Gear Up for Success – Part 1

In a perfect world, you’d get all the success you deserve without any struggle. You’d do your thing. The world would reward you commensurately. Tomorrow you’d wake up and do more of the same.

But it happens we’re in a world where obstacles abound, where a great many successes require more than natural talent and acquired skills. So in addition to being good at whatever it is you want to do, it’s helpful to acquire a toolkit of coping mechanisms and positive attitudes that will aid and support your natural talent and acquired skills as you make progress toward the goals you’ve set for your work and your life.

Here are a few of the more important ones:

Accept the Downs Along with the Ups

Since it’s not a perfect world, you’re going to make mistakes, miss out on opportunities, experience “off” days and losses, and generally go through a variety of problematic periods.

There’s no advantage to lamenting these moments, so don’t bother. Instead, use the “down” moments and experiences as learning opportunities, then let them go. With the energy you thus free up, hang on more tightly to as many of the “up” moments as you can, for as long as you can.

Positive moments and successes are important fuel that helps make life worthwhile and drive you to greater achievements.

Step into Your Power

Whether you have learned this or not, you can exercise solid control over your actions, feelings, and results. Sure, there are outside factors that bring you opportunities or limit your options. But that’s true of everyone.

Within those external exigencies, you get to choose your course of action, select your response to outside factors, and deliver your best possible performance in as many situations as you wish.

When you choose to exercise this control, you generally get the best possible results from your natural talents and your acquired skills.

Embrace Change                                                                            

Change is the one constant in this world. That’s why it’s important you come to terms with it, accept it, even embrace it as your friend.

It’s easy to be afraid of change, but not always sensible. Many changes are clearly for the better. Many others contain benefits and improvements, just not immediately obvious ones.

A few changes are for the worse, certainly. Some of these are avoidable, particularly if you’re looking far enough ahead to anticipate them. Even the few negative changes you cannot avoid can strengthen you, smarten you up, and make you grateful for the more positive aspects of your work and your life.

Focus

There are a million things you can control, and a million things you can’t control. Success comes more easily when you put your focus where it matters and let the rest take care of itself.

Focus also breeds success because it helps you devote your talents and energies to the one most important item on your agenda, rather than scattering them among numerous less-important items.

Self-Guidance

Fashions come and go. Other people’s preferences and desires can be fickle. Spending your energies and talents trying to meet the standards and demands of others can leave you whipsawed, confused, and unfulfilled.

You’ll nearly always feel more satisfied and successful when you follow your internal compass and work toward whatever goals are most important to you.

This approach doesn’t require you to be unkind, unfair, or selfish. It’s simply the natural manifestation of understanding that you and what you want are at least as important as others and what they want.

Accept Reasonable Risks

In this imperfect world, there are situations where your knowledge and understanding of the forces at work are also imperfect. This gives rise to situations where the outcome is unpredictable, and whatever action you take involves some risk.

Accepting risk means accepting losses and failures, from time to time. But the plain fact of the matter is that you can never win them all. Trying to avoid all loss and failure all too often invites even larger disasters.

Since you can’t possibly eliminate all risk, don’t even try. Instead, it’s more prudent to seek to understand the risks you’re facing, and to select a course of action that is most likely to produce a “satisfactory or better” outcome in a wide range of probable scenarios.

Next time, we’ll go over some more ways to gear up for success.

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