As I was traveling between Muncie, IN and Terre Haute, IN using transportation that was a cross between a taxi and Uber, my driver started telling me her life story. The short version…she was raising her three young grandchildren because one adult child was in jail, the other in a hospital for psychological issues.
She opened the car service two years ago and confided how she was raising her grandchildren—all girls—to realize they could do anything. Every morning, she explained, she had her girls repeat after her that they were good enough just as they were, they were loving, smart and could do anything they wanted in their lives.
And she was very proud of the mantra she had taught them; she was conditioning them for success. We’ve all heard this before, yet when we realize we come factory equipped with some unconscious beliefs that can sabotage our success, we need to use her philosophy on an every-day basis in order to keep ourselves focused on getting the results we want.
As we prepare for the holidays and to sail into 2019, let’s look at a formula to exponentially improve our resolutions and give us a head start on the new year.
1. Condition your thinking, change the outcome
My driver was conditioning her granddaughters to realize they had exactly what it took to create the outcomes they wanted. If you’re not making progress with your goal, it’s often because on some level—despite the work and the desire—you don’t really believe it’s going to be a reality, you may feel like you’re only kidding yourself. Rule of thumb: If you can’t imagine having what you’re working on, then it won’t happen. And your past habits/beliefs are not your destiny. There’s never a better time to change your outcomes and your life, than now.
Examine your beliefs and ask yourself, whose voice might be behind any limiting thought you still have about the outcome you want. Professors, teachers, spouses, bosses and others all contribute to the image we have and the worth we feel about ourselves and our abilities. Imagine what it feels like to have accomplished a goal (closing the enormous sale, standing up to the person, writing the last page of the novel) and maintain that feeling. Hard work is a given, but success stories have an additional element, successful people just keep imagining the outcome and it helps the prefrontal cortex look for opportunities to make the dreams a reality. With the right belief many opportunities seem to fall into place.
2. Change your tactics
We all know that doing things the same old way but expecting new and different results is the definition of insanity, but it doesn’t stop people from doing just that! To move forward exponentially it’s often necessary to hit the “restart” button in your brain. Create five new and different strategies to move your project forward, and don’t be afraid to go over the top in your ideas. When you add your right brain creativity into the mix, you end up with new insights that can be channeled toward the results you’re looking for. Remember we are habitual thinkers and more than 90% of our thinking comes from our subconscious. So without paying attention to how we’re thinking, our best intentions won’t move us forward. And going back to my driver, if she conditions her grandchildren on an ongoing basis, they will automatically see themselves accomplishing whatever they want to do. It’s often not intelligence but belief, that enables us to succeed.
As an example, you might consider becoming part of a master mind group to get insights from others, hiring a part time employee to free up some of your time, get a coach, take off half a day to fish or get a massage or start your own virtual advisory committee. Einstein said “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.” That’s a hard quote to take at face value, because we all know the value of knowledge, but we need imagination to propel us past information on to discovery.
Consequently, imagine the top five people (living or dead) you’d like to be in your think tank; people who you admire, whose brains you would love to pick each day. Now imagine they were on your advisory board, and you were asking their advice. What amazing insights would they offer?
3. Take more risks
If where you are isn’t where you want to be, where can you get outside your comfort zone and take a risk toward your desired outcome? Journalist Nellie Bly talked her way into the city room of the New York World and got herself hired to fake insanity, to write an expose on Bellvue Hospitals’ insane asylum Blackwell Island. She got herself committed easily enough, and then couldn’t get released. When the World attorneys got her released she wrote a scathing series of articles and changed the way patients were treated and made her an instant success. It took creativity and courage! Where can you take a risk that could help you and your career?
4. Make it fun
When we can find an element of fun in what we’re doing it increases creativity and enables us to be more resourceful and effective in strategizing our goals. Many top execs emphasize fun, including Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, who spells out the importance of an upbeat attitude in his best-selling book, Delivering Happiness.
Thoughts create chemical reactions in our bodies, and as we pay attention to what we’re feeling, the better we feel, the better we think, create and solve problems. Create mandatory fun breaks each day, whether it’s to exercise, take a 30 minute lunch with one of your kids or colleagues or something entirely different that brings out the kid in you. These are investments in a better life, and they enable you to be more productive.
5. Take action; action stimulates more action.
The smallest movement, on a continuous basis, will yield results. Will Rogers said “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” And sitting there is another term for being stuck, giving up, not moving forward.
It would be great if we all had Einstein’s genius, but what we have been blessed with is the ability to imagine, create and stay with our dreams (problems, goals, challenges) long enough to get the results we want. If we’ve been given the desire, we’ve been given the ability to create it and make it happen. Maybe it’s not happening as quickly as we would like, but with tenacity—staying with it longer than others—it can become a reality.
Looking forward to seeing some of you as I travel around the country, and feel free to reach out if you have questions on the specific types of training I offer. Have a glorious holiday and make 2019 the very best ever!