“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
–Henry Ward Beecher
– Leo Tolstoy
It’s called a “self-fulfilling prophecy” when something occurs because we believe it will. The mind is constructed so that it constantly seeks to bring into physical reality the things it thinks about most. Most of us will never realize the tremendous potential we possess-because we are unwilling to believe that we can accomplish things that others believe are impossible. “Impossible” jobs require more effort and greater concentration, but when they are completed, the rewards-both financial and psychic-are commensurate with the effort required. You may not be able to achieve everything you’d like, but you won’t accomplish anything unless you believe you can.
When people become successful, they frequently stop doing what it was that made them successful. It’s a quirk of human nature. But put a fork in that temptation. The best way to keep messing with success is to practice continuous improvement. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo—keep finding better ways to do things. The best time to make changes is when you are on tope-you have the most leverage and flexibility.
Have you ever seen a sports team that had a big lead and then adjusted their game to “protect” that lead? Of course, and what happens. Frequently, they let the opponent back in the game. What happens is, instead of playing to win, they start playing “not to lose.” And that’s a losing game. Break that idea by always keeping the pressure on. Among professionals, the difference between being a top performer and an average performer is small but the rewards are vastly different. By keeping the pressure on, you can ensure you’ll be on the receiving end of the rewards.
If you’re selling the same things and doing the same things as everyone else, you can only be as good as everyone else. Leaders are different. For example, all the major airlines use a hub-andspoke system to shuttle passengers-except one. Southwest Airlines flies point-to-point. Southwest Airlines is the only major airline that makes money these days. Up until the 1968 Olympics, most high jumpers used a feet-first approach called the Western Roll. Dick Fosbury had a different idea. He ran to the bar, turned his back to it, and jumped headfirst. He won the Olympic Gold Medal. Today, this is called the Fosbury Flop and it’s the standard high jump method. It was once said of the band, The Grateful Dead, “they are not the best at what they do, they are the only ones who do what they do.” As a result, with no major hits, they became one of the biggest selling bands of all time. The point is, don’t compete head-on. Find an angle that you can call all your own and own it.
Do you spend too much time in meetings or doing “stuff?” Then cut the amount of time you allocate to them. By doing this, you’ll get straight to the point. To make it effective, practice Bush Time (as in President George W. Bush). President Bush starts each meeting on time and ends each meeting precisely at the scheduled time–even if somebody is in mid-sentence. Be polite, but be punctual.