It’s the time of year for resolutions. A new year, a new start, a chance to begin anew and put the past behind us, or is it the same old B.S. and just another day?
By B.S. I am, of course, referring to a belief system that was succinctly summed up by Henry Ford when he famously said:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right.”
If, after the challenging few years that we have all been through, you feel a bit jaded and cynical about such motivational messages and memes, I invite you to read on because this article is for you, and you might be surprised by the conclusion.
There is no such thing as a free lunch" (TINSTAAFL) is an expression that describes the cost of decision-making and consumption. The expression conveys the idea that things appearing free always have some cost paid by somebody, and that nothing in life is truly free.
Henry Ford was not suggesting that just by changing your B.S. from “I can’t” to “I can” everything would magically fall into place. He was of the mindset that if you have an "I can" mindset, you will do the work, make attempts, fail, regroup, and try again until you eventually succeed. Everything has a cost, and that cost is paid in time, money, effort, or a combination of these.
As a young man, I wanted to be successful and I read books like, ‘Think and Grow Rich', and ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’, and I attended seminars and listened to tapes. As I reflected on what was being taught, I recognized a pattern, a formula for success, and I am going to share it with you here:
It seems simple but it works, I have seen the results in my own life and the lives of the people that I have coached. I have also watched people struggle to identify what they want, or tried to negotiate the price, only to pay more in the long run.
In my 2012 book I defined self-leadership as:
“The practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling, and actions toward your objectives”.
You will notice that this definition requires you to decide what you want (objectives), and to practice influencing your thinking and feeling which is your B.S. And finally, to take action, which is paying the price.
When you think about your New Year’s Resolutions or goals for 2013, what is it that you want to be, do, and have?
Do you want to have something like a new body, car, house, job, or relationship? Then who do you have to be, and what do you have to do to achieve this result?
A new body or at least a healthier one is top of the list for resolutions. Typical actions take the form of diet and exercise. The problem is that these actions will not be sustained if you have the same B.S. Your success is more predictable if you also set about influencing whom you want to be. Would you like to be the person who makes the right choices about what they consume and is not swayed by social situations or peer pressure?
Having coached hundreds of people to get a promotion to a leadership position, I can attest that just doing more work won’t guarantee having a dream job. A change in B.S. is required to demonstrate Executive Presence and exercise Influence Capital.
Successful relationships are also the result of the formula. First, you ask yourself the sort of person you want to have a relationship with, then you flip the question to whom you need to be to have that person want to be in a relationship with you. Then you get to work becoming that person.
Yes, you must set goals, and objectives, but you must also monitor your beliefs and be prepared to update them and your actions, depending on circumstances.
What we need for 2023 is a dose of stoicism, which I like to call ‘realistic optimism’. We must face the brutal reality of our circumstances without losing faith that we can overcome the challenges by being resilient and adaptable. In addition, remember that every award acceptance speech contains a list of thankyous. Who will be part of your change in 2023, and who have you engaged to support you and hold you accountable?
I wish you every success in 2023 and beyond, and hope that you will not just make the change, but be the change because no man or woman is an island, we are all part of humanity.
BEING HUMAN WHILST DELIVERING ACCELERATED RESULTS