You Can Put It Off Till After Lunch – Probably – Maybe

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Make up your mind to win and nothing else. Norman Vincent Peale

Peale believes that all the resources you need to succeed are in your mind. If you expect to succeed, you likely will. If you think you will fail, you probably are right. Peale counsels you to expect success. Pealeisms have a powerfully positive ring. Always play with abandon. It is always too soon to quit. Conditions will shift in your favor. Faith cures fear. Are you climbing aboard Peale’s winners’ express? Do you believe you can succeed? Dr. Peale knows you can succeed. You can if you think you can. Stinking thinking leads to hardening of the attitudes. Zig Ziglar is at least as colorful as this Ziglarism. In How to Get What You Want, Ziglar quickly cuts to the chase. If you don’t think you deserve success, you will do things to keep you from getting it.

How do winners who know they deserve success get their get up and go up and going? Ziglar contends they start from where they are with what they’ve got. They do not wait for something to change or for things to get better before deciding to succeed. They just get on with it. They go as far as they can see, knowing that once they get there they will always be able to see further. Ziglar combines his self-motivation philosophy with personal goals and a zest for people helping people. On personal goals, Ziglar zeros in with a total lack of subtlety. You cannot reach goals you do not have. You cannot reach someone else’s goal. you can only reach your own. Thinking you are too busy is stinking thinking. It is not the lack of time that is the problem, it is the lack of direction. Either you think you deserve success and go for it or you will get cooked in the squat which is even worse than it sounds. You will get everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want. For Ziglar, this is the nub of personal goal setting. It is both the value and the direction. More eloquently, Ziglar says, You don’t climb the high mountain by yourself. it is in conjunction with others that you really accomplish the major things in life. If you look, think and behave like everyone else, you will look, think and behave like everyone else.
Michael LeBoeuf calls his success philosophy Imagineering. Your uniqueness is your ticket into the winner’s circle, according to LeBoeuf. Getting to the circle to be admitted is your personal creative challenge, the problem before you. But waiting on an inspiration is useless. Start on the problem and then the ideas will come. Inspiration, LeBoeuf advises, usually comes to those who have done the groundwork.

In Blow Your Own Horn, Jeffrey Davidson shows he knows about the ways of winners. You are your own marketing department, according to Davidson. In one sentence, what is it that you are marketing. what is it that you have to offer the world? If you do not know, no one else is likely to care.

Peter Drucker makes a similar point when, in The Frontiers of Management, he says, It is your vision or its absence that shapes your future. Drucker sees success itself as the ultimate test of success. and your personal vision is the key to your status as a winner or loser.

In Developing Winner’s Habits, Denis Waitley adds meat to the wishbone of goals and personal vision. Waitley insists that winners never let anyone know they are scared or unprepared. Winners act like winners. they project confidence. Waitley’s strategy is to find one good idea to pull your trigger on, remembering that there is still plenty of time to win but never enough time to lose. Attack the problem and never the people.

Roger Fisher and William Ury in Getting to Yes join the unanimous chorus of success experts in emphasizing the importance of people skills. Fisher and Ury give their attention to negotiating. but their main points could equally apply to almost any success opportunity. Focus on interests, not on positions. Invent options that benefit both sides. Use objective criteria, not opinions or emotions.

Mary Heideman joins the chorus when she counsels winners to take responsibility for people processes. For example, in Winning Over Stress Heideman says, Do not be a stress sponge, absorbing the stress of others, thinking you should fix their stress. Being a stress spreader and participating in pity parties and gripe sessions also are not the ways of winners.

In Coping With Difficult People, Robert Bramson extends the repertoire of people skills for winners. Do not automatically respond by trying to solve difficult people’s problems. Do not automatically agree with difficult people even if you think they are right. Never argue with difficult people. Always feed back the difficult person’s main points before you do anything else. Be calmly assertive and do not let the difficult person run over you.

The range of people tips and techniques emanating from the success chorus is impressive. They extend to every detail of your personal and business life. A tidbit or so more will suffice for now though.

1. People do not want to know what you cannot do for them. they want to know what you can do for them. From Developing a Powerful Telephone Image. Dave Winter.

2. Start by asking the person what’s the problem? They will likely tell you. From Turning Marginal Employees Into Productive Employees. Nancy Campbell.

3. Know what you want, who can give it to you and how to get it. From How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less. Milo Frank.

If you always judge new experiences based on past experiences, you will never have any new experiences. Kevin Murphy in Effective Listening may have found the ultimate secret of success. Implicit in Murphy’s pithy insight is the kernel from which all other success secrets may have grown. Make up your mind to win and nothing else. It’s a new game. The score is tied. zero/zero. It does not matter how you did before. today you succeed, today you win.

Stinking thinking leads to hardening of the attitudes. It’s past thinking, worn attitudes and dated approaches that smell so rotten. Dump the garbage and start afresh. Success requires new thinking, new attitudes, new approaches. To paraphrase LeBoeuf, if you look, think and behave like you always have, you will look, think and behave like you always have. Here is the problem. It’s a new game, things are changing, the world moves on. You either develop a new look, new ways of thinking, new ways of dealing with events or you will fall back, be forced back with the other losers.

You have committed to success, you have dumped the mental garbage, you have new ideas and approaches. What is the problem? What is getting in your way? The answer to this question is the last key to your door of opportunity. Separate the people from the problem. The only person in your way is you. Get out of your way so you can attack the real problem, realize the success you deserve.

Along with Carpe diem, Horace said, He has the deed half done who has made a beginning. Indira Gandhi also thought that getting on with getting on is the way to go, Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. John Fitzgerald Kennedy joined the get your get up and go up and going chorus when he said, There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction. And perchance you think that people will simply assume that you have good intentions without your actually needing to go for it, the famous Anon pointed out, Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.

There you have it, the argument for not sitting around twiddling your thumbs. but, as with most ideas, there is an alternative point of view. One might suppose that it’s now time to dig in, go for the gusto, strike while the iron is hot, expatiate, explicate, and generally expound on that alternative point of view. but one would be wrong. Remember Johann von Goethe’s warning, There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

If that isn’t sufficient to slow the pace, also remember Walter Kerr’s observation, Half the world is composed of idiots, the other half of people clever enough to take indecent advantage of them. It would be well to first determine whether one is clever, an idiot, or merely a clever idiot before jumping to an ill considered conclusion. If all of that still doesn’t put the brakes on for you, persuade you to look before you leap, and convince you not to jump off the cliff until you learn how to fly, listen to Laurence Peter, Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has much more patience. And speaking of misfortune, even Horace advised you to put no trust in tomorrow.

OK, you’ve got them, the alternative points of view. Do you act or not act, take a chance or play it safe? Sure, you need to Carpe diem. but it’s worth pointing out that even Horace didn’t say that it can’t wait till after lunch.

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