“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn
Rohn’s wise words sum up the key to success in both business and in life. But of what must you be better? Here are three simple (though not necessarily easy) fundamentals that it pays the leader to get better at doing:
• Walking through life awake. Are you sleepwalking through life, on auto-pilot, barely noticing what’s going on in you or in other people? Unfortunately, many people live in a state of unawareness—one of the most dangerous places to spend time. Little, if any, change (or growth) is possible in a state of unawareness. The Law of Life is Change and change begins with awareness. As the saying goes, “We’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting.” Sorta like picked flowers or harvested fruit. For people who want to be successful rotting in the rut of complacency isn’t an option. A rut has often been described as nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out.
When in a state of unawareness, both the individual and the organization suffer. Every day people in managerial positions lose good people to their competition because they’re oblivious to the fact that those employees aren’t happy at work, don’t feel cared about or respected by them, or aren’t feeling challenged in the job–or countless other reasons people leave their supervisor. Every day marriages break up because one or both partners are unaware of just how unhappy their spouse truly is, or because they fail to grow the relationship. Every day people lead frustrated, unfulfilled lives because they never notice the underlying structures of their lives that determine their actions and, therefore, the outcomes they get.
Change is synonymous with Life. Where there’s change, there’s energy, and where there’s energy, there’s life. Positive change requires us to notice, and to notice, we must be conscious of what’s going on inside (as well as outside) of us.
• Creating a powerful relationship vision. Vision is the only thing that allows us to get off, what author Robert Fritz calls, the Path of Least Resistance. The path of least resistance is a natural law that all life flows in the direction of the path of least resistance. If you ever visit Bryce Canyon in Utah, you’ll clearly see the wind’s path of least resistance by looking at the rock formations. Should you ever decide to take a canoe trip down a lazy river where the riverbed began forming thousands of years ago, you will be carried along the path of least resistance for the flowing water. As humans, our lives also follow the path of least resistance created by the underlying structures that keep us right where we are, despite our best intentions to change. However, create a powerful vision of the results you want in your life, and you can step off the old path and onto a new one that will eventually, with consistent action, become the path of least resistance you want to be on—a path that leads to the outcomes you desire. First comes awareness of the old structures and what’s needed to change them, and second comes the vision of your desired results.
• Developing trusting relationships. As the saying goes, “No one is successful unless a lot of other people want them to be.” In other words, it’s tough to be successful without trusting, authentic relationships. We need the help of others, but without trust, you won’t get the kind of support you need. And to form those authentic relationships where trust abounds, you need to know who you are— the beliefs, thoughts and feelings that drive your life daily. You need to be able to manage those thoughts, feelings and behaviors so that you are in the driver’s seat of the life you want. Only then is it possible to be in a position to give others what they need to trust you. Once again, it all begins with awareness.
How awake are you?
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(c) 2108 Mary Jane Mapes All rights reserved.