Understanding Why We Succeed or Fail

by Drago on July 13, 2013

in Uncategorized


Monday Morning Motivator

Quote Of The Week – If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs. (Dhirubhai Ambani)

Word Of The Week – Propitiate (pro-pish-ee-ate) : To win over, to gain the approval and admiration of.

eg : When the company hired a new CEO his immediate goal was to propitiate the other executives to help turn the company around.

Proverb Of The Week – Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given. (Proverbs 25 verse 14 The Bible)

Understanding Why We Succeed or Fail

This week we share a message we came across in The Harvard Business Review. In studying successful people and companies, success often leaves clues, we just have to be alert to spot them. The following insights will give us some clues on how to ensure we can be more successful in pursuit of our goals.

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion.

It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

Get specific

When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 kilograms” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10 p.m. on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

Seize the moment to act on your goals

Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of strategic planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

Know exactly how far you have left to go

Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

Be a realistic optimist

When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

Focus on getting better, rather than being good

Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

Have grit

Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher grades.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking… well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

Build your willpower muscle

Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

Don’t tempt fate

No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.

If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

If your business needs help achieving it’s goals, give us a call. We’re here to help!

Have a great week unless you choose otherwise.

Drago

(Follow us on twitter @AdamAdGroup)

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PS – We are committed to helping businesses become better marketers. One way we do that is through Content Creation Strategies and video is a big part of that. Creating video content for your website, YouTube channel and blog are essential  for online marketing success. Here are some great examples from our clients.

West Coast Nissan – 2013 370 Z  

 

Windsor Ford –  Meet Charles Longmate

 

Check Out Our Testimonials Section!


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Spraggs & Company – www.AskTom.ca
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Capital Direct – www.CapitalDirect.ca
Jim Pattison Lexus – www.jimpattisonlexus.com
Happy Honda – www.HappyHonda.com
Watkin Motors – www.WatkinMotors.com
Buist Motors – www.Buistmotors.com
The King Of Floors – www.KingOfFloors.com
Bon Voyage Travel – www.BonVoyageTravel.com
Cove Mortgage – www.CoveMortgage.com
Mattress Mattress – www.MattressMattress.com
Israel Tours – www.Israeltoursforchristians.com
Briar Design & Construction – www.Briarrenos.com
Spa Utopia – www.SpaUtopia.ca
Direct Buy – www.Directbuy.com
Crystal Clear Water – www.crystalclearh2o.ca
Cummins – www.Cummins.com
The Hockey Shop – www.TheHockeyShop.com
Prestigious Properties – www.PrestProp.com
Ralph’s Auto Supply – www.Ralphsauto.com
Royal City Jewelers & Loans – www.Rcj.ca
Sunshine Coast Health Centre – www.Sunshinecoasthealthcentre.ca
Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care –
SureSlim – www.SureSlim.ca
Surrey Golf Club – www.SurreyGolf.com
Tell Del – www.TellDel.com
Tourism Surrey – www.TourismSurrey.com

Just to name a few…

Success Profile

This week’s success profile is Chad Zender and his team at Zender Ford.

Zender Ford is a family owned and operated business in Spruce Grove, AB. that has been successful for many years earning a great reputation in the community.    

Chad Zender has followed in his father’s footsteps as President and has cast a vision of becoming the premium auto dealer in all of Alberta, Ford or otherwise. To accomplish this Zender Ford has gone through a massive renovation. Chad and his team took this as an opportunity to not be complacent with their success but to look at their business and see how they can improve the customer experience in new and different ways.

One of the ways they are accomplishing this goal is that they just completed work on Northern Alberta’s largest indoor showroom. They are also equipping their dealership with all the latest equipment and technology in their service department and body shop. Zender Ford is building for the future and not content to rest on its past success..

Chad and his team realize that their reputation rides with their customers and their new location is a commitment to make sure that will continue for the next generation! To find out more visit www.ZenderFord.com or Our Vision at Zender Ford