Focus On Possibilities To Achieve Success
Focus on creating possibilities - it's the way to achieve personal success and organizational success. That conclusion came to me the other day - a day I fooled myself into believing was highly productive. I had been busy - worked hard - got a lot done. But I didn't feel like I had really accomplished very much. I had organized, managed, read, prepared and drafted a whole lot of stuff - but something was missing.
Focus on creating possibilities - it's the way to achieve personal success and organizational success.
That conclusion came to me the other day - a day I fooled myself into believing was highly productive. I had been busy - worked hard - got a lot done. But I didn't feel like I had really accomplished very much. I had organized, managed, read, prepared and drafted a whole lot of stuff - but something was missing.
Have you ever had that feeling? Worked your butt off and got so much done – what a great way to fool yourself into thinking what you did was really important. And yet you felt something was missing.
If you accept that interdependence is the highest and most effective form of working and accomplishment, then spending a whole day on independence just doesn't make it.
I read a book on cold calling by Stephan Schiffman called " Making It Happen Before Lunch." In it he says: " Dwell in possibility, there is always a door somewhere waiting to be opened." What a great thought!
That's when I put my finger on what was missing - I hadn't created any possibilities for myself. I had made things more organized, more accessible, more updated, more effective - but I couldn't count a single possibility created that day. Not one.
It occurred to me that I have lots of days like that. I'm highly organized and have a high Theoretical value and attitude. I know that about myself. They are good things, but they can be traps, as well. It's so easy to seek out more information - for its own sake. It's so easy to be sure everything is in its place. Not bad things - unless they take up the space that should be reserved for creating possibilities.
For me a possibility is that first step created by action that may result in being of service to a client - to helping them increase their success in selecting, retaining, developing and enhancing the performance of their people. It could be helping a manager become a leader. It could be helping a person or organization to plan and implement change. It's hard to create those possibilities while I'm organizing, reading, acquiring, preparing.
Focus on possibilities, in my case, requires overcoming or controlling my instincts and attitudes. It doesn't mean abandoning what I like - gaining knowledge and keeping things organized. It does mean creating a habit of thought of focusing on possibilities - honest to God possibilities. Finding those doors Schiffman talks about, then opening those doors and walking into a opportunity to be of service to people and companies.
We all have to create our own possibilities - for some it's second nature. For others - like me - it's definitely a learned process.
How to do it?
Start with optimism. It's so much easier to believe in possibilities as an optimist. That's a challenge for about 70% of the population - the 70% that have a habit of thought that thinks consequences rather than opportunities.
For all the pessimists, start every day with the thought that something good will happen today - if you make it happen. Keep telling yourself that.
Once convinced that there are doors waiting to open - whatever that means to you, then carve out the time and energy to find those doors.
Create goals that keep you focused on possibilities. Make a promise to yourself that every day you will take an action - or actions - that will create possibilities. A phone call, create and post a blog, a website posting, a Letter to the Editor, a lunch with a long lost friend, a call to a complete stranger, asking a friend for help. But in every case - reach out!
Write down your accomplishments when you create a possibility - then see how many of those possibilities you created can be made into opportunities, then into relationships.
Don't ignore what you are drawn to - trying to be what you're not creates enormous stress. Make what you are drawn to do part of your possibility goals.
Realize that every day new possibilities can be created - they are there for the asking - what an exciting idea! Start today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andy Cox is President of Cox Consulting Group LLC. He founded his firm in 1995 after extensive experience in leadership positions in Fortune 500 corporations. His focus is on helping clients select, develop, retain and enhance the performance of leaders and emerging leaders. He can be reached at http://www.coxconsultgroup.com . Visit his blog at http://multiplysuccess.blogspot.com