“Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.” Hugh Allen
What is opportunity and why do successful people appear to get more opportunities?
- a favourable juncture of circumstances;
- a good chance for advancement or progress.
Opportunity is like luck, you have to work hard to create it, and is the result of your habits. Life doesn’t just happen to you. It’s all about choices and how you respond to every situation. If you are in the habit of continually making bad choices, disaster often occurs.
Successful people have successful habits – unsuccessful people don’t!
Habits can be changed any time you choose to do so, but they wont change overnight. If you’ve had a habit for 30 years it might take a year or more to break it and ensure that, even under stress, your new successful habit controls your choices.
The culture of living for now and putting off payment until later has become a habit for many people. Instant gratification is not a successful habit and one you must work at resisting to have a successful, healthy and long life.
Have a terrific week Glenn and keep an eye out for the opportunities, no matter how big or small, that will propel you to success.
P.S. Life never completely closes the door on opportunity.
“Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” Charles Schulz
“The secret of good health is to move,” says 88-year-old Hoei Tabaru.
Hoei was interviewed for an article in the National Geographic about super seniors.
You can bet he uses all his gears……
This year I have written about everything from, hunger to humour, and lots in between. But what about living a long healthy life so you can enjoy your success? The latest National Geographic has an amazing article about ‘Super Seniors’. It focus’ on Sardinians, Okinawans and Adventists from California. These groups of people have the highest rates of centenarians on the planet.
How do these people live longer? The three groups shared a number of habits despite the differences in where they live, beliefs and backgrounds. They all;
A few of the different things they did were; keep lifelong friends, find purpose, have faith, eat small portions, drink red wine, observe the Sabbath and share the work burden with their spouse.
Pretty simple stuff that could add 10 years to your life and let you enjoy your success.
Have a terrific week.
P.S. To read the article in the National Geographic click here.
“One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline – and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck.” Carl Zuckmeyer
Luck. Some say it is when preparation meets opportunity and others… “you lucky bugger!”. However it is seen, luck is something every successful person can claim has helped them get to where they are today.
So you want to be lucky? What are you prepared to do to become lucky? How about saying to yourself each morning, ” I am a lucky person and today is another lucky day”. Successful people know the other half of luck is discipline. Would you have the discipline to say this affirmation every morning if you knew it would make you even luckier?
Successful people enjoy meeting and being with other people. You can increase your chance of having a lucky encounter that will change your life by;
Telephoning friends you haven’t seen for awhile to ask what’s happening in their life
Make the time to be at the party you didn’t think you had time to be at
Find something that really interests you and find others interested in the same thing
Say hi instead of rushing on
Sign up for an evening class.
Try out the examples on this list and make up some of your own. For example; go a different way to work or start a luck diary. Everyday write down lucky things that happened to you during that day. The next morning read the lucky things that happened to you. You will be surprised how lucky you are.
Have a lucky week.
P.S. Sometimes you may make a bad decision, but remember this; it takes less than a second to make that decision and since there are 8,640 seconds in a day you have quite a few opportunities to make good ones.
Each is responsible for his own actions. H. L. Hunt
Do you take “responsibility” for your actions or play the Blame Game? Something serious is happening in New Zealand and the World; personal ethics are being abandoned to justify end results with the facade of personal accomplishment.
Are we getting to the point where we can drive off from McDonald’s with a cup of coffee held between our knees, then sue them (and win), when we spill it on ourselves. What about smoking for 40 years, ignore the health warnings and then sue the tobacco company when we are diagnosed with emphysema.
Choose to do whatever you want, no worries, someone else can be hit with the consequences.
Laura Compton (Chronicle Magazine) writes, “The world seems to reward people who excel at shortcuts, resume inflation and other nefarious ways of getting ahead. . . Sometimes it seems like ethics are only for suckers.”
It has seemed like this to me in NZ sometimes. We must become actively ethical, taking responsibility for our own choices, and demanding personal responsibility from others.
In order to accept personal responsibility you need to develop the ability to:
- Seek out and to accept help for yourself.
- Be open to new ideas or concepts about life and the human condition.
- Refute irrational beliefs and overcome fears.
- Affirm yourself positively.
- Recognize that you are the sole determinant of the choices you make.
- Recognize that you choose your responses to the people, actions, and events in your life.
- Let go of anger, fear, blame, mistrust, and insecurity.
- Take risks and become vulnerable to change and growth in your life.
- Take off the masks of behaviour characteristics behind which you hide low self-esteem.
- Reorganize your priorities and goals.
- Realize that you are the party in charge of the direction your life takes.
Before you make a choice this week, THINK, am I taking responsibility or playing the blame game.
Have a successful week.
P.S. Thanks to Chris Shipley and Coping.org
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
Booker T. Washington
|Excellent shot that!
This week we are back to excellence. There are many parts to being “excellent” because after keeping promises, building trust, and following up the next part is doing an “excellent” job for your client. The following is part of the NZSI Library, available to members, and perfectly sums up how excellence can be attained.
EXCELLENCE CAN BE ATTAINED WHEN YOU:
Bearing in mind that excellence is never a destination – it’s a journey. We can only constantly seek to improve everything we do and thus continue the endless and extraordinarily rewarding pursuit of being “excellent in everything we do”.
This process can commence and continue if we …….
1. CARE MORE THAN OTHERS THINK IS WISE.
We must care without exception in terms of the difference we can make to all those people and businesses we have the opportunity to interact with.
2. RISK MORE THAN OTHERS THINK IS SAFE.
The fundamental difference between a professional and an amateur could be in their desire to risk everything they do in the pursuit of constant improvement.
3. DREAM MORE THAN OTHERS THINK IS PRACTICAL.
In the constant pursuit of excellence dreaming and visualisation become the cornerstones of improvement, however, even though many people can dream, only the few who believe unconditionally receive the extraordinary rewards attached to their dreams.
4. EXPECT MORE THAN OTHERS THINK IS POSSIBLE.
Once you care, risk and dream (believe) you then have the right to expect and receive more than others think is possible.
So care more, risk more, dream more and expect more and you will be “excellent”!
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”
Some light reading …
New Zealand, we have a PROBLEM! A culture of not following up and/or not completing tasks.
Following up; sounds easy, doesnt everyone do it, Glenn do you follow things up? I have heard numerous examples and had it happen often enough to me to know that most people DONT follow up. One of the best examples though, is the guy who has an $800,000 budget for a house, makes an appointment with the sales rep from a building company, organises his day to fit in the appointment and the rep never turns up! Not a phone call, email or carrier pigeon did he receive from the rep about his absence. Do you think that company will get the job? If you thought, NO, you would be right.
You might be thinking “that’s not me, I follow up”, but have a good think about it. Following things up requires work and thinking of others before yourself. Successful people return phone calls, reply to emails, follow up their quotes and proposals, complete tasks, make sure they are on time and actually turn up.
A big part of not following up seems to be procrastination so here are Lorna Stewart’s Top 10 Procrastination Busters contributed by Eddie Higginson from Unlimited Success.
The Top 10 Procrastination Busters
- Take time to plan – at the end of each day, plan for the next. Write a to-do list that not only includes the things that need to be done (deadline-oriented items) but also long-term projects that propel your strategic plan.
- Set priorities – make sure you prioritise your list. Do the most important things first. Check periodically that your daily to-do list and activities are in keeping with your personal mission statement. Don’t climb the ladder to the top and realize that it is leaning against the wrong building and not fulfilling what is meaningful to you.
- Do the most difficult task first – if it is a priority, tackle the most difficult thing at the beginning of the day or when your energy is the highest. If you put off the difficult tasks until the end of the day or the end of the week, they will “grow” in size and seem even more challenging.
- Reward yourself – pat yourself on the back when you finish a task, especially a task that you saw as difficult or challenging. Choose a personal reward like a massage, a long walk, or a bubble bath.
- Understand that you’re worth it – determine that you are worth having a procrastination-free life. You no longer want to be a victim to this behaviour. When you believe this is your soul, you’ll learn to say “no”; you’ll take care of what is important to your personal/professional wellness; you’ll stop aggravating yourself with procrastination.
- Become extremely selfish – ask for what you need in order to create reserve or space in your life. This gives you the time to eliminate those things about which you are procrastinating. Remember the visual of the oxygen mask extending down in an airplane. Put it on yourself first, then minister to others.
- Choose accountability – hire a coach, create a success team, or find an “accountability partner.” Being accountable to another person who really cares about your success and won’t be critical if you fail is a giant step towards eliminating procrastination.
- Use the one touch system – whenever possible take care of the task before it gets on a possible procrastination list. For instance, pay your bills when they come in the mail; open your mail, sort it, file it, act on it or throw it away immediately. Do this standing up!
- Lighten up – procrastinating is often just the little person inside you saying “I won’t do it” because they haven’t been taken care of. They’re mad that you never take them out to play so they’re trying to create space for themselves by keeping you from doing “just one more thing.” Sometimes this works. However, wouldn’t it be better for the “adult” in you to choose when to “go out for recess” thus allowing the child within to leave “the working person” alone?
- Get some rest – sometimes we procrastinate because we’re just too tired to do another thing. Go to bed really early at least once a week. Get eight hours of sleep whenever you can. Go back to #6, maintain boundaries around your day so you can take breaks and end your work at a reasonable time. Take time for yourself!
Start this week to follow up. You will wonder at the at difference it makes, why you have never done it before and just how easy it is.
Have a terrifically successful week.
“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.” Booker T. Washington
Trust me, I’m going to be a vet…
Trust. What is trust? Trust is the glue of relationships. The thing that makes you able to be yourself around others and know they respect you and will not take advantage of you. It is placing confidence in others so that they will be supportive of you even if you show your weaknesses. Trust is being in a vulnerable position and relying on others to treat you in a fair, open honest way.
Without trust relationships, business or personal, are as fragile as a china doll and just as likely to break. So how can you build trust? Here are 10 actions successful people take to build trust.
10 Actions Leaders Can Take to Build Trust
1. To build trust: Solve problems through direct communication. Yourself and your peers; yourself and your direct manager; yourself, your manager and their manager.
2. To build trust: Share credit generously. When in doubt, share.
3. To build trust: When in doubt about taking on a commitment, air your concerns with the relevant parties. When engaged on an ongoing commitment, communicate anticipated slippage as soon as you suspect it.
4. To build trust: Spend “informed” time mingling, asking non-assumptive questions, making only promises you can keep , working back through existing lines of authority.
5. To build trust: Be explicit and direct. If compromise is productive, do it in communication, not in your mind alone.
6. To build trust: Be timely; be willing to be wrong
7. To build trust: Acknowledge the intent and risk of innovation first, then address the issue with your honest opinion.
8. To build trust: Extend yourself beyond your own short-term feeling and validate success or new effort.
9. To build trust: Get into direct, tactful communication, airing your problem and seeking win/win resolution.
10. To build trust: Schedule regular meetings for input and feedback for those reporting to you; develop systems for employees to evaluate supervisors and managers.
This week implement action #1 until it is a habit. Then next week #2 and so on. The difference trust will make is astonishing and well worth the effort you put in.
I trust you will have a successful week Glenn.
Promise only what you can deliver.
Then deliver more than you promise.
Keeping promises, or, doing what you said you would do. This is something that most people find very difficult to do and have different excuses for. They might even call them valid reasons but at the end of the day they are just excuses for not doing what you said you were going to do. Whether it is making a call, getting an appointment, being late to a meeting or not getting a quote done I’m sure you could tell me a perfectly good excuse for not doing it.
However the difference in your life by just following up or making that call can be HUGE and make an amazing impact on your life and the people you deal with.
One way successful people have found to make sure they keep promises is only to promise to do what they know they can within time constraints and their knowledge. When they start the task their goal is to surpass what they said they were going to do. This way what they said would get done gets done and something more besides.
So part of keeping promises is ‘exceeding expectations’ and if you do this your clients will always be happy with the work you do for them.
Another way to keep promises is to set targets. Targets are great as they put pressure on you to keep promises, form a basis for accountability and can measure your progress.
This week Glenn start small and keep promises. This will then lead to you getting into the habit of doing what you say and exceeding client’s expectations. Remember most people don’t follow up so imagine the difference you will make if YOU do.
Have a successful week