Brian Tracy shows us how the world seems to belong to those who reach out and grab it with both hands. It belongs to those who do something rather than just wish and hope and plan and pray, and intend to do something someday, when everything is just right.
Are you waiting for everything to be ‘just right'?
The world seems to belong to those who reach out and grab it with both hands. It belongs to those who do something rather than just wish and hope and plan and pray, and intend to do something someday, when everything is just right.
Successful people are not necessarily those who make the right decisions all the time. No one can do that, no matter how smart he is. But once successful people have made a decision, they begin moving toward their objectives step-by-step, and they begin to get feedback or signals to tell them where they're off course and when course corrections are necessary. As they take action and move toward their goals, they continually get new information that enables them to adjust their plans in large and small ways.
It's important to understand that life is a series of approximations and course adjustments. Let me explain. When an airplane leaves Chicago for Los Angeles, it is off course 99 percent of the time. This is normal and natural and to be expected. The pilot makes continual course corrections, a little to the north, a little to the south. The pilot continually adjusts altitude and throttle. And sure enough, several hours later, the plane touches down at exactly the time predicted when it first became airborne upon leaving Chicago. The entire journey has been a process of approximations and course adjustments.
What's the big problem? The big problem is that there are no guarantees in life. Everything you do, even crossing the street, is filled with uncertainty. You can never be completely sure that any action or behavior is going to bring about the desired result. There is always a risk. And where there is risk, there is fear. And whatever you think about grows in your mind and heart. People who think continually about the risks involved in any undertaking soon become preoccupied with fears and doubts and anxieties that conspire to hold them back from trying in the first place.
At Babson College, in a 12-year study into the reasons for success, researchers concluded that virtually all success was based on what they called the “corridor principle.” They likened achieving success to proceeding down a corridor in life. Each of us stands at the entrance to this corridor, looking into the darkness, and we see the corridor disappear into the distance. The researchers said that the difference between the successes and the failures in their study could be summarized by the one word launch! Successful people were willing to launch themselves down the corridor of opportunity without any guarantee of what would occur. They were willing to risk uncertainty and overcome the normal fears and doubts that hold the great majority in place.
And the remarkable thing is that as you move down the corridor of life, new doors of opportunity open up on both sides of you. However, you would not have seen those doors if you had not moved down the corridor. They would not have opened up for you if you had waited for some assurance before stepping out in faith and taking action. The Confucian saying “A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step” simply means that great accomplishments begin with your willingness to face the inevitable uncertainty of any new enterprise and step out boldly in the direction of your goal.
Not long ago, a couple came to me with a problem. He was working for a company owned by his family in which he was bitterly unhappy. It was full of politics and backbiting and negativity, and he was stressed out and hated his job. He wanted to do something else but had no job offers or potential alternatives to his current position. He asked me for my advice on what to do.
I explained to him that there is a “vacuum theory of prosperity,” which says that when you create a vacuum of any kind, nature rushes to fill it. In his case, this meant that as long as he stayed at his current job, there was no way that he could recognize other possibilities, and there was no way that other opportunities could find him. I told him to take a giant leap of faith and just walk away from his current job with no lifeline or safety net. I assured him that if he did, all kinds of things would open up for him that he simply couldn't see while he was locked up in his current situation. He took my advice. He quit his job. The members of his family became very angry and told him that he would be unemployable outside of their business. But he stuck to his guns. He went home, took a few days off and began to think about his experience and his skills and how they could best be applied to other jobs in other companies.
Within two weeks, without raising a finger, he had two job offers from other companies, both paying substantially more than he was getting before, and both offering all kinds of opportunities that were vastly superior to the job he had walked away from. As soon as the word had gotten out in the marketplace that he was available, other company owners, having worked with him and his company in the past, were eager to open doors for him. As he moved down the corridor of life, he began to see possibilities that he had been missing completely by limiting himself to where he was.
If you want to be more successful faster, just do or try more things. Take more action; get busier. Start a little earlier; work a little harder; stay a little later. Put the odds in your favor. According to the Law of Probability, the more things you try, the more likely it is that you will try the one thing that will make all the difference. I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.
Tom Peters, the best-selling author of In Search of Excellence and other business books, found that a key quality of the top executives in his study was a “bias for action.” Their motto seemed to be, “Ready, aim, fire.” Their attitude toward business was summarized in the words, “Do it, fix it, try it.” They realized that the future belongs to the action-oriented, to the risk taker.
Top people know, as General Douglas MacArthur once said, “There is no security in life, only opportunity.” And the interesting thing is this: If you seek for opportunity, you'll end up with all the security you need. However, if you seek for security, you'll end up with neither opportunity nor security. The proof of this is all around us, in the downsizing and reconstructing of corporations, where thousands of men and women who sought security are finding themselves unemployed for long periods of time.
There is a “momentum principle of success,” which is very important to you. it's derived from two physical laws, the Law of Momentum and the Law of Inertia, and it applies equally well to everything that you accomplish and fail to accomplish.
In physics, the Law of Momentum says that a body in motion tends to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. The Law of Inertia, on the other hand, says that a body at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.
In their simplest terms, as they apply to you and your life, those laws say that if you stay in motion toward something that is important to you, it's much easier to continue making progress than it is if you stop somewhere along the way and have to start again. When you look at successful people, you find that they are very much like the plate spinners in the circus. They get things started; they get the plates spinning. They continually keep them spinning, knowing that if a plate falls off, or something comes to a halt, it's much harder to get it restarted than it is to keep it going in the first place.
Once you have a goal and a plan, get going! And once you start moving toward your goal, don't stop. Do something every day to move you closer toward your goal. Don't let the size of the goal or the amount of time required to accomplish it phase you or hold you back. During your planning process, break down the goal into small tasks and activities that you can engage in every day. You Don't have to do a lot, but every day, every week, every month you should be making progress, by completing your predetermined tasks and activities, in the direction of your clearly defined objectives.
And here's where the rubber meets the road. The most important single quality for success is self-discipline. it's the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.
Let me break down that definition of self-discipline. First, it's the ability to make yourself. This means that you have to use strength and willpower to force yourself into motion, to break the power of inertia that holds you back. Second, do what you should do, when you should do it. This means that you make a plan, set a schedule, and then do what you say you'll do. You do it when you say you'll do it. You keep your promises to yourself and to others. The third part of this definition is whether you feel like it or not. You see, anyone can do anything if he feels like it, if he wants to do it because it makes him happy, if he is well-rested and has lots of time. However, the true test of character is when you do something that you know you must do whether you feel like it or not, especially when you don't like it at all.
In fact, you can tell how badly you really want something, and what you're really made of as a person, by how capable you are of taking action in the direction of your goals and dreams even when you feel tired and discouraged and disappointed and you don't seem to be making any progress. And very often, this is the exact time when you will break through to great achievement.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “When the night is darkest, the stars come out.” Your ability to endure, to continue taking action, step-by-step, in the direction of your dreams, is what will ultimately assure your success. If you keep on keeping on, nothing can stop you.
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