Why, start with Why? Part 3
A four part series on how defining your ‘why’ can make significant changes to career paths and business decisions.
Part three – How – Achieving Success
Asking yourself the question “Why” is a novel approach; for most of us we haven’t done that since we were little children. If you have followed the first two parts of this article, defined your why and begun to set down your goals you are now ready to take the next step, “How.” How is the implementation phase. Taking action, it is an essential requirement. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to see his/her dreams become reality; the dreams of childhood get shelved by the reality of life. Trying to earn a living, raising a family and educating children consumes most of our days and leaves little time to dream or to make a dream reality.
Finding your why, setting goals and becoming more innovative are keys to all facets of life. Seeking to find happiness in a career and lifestyle are part of our makeup, we expect to achieve these goals. We are all burdened by the baggage of our upbringing and education. To move forward we have to get out of the present circumstance, the only way to do that is to step forward and take a risk. That does raise the possibility of failure, however failure is not the enemy, failure proves what doesn’t work. It is not a stigma it is a stepping stone. Not being afraid to fail is self compassion. You have to like yourself and what you are trying to achieve. We are often our own worst critic; we expect perfection when perfection is an elusive dream. Be willing to accept who you are and what you have achieved.
For many, the biggest fear is fear of failure, it leads to inertia. It is a trait that was learned, our education system with its rewards and punishment taught us to fear failure, fortunately it can be unlearned. The best way to deal with this fear is to face, it move towards it until it loses its hold. Many entrepreneurs will say that the fear of failure held them back but when they faced up to it, quit the comfortable job and stepped out on their own the fear disappeared and the act of taking action empowered their success. When there is no fall-back position and the only direction you can take is forward it is amazing what you can achieve.
Action is delayed by fear and learning how to identify what is causing the fear and how to deal with it is very important to success. Fear is an acronym for ‘False, Evidence, Appearing, Real.’ Dealing with this unreality can be a simple as taking the first step forward, and the false evidence will lose its hold.
A good analogy is the efforts of a mother eagle to get the eaglets to fly. Some of them will be eager to leave the nest and with a bit of encouragement from Mom will take the leap and fly right away, but often there is one who just doesn’t get the message and will not leave the nest. Mom will encourage and cajole until finally she will solve the problem with a good kick in the rear. Once the eaglet realizes that its fly or sink the problem is solved. Similarly sometimes we need a good kick to overcome the fear. Often those with the skills and the talent never succeed because of the fear of failure, while those with lesser skills but the determination to face the fear and move forward succeed.
If you study the lives of the great achievers in history men such as Edison, Einstein or Bill Gates, the one commonality is a very active minds as children, they dreamed big and they were encouraged by a parent to try to achieve their dreams. Their parents were not inclined to step on their butterflies no matter how outrageous they may have sounded. What these men accomplished in life and the impact they have had on our society is immense, they literally changed the world.
Nothing is impossible. Whatever your why and your what you can accomplish if you are willing to do what is necessary. You may have to develop new skills to achieve your goal. It is estimated it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, such as playing the piano. If you were to chronicle the time that Bill Gates put into becoming a very proficient programmer you would probably find that the time invested was about 10,000 hours. He chose to start early and give up a lot of other activities to achieve the goal, such as sleep. It is estimated that Thomas Edison tried over 5,000 experiments that did not work before he succeeded in developing a light bulb that would work for any length of time. In terms of time, about 10,000 hours.
Can anyone become an expert at anything by investing 10,000 hours? No, it requires some talent and aptitude for the task. Which emphasises the importance of Why, until you know your Why it is hard to decide where to put the effort. At the same time that does not mean you should not take the first step, every great achievement began with feeble forward steps, just like when you learned to walk. Getting started sometimes is the hardest part; it takes more energy to get the airplane in the air than it does to cruise at 30,000 feet. The same principle applies, much of the skills you are going to need will be learned by doing not by taking courses or attending seminars, the doing leads to learning.
How you achieve your goals and fulfill you why is taking action to make it reality and it does not have to be daunting task. Success requires courage, you may have to sever the ties with the old ideas and with the safety net that will catch you if you fail. If you goal is to be self-employed, you will need to develop business skills to develop the business plan and find the financing. Part four has a number of tools you can tap into and of course you can find just about anything on the Internet. Developing a business may not be your goal it may be that your goal is to find a better career path. Post secondary education is expensive however with careful research you can find a number of opportunities to reduce the cost, the online universities already mentioned, scholarships that never get paid out for lack of applicants, grants, work share programs and many more. It may be possible to find a company in your field that will hire you and pay you while you get more education.
Thomas Edison once said that the Universe was the source of all his ideas, it was there waiting for him to get in tune. That applies to all of us, we can all tune into the universe and it will supply all your needs. Getting in tune requires giving up some of the fallacies that have been foisted upon you over the years, the how instead of the why. Learning to embrace failure as a step to success. Learning to listen to your inner self and allow yourself to dream. Taking on the idea that you are Me Inc. and treat yourself in a manner that success becomes common place, all because you know what your why is and you have mapped out your plan.
Finally remember the golden rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and be grateful for all that you have, gratitude is the antidote for lack, for if you are grateful for what you have you will be rewarded with more, even if all you can find to be grateful for is the air that you breath.
Always remember, “ You don’t get a prize for finishing first in Life.” – Rod Osiowy
– Colin J. Campbell, CFP, CLU, Ch.F.C. is Managing Partner of Guidance Planning Strategies Ltd. in Cranbrook he can be reached at [email protected]