Many achievers are content to stay in their lanes and summit the mountain of average accomplishment. Others want to dial-in the principles and practices used by the greatest achievers in the world. In trainings we call them “words of the month.” For those wishing to summit a higher peak, here’s a glimpse at how the toughest and smartest achievers do it.
Habits First — Results Later
Some say that it takes 28 exposures for a behavior to become a habit. The good news is that habits take less effort and little ‘brain’ time. When you form a habit you build new neural connections in the brain. Spend your time working on the habit — the activity will become a breeze.
Multi-Tasking is Multi-Mediocre
The brain doesn’t multi-task. As you move from task to task, your brain takes extra time to switch gears. This background activity robs you of the creativity and mental energy you could apply to important items. Mediocre is OK for laundry, junk mail and routine chores. When you need high achievement and mastery, focus on one priority.
Less Dither — More Do
It’s usually better to act. By eliminating the dither and moving forward you benefit in three ways. First, you eliminate fear. It’s hard to be fearful when you’re moving. Second, you train yourself to gather information and decide quickly. More time does not always mean a better decision. Finally, with ‘less dither — more do’ you set a confident and assertive example for people around you.
Action Creates Answers
In a confusing world there are no apparent answers to many questions. Some people get moving and create their own answers by taking action. Successful people get to the top by taking different routes. You only know the consequences of the choices you actually make. The rest is unknowable — you might as well do something.
No ‘Smart’ Questions
Trying to impress by asking “smart” questions is ridiculous. We hear that there are no stupid questions but fear we might produce the first! We’re setting ourselves up for accolades rather than accumulating information and resources that will aid in our approach to mastery. It’s not about you. Go for the information not the glory.
The Opposite is Often True
The best four words a person can say are “I Could Be Wrong.” This allows for those times when you are wrong and the opposite is true. You may be 100 percent certain and place a large bet…but you will be wrong a certain percentage of the time. When you allow for different opinions, you open the door to fascinating discoveries and wonderful, new ways of looking at the world.
One Ridicules What You Cherish — Another Cherishes What You Ridicule
Ridicule never stops with the present situation — it lasts a lifetime (remember high school). Make peace in your world by being careful what you ridicule — someone cherishes it.
Dire Predictions are Usually Neither
We fear more bad news than we get. If you read older magazines you’ll notice how inaccurate predictions can be. Smoking laws did not close restaurants, the Academy Award went to someone else, the world did not end. The number of wrong predictions is astounding. Sure, bad stuff happens but not nearly as often as predicted.
To Start is to Be Half-Way Done
The starting effort is like doing much of the project. Getting ready and starting a jog or bike ride takes as much emotional and motivational energy as 50 percent of the workout. The decision to start removes the motivational grind holding us back from changing our behavior. The beginning is the hard part. When you start something, you’ve already done half the work.
We Only Deserve What’s in Our Routine
We can’t expect results if we haven’t built habits. The clock starts with the rituals and routines of our lives. If our habits are self-destructive, we suffer. If those habits include exercise, achievement, balance, reading, we prosper. We only deserve what’s in our routine.
Rick Griggs is a former Intel Corp. training manager and inventor of the rolestorming creativity tool. He speaks on mastery, balance and innovation. email@example.com or 970-690-7327.