FIRM IN YOUR GOALS, FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH 

Be firm in your goals, but flexible in your approach. That is a mantra i have heard many times! This morning while occupied at my day job a fine example of this occurred to me.

Before I share this example with you let me begin with a question. Have you ever heard somebody say “I’ve tried a million different things but it just won’t work!” It always amuses me to ask them to name the million things they have tried. After which they usually reply “well ok it has been hundreds.” When pressed to name them we usually discover the individual has tried a few things, usually things they have done in their past, and they didn’t work. This always makes me question the importance of the issue at hand. If it is a problem with their relationship you would think they would keep trying until they return to love.

When a baby is trying to walk they just keep at it. Why? Because walking is that important to them. Perhaps it is all the disappointment we experience as adults that lowers our level of persistence.

Here is another way to look at this. As I mentioned earlier, I was working at my day job when I started thinking how much I’d like to go to Fiji. My thinking is my lady and I would fly there first class and spend time relaxing and mixing with the local culture. What would happen if I was invited for a speaking engagement there? Maybe instead of flying I win a cruise? Perhaps Tony Robbins invites me to his resort to work on a project together? Would I say no because it was not exactly what I had envisioned? Of course not. The goal is to get to see Fiji, how it happens could vary.

My point here is you have to keep trying until you find something that works.  It may seem impossible at first, but so did walking as a baby. Just keep trying and you will succeed. Oh, and if you happen to have an extra ticket to Fiji…

STAY COMMITTED 

This can literally change your life! Earlier this week we discussed the importance of what to focus on. When you are chasing a dream or working on a goal you can meet with all sorts of obstacles. Do not let this distract you. Perhaps you have labored for several days, maybe even weeks and all your efforts were in vain. It can be a tall challenge starting over. That is why it is very important to have a strong ‘why’ or reason to begin. When life throws you a stop sign do just that, stop access the situation learn what you can and move on.

Often we are tempted, myself included, to throw in the towel after what seems like a defeat, but we cannot view life that way. Take the light bulb for example. Mr. Edison tried over 1000 different objects for a filament. If he would have just thought to himself “How can I get cotton to work?”. I might be writing this to you by candlelight or maybe not at all.

Sometimes the way we think is the best is not always so. We often push so hard on the journey we forget to focus on the destination. So keep your goal in mind. If you run into what seems to be a dead end ask yourself “How else could I try this?”. That is why it is often helpful to ‘sleep on it’. Perhaps there is something we missed, a lesson we have yet to learn. Either way if your goal is something you are passionate enough do not give up. Perhaps you need more time, more information or to meet someone new. Just keep trying and keep an open mind. Success is sure to follow. Remember it took Edison over 1000 times, but he changed the world because he didn’t give up and so can you!

Feel free to share this blog post as well as your ideas for staying persistent in the comments below.

 

THE POWERFUL P WORD

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What if you could do something to guarantee you would not fail? How much would that be worth to you? Knowing going into any project or setting any goal that you would succeed. How good would that feel? How would it change your attitude when you start out? Well there is such a power. It is the power of persistence. It was Babe Ruth who said “It is hard to beat the man who never gives up”. He went on to set the record for home runs. There were days that he struck out, days he couldn’t seem to get a hit, but he just kept swinging.

So if this power is a guarantee why doesn’t everybody achieve all of their goals? The reason is this, although persistence is a sure fire way to succeed it is not easy. After all who wants to keep going after they “fail” at something. Who wants to get up and try again? Still, Edison did it 10,000 times while trying to perfect the light bulb. Who would keep asking after you hear “No” again and again? Still, Walt Disney did it after being told “no” by over 300 bankers when trying to money for Disneyland. Can you imagine life without those two things?

I am not Walt Disney or Edison you say. Obviously that is true as they have both passed away and you, my dear friend are alive and reading this. So how can we develop determination and persistence like those two? This is how, by using the P words we have learned so far. Discover your purpose. Then, list what you will lose by not achieving it and gain by doing so. In other words, give your self a dose of both pain and pleasure. Then increase your knowledge and why in the subject to fire up your passion. Then rest assured in the knowledge that if you persist you will not, in fact you cannot fail.

In case you are still having your doubts on your own abilities to do so, here are two more real life examples. The first is a question I will ask you. How long would you give a baby to learn to walk? One day? One week? One month? How long did it take you? Did your parents tell you “Sit down and stop trying to walk, you are just getting in the way and are going to hurt yourself”? Of course not. So how did you learn to walk? You learned to walk but trying, failing and trying again. How long did it take you? That answer differs for each one of us. We rarely apply this thinking as adults. If we try and fail we become discouraged. We look around and compare ourselves to others. “Well they made a fortune by the time they were 30, I must be behind” or “they have found true love and I never will”. What if a baby looked at another baby and said, “Well they learned to walk in 2 days I guess I will crawl the rest of my life”? I dare say the majority of us would not be on two feet. So you have already proven to yourself you can persist.

Here is one more example courtesy of the salesman. Have you ever had a salesman knock on your door when you were home? You ignore him but he keeps knocking. You look over at your spouse and say “can you believe this fool? He is still there?” More time goes by and more knocking. Finally you give in and yell “What do you want?!” A lot of us give up after one or two knocks. We here opportunity inside watching TV but we say to ourselves “Oh well opportunity must have slipped out the back door, I’ll just go home”. I am telling you, just keep knocking! Eventually life will give in and simply ask “What do you want?!” Remember the words of the Bronx Bomber, “It is hard to beat the man who won’t give up”. It is not only hard, it is impossible. You may fail several times, but you are only a failure if you give up.

Please share this post and give faith and hope to those who may be tempted to give up. Feel free to leave your favorite example of persistence in the comments below.

KEEP SWINGING…

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up”

-Babe Ruth

When people ask me the secret to my ability to see the positive side of things and keep a bright outlook I offer them many of the secrets I employ. Most of which I have shared on this site. Still if there was one trait, one thing that has kept me on the right track despite outside circumstances it is this – I never give up – Everyday I see people who give up on a lot of things. Give up on a new idea they were trying. Give up on a new skill they are trying to learn. Give up on the dreams they were chasing. To the worst thing of all, giving up on life itself. No doubt there are days when we need to take a step back and catch our breath, or just recharge, but that is not giving up. Quite often most people stop digging their mines when they are mere inches from gold.

When we think of Babe Ruth what do we think of? Did you know ‘The Babe’ was a great pitcher as well? Most people associate Babe Ruth with hitting home runs and well they should. For quite some time he was the all-time leader in home runs. The home run is baseball’s equivalent to a personal victory in life. A home run does not always win the game, but sometimes it can. It always adds to the joy and confidence of the player hitting it, however. So how about you? How do you feel when you ‘hit a home run’ in life? Be it finishing the project at the office or scoring high on that term paper. Do you not find the things you do following you do with more confidence and enthusiasm? That is all well and good, but let’s face it in our game of life, we can’t all be home run hitters like the Babe Ruth, or can we? Let us look at the opposite side of the coin; striking out. When you strike out in life, you lose a job, you get in a fight with your spouse or luck just seems against you, How do you approach the things following that? If you are anything like most people your confidence is down, your enthusiasm may be lacking. Quite often approaching things with this state becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By approaching life with a down-trodden attitude we often miss opportunities we would’ve seized with a more zealous approach. So what is the solution? How when we find ourselves in a ‘hitting slump’ can we still keep our attitude up? I think taking a new look at some facts may help us. Did you know every year he played Babe Ruth struck out more than he homered? It’s true. Look it up if you feel the need. Even in today’s game a .300 hitter is considered good. That means that they get a hit only 3 out of every 10 times they attempt. These are the guys getting paid top dollar. What is their secret? How come they do not give up after failing 70 percent of the time? The answer is simple and it is the secret I use to maintain a positive attitude and you can use to succeed in any avenue of life you are pursuing. The secret is this…They keep swinging. Quite often if we persist we demonstrate a faith in ourselves that gives us and everyone around us confidence. “Persistence is just another word for faith. If we didn’t have faith we wouldn’t persist” Said Earl Nightingale. So show some faith in yourself and persist, when you strike out at something in life and you feel like a failure, remember just to keep swinging!