The Success We Think We Deserve

The Success We Think We Deserve (Video Link)

Have you seen the movie Perks of Being a Wallflower?  There was a line in the movie that still resonates with me:  “We accept the love we think we deserve.”  I think this is true.  I think we do accept the love we think we deserve.  We accept the treatment from others we think we deserve.  Unfortunately, some of us do not think we deserve very much. 

This concept can also have an impact on our success.  We achieve the level of success that we think we deserve, not the level of which we are capable.  If we do not think we deserve to be successful, it will be extremely difficult to be successful.  People are very good at self-sabotage, and they generally do not even realize it.

I encourage you to think carefully about what level of success you think you deserve.  From there, think about why you do not think you deserve a higher level of success.  This exercise can give you great insight on those thoughts that may be holding you back.

Easer or Jumper?

Easer or Jumper? (Video Link)

Do you carefully ease yourself into new situations?  Or do you jump in?

I am an “easer.”  I like to ease my way into situations.  I like to study the situation, analyze it, develop goals, create a plan, and eventually do something.

I have friends who are “jumpers.”  Whatever the situation, they just jump into it and start doing things.  Sometimes I admire them!

There is no right or wrong.  Both methods can get the job done. 

A concern with being an easer is that it may take much longer than it should to get results.  After a while, more information or planning does not help.  However, the result is usually right on target.

A concern with being a jumper is that although things are being done, they may not be the right things.  Time may be wasted by going back and doing things over.  However, at least something is being done.

Which are you, an easer or a jumper?  Or are you nicely balanced in the middle?

Lesson from Mary Poppins

Lesson from Mary Poppins (Video Link)

A few years ago my husband and I took the grandchildren to see the play Mary Poppins.  A recurring line was, “Anything can happen if you let it.”

This is very true!  How often do we keep ourselves from success because we do not let things happen?  We do not take risks.  We do not open ourselves up to new ideas.  We get in our own way.  There are many things that we do to not let things happen.

Although I think the line in the play was meant as a reminder to let the good things happen, it can also be a reminder that bad things can happen if we let them.  For example, our health may suffer if we overeat, do not eat a healthful diet, do not exercise, do not manage stress or if we smoke or drink excessively,. Our professional and personal relationships will suffer if we neglect them.  Our career will suffer if we do not continue to strive to improve.

Keep in mind that “Anything can happen if you let it”—for good and bad!  So let the good in, and keep the bad out.

Business or Hobby?

Business or Hobby? (Video)

“Businesses are in business to make money.  If it does not make money, it is not a business.  It is a hobby.”

This was the most valuable piece of information I learned when I went to the University of Louisville for an MBA.  (If I could remember the professor’s name, I would give him the credit.  Unfortunately, I do not even remember the name of the class.)  This forced me to take a very critical look at my business at the time.  I have used it to assess my business many times since.

If you are self-employed, do you treat your business as a business?  Or do you treat it as a hobby?  Do you invest as much time into your business as you would if you were punching a time clock?  Or do you fit in time where you can between personal pursuits?

I know people who run their businesses as a business.  They put in the time and effort needed to achieve the success they want.  I know others who consistently let everything else come first.  It can be easy to do, especially if you work from home.  There are many potential distractions.

This may be hard to believe, but the ones who are most successful are those who treat it as a business!  They work extremely long, hard hours.  If you want a business, that is the price to pay.

If what you really want is a hobby, that is fine as long as you have another way to support yourself.  But at least be honest with yourself.  A simple question to ask yourself is whether or not you would pay someone else to do what you do throughout the day.

Do you have a business or a hobby?  Which do you want?  Do you need to make changes?


Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces (Video)

An old management adage is: “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  All this refers to is that you take something large and complex, such as a project, and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.  Broken down into smaller pieces, it is not as formidable and is easier to accomplish.

I have done this successfully for years for business.  I rarely have enough time to complete a project all at once.  However, by working on one section at a time, I complete the project.  In addition, it is completed more quickly than if I waited until I had enough time to do it all at once.

Another example is education.  Few adults have the luxury of going back to school full time.  I did not.  However, by taking one class per semester, in a few years I completed my MBA.  Had I waited until I could devote full time to it, I would still be waiting.

I have discovered that this philosophy works just as well for personal projects.  For example, I have wanted to clean out and rearrange the kitchen cupboards and pantry for a couple of years.  Finally, I just started doing one cupboard or shelf when I had 15-20 minutes.  This usually occurred while cooking dinner.  Within a few weeks, I had accomplished more than in the previous two years.

These are just a few examples of how strategies that help us meet our goals in one area of our lives can be used to achieve success in others.

Aim Accurately

Aim Accurately (Video)

A problem that I have in golf is aiming.  Whenever I think that I am aiming at the pin, the ball goes to the right.  Consistently.  When I aim to the left of the pin, the ball goes straight for the pin.

As I thought about his, I realized that this could happen in our professional and personal lives as well.  We may think we are aiming for our goals.  However, if we consistently miss our goals, then something is wrong. 

Remember, there is no reality, only perception.  Our perception may be that we are aiming for our goals, but if the reality is that we are missing our goals, our aim may be off.

The most common correction is to change how or where we are aiming.

When I change how I am aiming for the pin, the ball goes toward the pin.  I have found that this is true in life, too.  There have been times when no matter how hard I try, I cannot reach a goal.  When I stop and analyze the situation, and how or where I am aiming, often I can then reach the goal.

If you are not meeting a professional or personal goal, stop and analyze how and where you are aiming.  You may have more success if you modify your aim.  Where you think you are aiming may not be where you are actually aiming.  It is the reality and perception concept again!

20/20 Hindsight

20/20 Hindsight (Video)

Our vision on what we should have done is usually 20/20.  Because we know what we did and what happened because of it, we know what we should have done.

We cannot change what has already happened.  However, how often do we use the lessons learned when similar situations occur?

If we apply what we learned from 20/20 hindsight, we can greatly improve our vision of current situations.  Better vision leads to better decisions.

What is Your ROTI?

What is Your ROTI? (video)

Return on investment (ROI) is used in business frequently to evaluate the profitability of a decision.  Will the return be worth the investment?  This is something that can be used in our personal lives as well.  For example, what will our ROI be on a purchase we make?

Another aspect to consider is our ROTI–return on time investment.  (I do not think this is a real business term.  But it is a good concept!)

Is what we are doing giving us a good return?  We all have the same minutes in each day.  Are we spending our time wisely?  Are we making the most of our time?  Are we spending our time in such a way that we will meet our professional and personal goals?

We are all busy.  This is something that can help us prioritize how to spend our time.  If we ask, “What return will I get on the time I invest doing this?” it may help us make better decisions.



Stop Digging

Stop Digging (Video)

One of my father’s favorite sayings was, “If you find that you have dug yourself into a hole, the very first thing you have to do is stop digging.”  (I am not sure where he heard that, but I know I heard it from him frequently.)

We all get ourselves into trouble sometimes.  It may be in our professional or personal lives.  It may be in big ways or small.  It happens to all of us.

When we realize we have dug ourselves into a hole, we need to determine what we did that got us into that situation, and then stop doing it!  It sounds so simple, and yet it can be very difficult.  It forces us to honestly look at ourselves and our actions.  It then forces us to evaluate what we did, why, and make corrections.

Self-evaluation and change are difficult.  If we do not, however, we will find that we will never get out of the hole that we have dug for ourselves.




Achieving Your Goals

Achieving Your Goals (Video)

There is so much that can be written about setting and achieving goals.  What I would like to do today is to try to simplify goal achievement.

Our goals really revolve around the following:

  • What do we want to do?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • Who do we want to be?

We answer these questions.  These are our goals.

Our plan describes how we are going to achieve these goals.

Both these steps are relatively easy.  The difficulty is in implementing the plan.  Successful implementation requires that we ask ourselves throughout the day if our actions will help us reach our goals.  If yes, then continue with the action.  If no, then do not.

As a very simple example, pretend that your goal is to go on vacation.  You have determined where you want to go and how much it will cost.  Later, you are shopping and see a pair of shoes you really like, but do not need.  Will buying the shoes help you reach your goal of saving money to go on vacation?  No.  So do not buy the shoes.

As another example, pretend that your goal is to get a promotion at work.  You have a project that is due Monday.  You can work over the weekend and complete it or tell your supervisor it will not be ready Monday and ask for an extension.  Which decision will help you reach your goal of a promotion?

Our goal achievement is based on all the little decisions we make each day.  Are you making decisions that will help you reach your goals?