Wednesday

Seven Ludicrous Lies You Keep Telling Yourself

There are so many lies that society ingrained inside of you, that you adopted as you own. From your parents to your teachers, these lies snuck into your life, without you even realizing it.
Now it’s time to uncover them to achieve the success you truly deserve.
Here are 7 ludicrous lies you tell yourself that keep you away from success - first published in entrepreneur.co.za

1. I shouldn’t fail

The most successful people fail and they fail often. If you want to speed up your path to success, take goal-aligned actions that are above what you think you’re capable of every single day.
Failing involves trying and moving out of your comfort zone.  If you avoid the risk of failing, you are setting yourself up for failure by default.
Remember:
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” ~ Eloise Ristad

2. I shouldn’t be scared

We live in a society that tells us, “you must overcome your fears and radically eliminate them”. This makes us thrive towards an unrealistic state that we may never achieve.
Fear will only disappear when you do nothing, try nothing, be nothing.
It disappears when you stay within your comfort zone and avoid taking any kind of risks – but for that, you pay the price of a boring life.
The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is not their degree of fear – but how they respond to it.
As Stephen Pressfield famously wrote in the ‘War of Art’:
Stephen Pressfield Picture Quote
 (“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”   ~Steven Pressfield)
Accept your fears and use it as a catapult for progress by doing what needs to get done.

3. I should be able to do it alone

Successful people create an environment that supports their goals and surrounds themselves with the right people.
You don’t have to do it alone and find all the answers yourself.  A friend of mine once said:
“The more you ask, the more you can get.”
If asking makes you feel uncomfortable, become a giver. A person that gives feels no discomfort in asking, they see it as a mutual exchange of love.
“The strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it.  ~ Rona Barret  (Retweet this)

4. My circumstances are my problem

People view the problems that they encounter external to themselves. They blame others for what is happening or not happening. They blame the economy, the environment or anything else they can find.
Life is a projection and your problems are mere delusions of your thinking. In the philosopher’s notes on ‘Love what is’ by Byron Katie, there is a great little story that goes like this:
Imagine you’re in the cinema watching a movie. When the movie starts, you notice some smudge on the screen. So, you get up and try to wipe it off – but it doesn’t go away. You try harder and harder, but nothing changes. You get frustrated and annoyed and can’t enjoy the movie anymore.
The problem was never the screen but rather the projector that had smudge on its lens. Your mind is the projector and your life the movie screen. If you see smudge on the screen , you don’t need to wipe down the screen – but the projector that projects it.
Don’t go through life thinking you need to change the “movie screen” – your life – instead change the projector by changing the way you think.

5. I shouldn’t struggle

Your struggles are not your problem – your response to them is.  Some say the word struggle derived from  Proto-Germanic “strūkōną” – “to be stiff”. When you struggle, you don’t flow with life, accept, and embrace life as it comes.
What if you see your struggles as gifts that give you the optimal opportunities to grow, develop and mature? Eliminate the idea of struggles and problems: Life either presents itself as “blissful experiences or as blissful opportunities to learn”.
“Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought.“ ~ Napoleon Hill

6. I just need to fix my weaknesses

Your areas of strength offer the biggest room for personal growth. Instead of wasting your time fixing weaknesses, going from terrible to mediocre, spend your time and energy to develop excellence. This can only be achieved by focusing on your natural talents and developing them into strengths.
Successful people are not well-rounded,instead they capitalize on their strengths and manage around their weaknesses. By fixing your weaknesses, you ultimately aim for average. It’s not the path to glory.
Play to win instead of play not to lose.
“Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses.” ~ Tim Ferriss

7. I need to have the end in mind

Stephen Covey talked about beginning with the end in mind, having a clear focus on where you are heading. But constant thinking about your goals means being mentally in the future, disengaged from the current moment.
Being mindfully present in the now with focused attention on the task, is the key ingredient for high performance.
In his book ‘Overachievement’, psychologist John Eliot explains that overachievers act in the “trusting mindset”, being total engaged in what they are doing, without thought.
To live your best life, be present and mentally engaged in the now.  Success starts in this very moment, with the choices you make right now.
first published in entrepreneur.co.za
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10 Quick Lessons from Great Business Thinker

BusinessWeek calls him “the man who invented management..He advised the heads of GM, Sears, General Electric, IBM, Intel, and the American Red Cross. And in 2002, President Bush—who was a follower of his teachings—gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The man is Peter Drucker.
And to see why Bush and so many executives look to Drucker’s work for guidance, here are 10 of the best lessons from the man himself… lessons that may very well change the way you think about business, forever.

1. “Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems. ”

Problem-based thinking: How can we divide this cake fairly?
Opportunity-based thinking: How can we bake more cakes?
If you focus on problems, at best you maintain the status quo. If you focus on opportunities, you achieve results above and beyond what already exists.
Ask yourself: Are you spending most of your time putting out fires and focusing on problems—or are you focusing on exploring new opportunities?

2. “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency that which should not be done at all.”

Managing your time is less about doing things right, and more about doing the right things. Before you try to optimize your schedule, look at it first to see what you can cut-out all-together.
What are you doing on a daily basis that you can eliminate? Delegate? If you stopped doing it right now, would your life change much?

3. “Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.”

Every management system you put in place should make the jobs of your employeeseasier to do, not harder. If you have to keep pushing people to do things your way—maybe it’s the wrong way.
Ask yourself: What procedures do you have in place that rarely get done? Should you reconsider if they are even necessary?

4. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself”

Conventional wisdom tells us marketing is about letting people know about our products and services (“brand awareness”). Drucker reminds us that marketing is actually the process of getting to know your customers—their fears, frustrations, aspirations—so your product or service fits their needs so well they want to buy it without you having to beg for the sale.
Be honest: Are you getting to know your potential customers before creating the product – or are you creating a product and then hoping people will buy?

5. “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes."

Unless you are constantly building on and improving your knowledge in a certain field, you are losing it. If you thought you could learn about marketing in business school and then never revisit that knowledge, you might as well have not learned it in the first place.
In what areas have you stopped constantly building on your knowledge? What can you do to re-start it today?

6. “Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.”

Innovation makes products; marketing sells products. Other than those two departments, everything else in your business is a cost – which means you should cut back spending time on them as much as possible. If not, you’re investing in areas that aren’t producing much return.
What business departments are you focusing your energy on that are not driving the top line? Can you pull back at all?

7. “Entrepreneurship is ‘risky’ mainly because so few of the so-called entrepreneurs know what they are doing.”

So many people just want to “start a business”—they take out a loan, open up a bakery, and then it’s out of business a year later. Then they chalk it up to bad luck or a bad economy.
But how about this? What if you spent more time sharpening your axe before trying to cut down the tree? What if you spent a month devouring The Lean Startup by Eric Reisand Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz? You can take some of the risk out of the equation (not all) with one word: reading.
Are you spending as much time reading as you should? Mark Cuban says he reads three hours a day—how do you compare?

8. “If the executive lets the flow of events determine what he does, what he works on, and what he takes seriously, he will fritter himself away 'operating.'”

The most successful people don’t just show up to work and answer phones calls and put out fires. They are focused on their battle plan every day. They don’t let people just barge into their office and dump their problems on them. A successful day starts off with deciding you’re going to play on the offensive, not defensive.
Are you in control of your schedule? Or are other people’s problems running how you spend your time?

9. “The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader's charisma. What matters is the leader's mission."

There is no “best kind" of leader. There are social ones like Richard Branson and quiet ones like Tony Hsieh. Both have taken their organizations to unimaginable success.
What makes someone a leader is not how enthusiastic they are at the podium. What makes someone a leader is what their vision is—and how well they lead others toward it.
How clear is your mission? Are you giving it as much attention as it deserves?

10. “It takes far more energy to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence.”

It’s easier to go from good to great than from bad to good. So focus on growing your talents into strengths instead of trying to be a ‘well-rounded’ person.
A person who is good at a lot of things is replaceable. A person who excels in something is indispensable.
In what areas are you already good at? What can you do to turn those things into your super-powers?
PS: Like this article? Then connect with Willem Tait on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/willemtait
Credit: Author (Crown/Random House) and Venture Associate (Alsop Louie Partners)