, the pump would be dry and nothing would come out, so we'd have to prime the pump. This meant taking some of the water we had left, and pouring it into the top of the pump while we kept pushing the handle. That created a seal around the plunger, which created suction, to pull the water up through the pipe from the well, and we'd pump as much as we needed for the day, or the morning, and life was good.

Later, if we needed more water, we'd go back out and pump more. If it was dry again, we'd prime the pump again to get what we needed (laundry day was another FUN day, as we kids got to pump all that water and still didn't realize it was work! Perspective!)

Did you ever go to tackle a new task or project, and your pump was dry? You just didn't have the energy, or confidence, or maybe even the strength... but somewhere along the line you got what you needed and you made it happen and ended up feeling great about it. All you did, was "prime the pump" and got your energy moving. That's what winners do! Winners constantly prime the pump.

NEW project, BIG project, short deadlines, and you don't know how you're going to do it. The pump is dry! But you know you've done this kind of thing before, so you reach back into your memory and grab some mental water, and your start pouring it into your pump. You think about how savvy you were on the last project you thought you wouldn't get through. You realize that you'll need those same skills and talents for this one, and you pump that handle. You remember how you broke the problem down into pieces and took it step by step and you pump that handle. You recollect the people you called, the resources you're privy too, you keep that going until you remember that victorious feeling you had when you finally got it done, even though you originally thought you wouldn't be able to handle it, and when you get to the point where you are replaying the victory... the pump is primed, the water is flowing and completion is a done deal. At that point you've already won "in your mind" and that's where the real victory takes place! Everything after that is just process. "If you can see it, you can be it "(Craig Valentine)

If you don't remember your last victory, then pre-member your next one :-) Of course you have victories! You couldn't be reading this if you didn't. Replay your past victories and, as TonyRobbins says, put yourself in that winning "state", that state of empowerment. Recount the tools, resources, and processes you used to win last time, take a deep breath, hit replay and step boldly into your next victory. You've already won.

Listen carefully. Can you hear that? Yes...? Sounds a lot like the theme to Rocky, doesn't it? Prime your pump, and go get 'em, champ.

Have an awesome day.


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