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Success Harmony Newsletter
"COMBO LOCK MAGIC"
success is amazing. So is watching lack of success. The reason is that,
often, the difference between the actions two people take may be minimal
and yet the result can mean success on one hand and complete failure on
the other. When there is a sense of flow, success feels almost too easy.
It seems that we work harder when we fail than when we succeed.
you think that we would harder for success? Recently, I heard Pat Parelli,
a highly successful horse trainer, say that success is much like working
with a combination lock. When we have the right numbers, and we use those
numbers in the correct sequence, the lock unlocks easily and with zero
effort. Anything else but the right combination results in frustration.
Say the correct combination consists of six numbers: 1,2,3,4,5,6. Even
if we get close (as in 1,1,3,4,5,6) or if we get the sequence just a bit
off (as in 2,1,3,4,5,6) or if we miss one number (as in 1,2,3,4,6) or
even add an extra number along the way (as in 1,1,2,3,4,5,6), the combination
will simply not open. Yes, we can pry it open with a crowbar and destroy
the lock for the future.
any area seems to work in a similar way. There are things that need to
be done and there are things that should be avoided. There is a more effective
and less effective sequence of events. When we get it "just right",
success is right there. When we are off, we think we somehow lack the
formula. The adjustment may be right there in front of us and we may miss
it because it's too simple. Try balancing a long beam in your hand. When
you get it, it feels light and easy. When you are even just an inch away
from the center of gravity, the beam is unbalanced and you have to work
extremely hard at trying to keep it up in the air. Chances are that it
will fall out of your hand despite your hard work, although you were close.
How do you
get the right combination for the area you are trying to achieve success
in? First, learn from the masters, and then test departures from their
formula. You can also test for the right formula yourself but you can
expect a few more bumps along the way. Sometimes, you are in a new area
and you have no choice but be the first - remember, Edison had no lightbulb
model and the Wrights Brothers had nobody other than birds to learn from!
If you are embarking on something that has been done before, go and study
what the successful ones have done. I guarantee that, as you study their
lives and steps, you will see patterns over and over again. Follow those
Say you want
to open a franchise. Study McDonalds. You may not enjoy their greasy burgers
but they do have a brilliant business formula. Don't just study the obvious
like the number of burgers they do per hour or that they hire students
at low wages. Study how they go about selecting their locations and how
they decide what goes into their play centers. Also, study the times when
they were not doing as well as other times - what were they doing or not
doing differently from the times when they were at their peak? You will
find that, although markets definitely have an effect, the brilliant businesses
have a way of finding a formula to work within the existing market.
Say you want
a better relationship with your spouse. Look around you. Who has a great
relationship with their spouse? Ask if you could interview them. If there
is nobody around you to ask, go to your local library and take out a few
books on relationships. Or book a time with a professional. Then, implement
the suggestions you hear.
Say you want
to save more money. You've been saying it for years but nothing has changed.
Find someone who has succeeded financially from a similar position that
you are in, then study and implement what they have done. You may find
that a few simple tips like "put $25 per week in a separate savings
account through an automatic withdrawal plan" or "go without
Starbucks coffee one day a week" may make the difference between
too much end at the end of the money and the savings you've been hoping
success formulas, you may wonder if there is room for creativity. You
know, doing it "your own way". I am a big individualist and
can relate to this concern. Yes, there is lots of room for our own way.
BUT... In martial arts, nobody becomes a master without studying with
a master for a number of years first. While studying under their master,
the student is not allowed to make any modifications to their master's
formula. Yes, repeating the same move over and over again (think "Wax
on, wax off" in the Karate Kid movie) is extremely boring but it
develops the student's muscles, timing, discipline and balance between
force and relaxation. Once the student graduates from their master's teachings,
they can modify to their heart's content and produce new styles. It is
extremely unlikely the student would have produced an effective new style
without having gone through the "tried and true" formulas first.
In our lives and business, this is very similar. Only when we know the
rules intimately, are we much more effective at breaking them.
an area of your life where you would like to be more effective? Pick your
role models and study. Final notes? Always pick only the role models who
are at the top or those who are studying from those at the top. The ones
in the middle might not quite have figured out their combination lock
yet and it's harder to unlearn bad habits than to never have had them
to begin with. Pick only the role models who have achieved their success
in a way that you respect or can easily modify to a way that you would
respect. For example, if you like Donald Trump's financial success but
don't like that he's a self-grandizing buffoon, don't study Donald Trump
but choose someone like Warren Buffett. Why? "The Donald" is
successful partially because of his "I'm bigger than life" attitude,
not despite of it. If you tried his method without his attitude, it would
be less likely to work for you. Maybe Warren Buffett's understated methods
may be more right for who you are and the type of success you want.
sunshine and smiles,
"Don't get on a train
before it arrives, and don't get off before it stops."
subway ad (on Patience)
have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares
because of my dreams."
Dr. Jonas Salk
"A wise man will make
more opportunities than he finds."