Scientific studies have revealed that the secret to invention is not necessarily a matter of talent, intelligence or creative strategy. As it turns out, success requires the ability to follow through, to execute a plan and to persevere. In a series of studies by the University of Pennsylvania, researchers have discovered that those who persevere are more likely to achieve success than those with seemingly greater talents. A good plan can "get you in the game", but sticking with it will point you in the direction of reaching your goals.
According to Lee Colan, business and management consultant, there are three areas that will help to bring about success: (1) Sharpen your focus, (2) Build your confidence and (3) Ignite your passion. These three modules contain sub-modules that can help lead to success.
Sharpen Your Focus
(1) Keep Your Goal Visible at All Times
Keep your goal (s) in a place where you can see them everyday (i.e. bathroom mirror). This helps to plant the seeds of success in your mind and helps to focus attention on things that will help you achieve your goal.
(2) Worry Wreaks Focus
In my private practice I talk a lot about anxiety and worry. To me, worry is all about trying to predict the future..."what if this happens..?" many clients will say. We really don't know if something is going to happen - we don't have a crystal ball, but a lot of people worry about things that haven't happened yet. Mark Twain famously once said, "I've suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened."
(3) Tame Your Technology
In today's highly connected world, you have to refine boundaries around your time. Just because a phone call, text or email comes through your phone, it doesn't mean you need to shift your attention to those distractions. When working and focusing on your goals, turn off your devices and get back to them later. Distractions can destroy focus and progress. Unless an emergent situation is underway, calls and other forms of communication can wait.
Build Your Competence
(1) Prepare For Two Steps Ahead
Balance your focus on the task at hand with preparation for the next step. You may ask yourself, "What knowledge, skills, relationships and experiences do I need to be prepared to succeed?" Like a chess match, thinking sequentially one- move-at-a-time can delay a successful outcome.
(2) Create it Once and Use it Many Times
If you feel that you will use an idea more than once, create a checklist, form or template from which to work to save time and improve consistency over time. There is no need to reinvent the wheel every time you want to replicate successes. Use the idea as an ongoing tool.
(3) Ask The Right Questions
The fastest way for you to receive new information from others back to yourself is to change the questions you ask. Repetitive questions can bring the same results. Make it a point to re-frame the questions in order to get fresh answers.
Ignite The Passion
(1) Gravitate Toward Your Dominant Thought, But Move Toward That Which You Believe To Be True
Use natural forces that pick up on a goal that ignites your passion. Next, select an image (i.e. relaxing on the beach) and use that image as a constant reminder of your goal. The association of a pleasant image juxtaposed next to your goal will enhance the achievement of the goal.
(2) Before Leaving the Office or a Meeting With a Colleague, Ask The Question, "Did I do something today that will leave a lasting impact on a situation?
Understanding that our time and effort is not only valuable, but imperative for success. Can we bring an urgency to accomplish our goals to make something better even in the short run?
(3) You Get What You Expect
Expect the very best of yourself. Even in difficult situations, you need not fold, but you can rise above adversity by being persistent and persevering.
As we have mentioned earlier, Integrity is about our personal character - the truthfulness of who we really are as a person and the selfless actions we take whether others are watching or not. Integrity is about dependability, making moral and ethical decisions, and trustworthiness. It is the quality of having sound principles and living by those principles. And integrity also means strength, integration, and consistency.
In an online article, "Can Integrity be Taught?" Penelope Patsuris examines this topic as it relates to business as evidenced by the numerous high profile cases of fraud we have seen in corporate America. She writes, "whether virtue, or the more modern concepts of integrity and ethics can really be taught has been a matter of debate for millennia. Most philosophy scholars agree that by the time we hit our 20's, the extent of our integrity has for the most part been established." If this statement is true, it means that integrity would have been developed from the time we were very young and taught by someone who was a person of integrity themselves. Most of us, as children, were taught right from wrong as well as the "Golden Rule" by our parents and other caregivers. We were told not to take something that wasn't ours and that we must pay for items such as a candy bar or a bicycle. But what happens when a person moves into a world of high finance where the stakes are now millions of dollars? What happens to our integrity when greed comes knocking at the door?
It has been written that integrity is the integration of the parts of ones character. Dr Henry Cloud writes in his book "Intergriy" on 6 aspects he believes make up ones character:
(1) The ability to connect authentically (which leads to trust)
(2) The ability to be oriented toward the truth (which leads to finding and operating in reality)
(3) The ability to work in a way that gets results and finishes well (Which leads to reaching goals, profits, or "the mission")
(4) The ability to embrace, engage, and deal with the negative (which leads to ending problems, resolving them, or transforming them
(5) The ability to be oriented toward growth (which leads to increase)
(6) The ability to be transcendent (which leads to enlargement of the bigger picture and oneself)
As per Dr. Cloud, integrity is the "integration of all the parts" of character and to the extent that we can integrate the parts, the more successful we will be in solving problems and reaching our goals. Dr. Cloud points out that "gaps" in integration need not necessarily hold us back, but they can be opportunities for our own personal knowledge and growth.
I wanted to look into the areas of Resilience, Perseverance and Integrity as I believe very strongly that these three qualities are essential in maintaining focus, drive and ambition. However, I also believe that having Faith (a belief, confidence and conviction) that opportunities will become realities, is the "twine" that ties together all the other qualities above. Faith need not be ephemeral, but the quality that will put a smile on our face believing that everything will turn out just fine. A whole newsletter can be written about Faith, but for the purpose of this article it was mentioned as an adjunct or complementary aspect to the other qualities mentioned above.