“The entire world, with one tiny exception, is made up of other people.”
This is such a true statement. If you’ve ever tried to cause something to happen that required the assistance of others, you’ve most assuredly run into this reality.
This quote reminds me that, while we all have my own unique goals, agendas, mindset and world view, so does everyone else on the planet. I think it important for us to remember that to each person, their goals and agendas are the most important ones to them. Any agenda I have, to them, is secondary to their own. That makes sense right? Most folks are concerned for other people, but their primary concern is for themselves.
This can be challenging when we need the assistance of others. How do we get assistance from someone who has focus and priorities that are different from our own? I think Zig Ziglar’s signature saying is a great guide: “You can get everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” If we need help from someone who is busy with their own priorities, why don’t we offer to help them first? Before seeking assistance from them, what if we first offered assistance to them?
I know, you’re thinking, “They’ll just take my help and not help me in return.” It’s possible. But I think we’d be surprised how often people are willing to help you when you first offered to help them.
Let’s look for opportunities to help others get what they want. Not as a way of being manipulative in order to get our way, but as a way of conveying to others that we understand how important their goals and agendas are to them.
Remember picking teams back in grade school gym class or on the playground? All the best players got picked first and the least talented got picked last. I remember the feeling, hoping to be picked and then feeling relieved when I was finally selected.
It’s not much different as adults. We wait for a potential employer, a significant other, a business partner, or some other person or group, to give us their “seal of approval, by picking us to join their team. Perhaps we feel being picked by them validates us, our talents, our ideas and goals, and maybe even our individual value.
Instead of waiting for others to pick you, why not pick yourself? Why not realize the value, talent and ability that you possess and pick yourself to pursue the goals you’ve put forth for yourself, instead of waiting for someone else to do it? Validate the skills, worth, and ability you have and take the first step toward your goals by picking yourself to be the one that gets things started.
Don’t wait for others to pick you? Cause something to happen. Decide today to pick yourself.
Like a lot of people, I love learning new things. There’s something cool about starting out not knowing anything about a topic, spending time learning about it, and then having an understanding that I didn’t have when I started. What’s even better is applying what I learned and seeing positive results. That’s the true value of learning.
But what about failure as it relates to learning? Have you ever thought of failure as a necessary step in the learning process? No one likes to fail. It makes us feel clueless, ignorant, worthless, or a whole host of other self-defeating feelings. I would guess that many people don’t even risk applying what they learn, or even attempt to learn new things, in order to avoid failure and all those negative feelings that come with it. We potentially miss out on so much because we’re afraid to fail.
What if we change our mindset to view failure not as a shameful and defeating event, but instead see it as a form of learning? Multiple times in the past several weeks I’ve heard the phrase “There is no failure, only learning”. That’s powerful! When we first set out to learn something new, we already know and accept the fact that we are clueless, ignorant, and worthless in that subject. And we’re fine with that. Why? Because we know that is the starting point of all learning. We show up with nothing. We also know that, as a result of learning about our chosen topic, we won’t be that way for very long. As we begin to apply what we learn, we soon find that we are becoming competent, knowledgeable, and valuable in our chosen topic.
Isn’t failure just part of the learning process, helping us discover what works and what doesn’t? If so, shouldn’t failure be seen as a crucial part of the learning process? I think so.
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from attempting to cause something to happen. See it as a natural part of your learning process. And always remember, there is no failure, only learning.
I heard a podcast recently about how comedian Jerry Seinfeld would set aside time everyday to write jokes for his routine. He wouldn’t focus on writing the best or the funnies jokes. His focus was simply to spend time EVERY day writing jokes. When he first started, he noticed he had strung together a chain of 3 consecutive days where he had carved out time to write jokes. In an effort to keep this trend going he set a rule for himself. It was simply, don’t break the chain.
For Jerry, the “don’t break the chain” rule ensured that he would spend some time every day writing jokes, thus causing him to focus daily on becoming better at his craft. Skipping a day was not an option.
I like that. I’ve since adopted this rule for my own pursuits to help me focus on making daily progress toward my own goals. Success rarely happens in one day. Behind the large majority of successful people you’ll find a long chain of consecutive days of consistent effort. Rarely are goals attained without such discipline.
Where in your life do you desire to see the results that come from consistent effort? Determine the answer to this question and then commit to applying effort in that direction on a daily basis. You don’t need to make huge leaps every day. In fact, just focus on showing up every day and putting forth effort that moves you closer toward your goal. Focus on not breaking the chain.
If you want to cause something to happen that is significant and meaningful, nothing will do that quicker than a long chain of consistent effort.
Don’t break the chain.