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Success Harmony Newsletter


"What? Isn't this suppossed to be a SUCCESS newsletter? Success is about HARD WORK!?!"

Sure, the path to success does involve hard work and a lot of perseverance but it is crucial to get "lazy" on a regular basis. Actually, there are two very good r easons to take on the lazy approach.

First of all, it may sound ridiculous but some of the best and most innovative ideas come to us when we are playing or taking time out. The conscious mind is not occupied with a task but the subconscious mind is still working. Because the conscious mind isn't "forcing" an answer, the subconscious mind has the opportunity to go through its vast databanks to search for hidden connections and hard-to-see ways to solve problems.

In fact, the harder you try to search for an answer consciously, the harder it may be to find it. The longer you work, the more tired your brain gets and your efficiency suffers greatly. Once you release the pressure by "getting lazy" or playing, your mind has the chance to regenerate and will be happy to help you out. Apparently, Einstein used to come up with brilliant ideas while taking a shower! So, however paradoxical it may sound, get more done by doing less. Go to the beach. Take a hot bath. Make that part of your work routine.

The second advantage to the lazy approach is that it can lead to great innovations. Lazy people don't like hard work and can spend countless hours searching for ways to avoid it. This can drive people around them crazy but these "misfits" are the kinds of people who have brought us great inventions. Thank God for Edison who didn't want to strain his eyes in candlelight, for whoever came up with the calculator idea because he didn't want to count by hand, and the many others who gave us great innovations because they didn't want to break a sweat!

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As a former lawyer and negotiation consultant, it was always fascinating to me to observe the effect of questions. Now I am often asked by my clients how to structure their questions to build trust and to find common ground.

First, cross-examination works to get your assumptions confirmed but it builds distance and rarely gets you closer to the truth. Cross-examination type of questions are carefully-worded questions, designed to get the response you want to hear. Usually they are closed-ended, meaning that they only make sense to be answered with a short answer such as "yes", "no", "blue", etc. An example would be a question such as "it would be great to own such a cool-looking car, wouldn't you agree?" These questions assume an answer, then seek to confirm.

Trust-building questions may take many different forms but they are always designed to find out the other person's interests first, THEN to look for common ground. An example could be "what features are important to you about a car?" or "what will you be using the car for?" Depending on the answer, you ask more questions to get further information. With this process, you may find out that there is no common ground and that is OK. On the other, if there is common ground, you will always get at a deeper understanding of it this way rather than if you assume that you know what the other needs.

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Recently, I found a baby bird on the sidewalk, struggling to crawl to safety. I looked around for a nest or its parent but couldn't see either and made a decision to take the bird to the Wildlife Rescue Society, a half-hour drive away. It was a workday and I had a lot to do. It looked like the baby was probably too young to survive even with careful nurturing but the chance seemed like a better alternative than letting it stay until the next hungry dog or cat saw it.

I know that many people won't understand the effort for an "insignificant" baby bird that was not likely to survive in any case. It was important to ME, though, and that made me think about the fact that I am lucky to have consciously structured my life so that I COULD take the time out of a workday to follow what was important to me. Some time ago, I would have been a slave to the "task list". I felt very free that day to make a choice like that, for the sake of what I believed in. Interestingly enough, this freedom to choose my priorities makes me more effective with the task list, too. As you try to decide between a task and something important to you, ask yourself: is one perhaps a worse short-term choice but fulfills your long-term values and beliefs much better?

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A little while back, I was looking into certain kind of software which isn't normally found in most stores. I could find it on the Internet and I stopped by London Drugs in Ladner where I bought my computer. I asked about the software and Tracy, the computer store manager, said they didn't stock it. I didn't even ask for further suggestions and she said she could probably get the software for me. She took my name and number and said she would call back soon.

It really floored me when she called me in a couple of days. I even remembered that the same thing happened when I bought the computer. Either time, I didn't expect her to follow up. Perhaps I am easily impressed - but my experience is that far too many people fail to do as they say. That is fine if you are in business to get one-time sales. To build long-term relationships, do as Tracy did. Follow up on the small things you promise. Just as marriages can break up because of a build-up of small things, customers also leave when the little things aren't done!

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I had recently faced a number of computer issues and needed to re-format the hard drive and go through the whole procedure of reinstalling all my software and data. I could take it to a store (as I have done before) or I could do it myself. I was afraid of the process and the time required but something told me that I would benefit greatly by trying it out. Besides, the technician said wisely: "even if you mess it up, you can still take it to the store later!"

I was surprised to find out that the process wasn't rocket science and that I did just fine (after a second try). It is like that with facing anything new or unknown. The fear of the unknown is always FAR larger than the actual difficulty of the task. Facing the fear of the unknown by learning about, and doing, what scares you puts you in control. Even though becoming a computer pro is not my long-term goal, it did make me feel a lot more in control to know that I COULD do it if I wanted to. Is there anything in your life or business that you could benefit from trying yourself?

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We don't need to believe in miracles. We just need to rely on them - they always happen when we need them most.

The surest way to world peace is to help people find their own purpose and happiness. Happy people don't build bombs. They have better things to do with their time.


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"There is no "unimportant" thing or person. Not everyone can get the same level of pay or attention and I guess that isn't fair in some way. Certain abilities may carry higher price tags, and even that can change as trends change. However, everything is entitled to the same level of dignity for we all take an important part in the big picture."

Pavla Michaela Polcarova, Power Thoughts Journal






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