” Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.“ ~ Thomas Edison
I think it’s redundant to say to readers of this blog that taking personal responsibility for the whole ball of wax we all call “Life” means putting ourselves firmly in the driver seat, right? I thought so.
But once we’re seated firmly behind the wheel in that comfy leather bucket seat, with both hands firmly gripping the steering wheel, what do we do next? Now that’s a great question!
There is a proven formula that if followed, can make all the difference in whether we’ll find success or failure in our goals. I first learned about it way back in the day when I did Tony Robbins 30 Day Personal Power program, and still use it today to get things done.
Tony calls it the Ultimate Success Formula, and it’s basically four steps that when followed, can see us all the way through to our final desired goal – despite whatever rocks and sticks are put in front of us. And yes, if you read the last chapter you’d understand that metaphor so I’m trying to be clever by putting in it here. Anyway, the four steps are:
1. Know precisely the desired outcome you want to achieve
2. Take MASSIVE ACTION towards achieving this outcome
3. Notice quickly what is working, and what’s not working
4. Be flexible and try something different until you achieve the desired outcome
I can’t focus enough how important Step Four – being flexible – is to the success process; and no, I won’t drone on and on here bemoaning the point.
Let me state how critical it is for us to realize that if something isn’t working in our plan, then it’s time to try something else. And if that doesn’t work, then we try something else. And if that doesn’t work, then we try something else. The bottom line is that we keep on trying new approaches until our desired outcome is finally achieved; hence why it’s a success plan, rather than a “kinda works some of the time” plan.
Einstein famously said that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result” an observation that is no less true these days than when Albert said it! But for some reason, people still do this, and it’s crazy.
Thomas Edison was famously known for his tenacity, as evidenced by the opening quote. He also tackled the topic of failure the time a reporter asked him why he was still working on an invention after failing 10,000 times, he is said to have replied, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Good answer!
By the way, that invention was the electric light bulb; and I don’t know about you, but I’m glad he continued to be flexible in his approach of trying new things until he achieved his result!
Successful people understand that failure is both a necessary and expected part of any success. Note those key words: NECESSARY and EXPECTED. Failure is NOT the universes way of telling us to give up and quit; it’s the universe’s way of telling us to make adjustments to our plan and try again, over and over until we get it right. Unfortunately most people don’t get the second part of the memo and give up after one or two tries.
Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch summed this up beautifully in his poignant speech about life and achievement titled The Last Lecture*. He said:
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people”
So the point is obvious: Whatever our end goal is, we must not quit when something doesn’t go our way or label our efforts as failures; instead we must be flexible with our method, and keep being flexible over and over again until the desired result is achieved.
One size does not fit all; and if we ever start thinking that it does, our chances for success will be seriously stunted… and who wants that?
PLAN OF ACTION:
• Use the Ultimate Success Formula as a guide with all projects; and always make sure if the method you are using isn’t working, to be flexible to try something else, over and over again, until your goal is achieved
• Watch “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch; you will be both inspired and moved by this remarkable man’s story. Running time 1 hour and 16 mins.