“They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Andy Warhol, American painter
And I have to admit that I unwittingly bought into their “gospel of goals,” until I realized you don’t have to have any goals. You don’t have to amount to anything. You can just plain exist. And even then, you wouldn’t be totally worthless. You could always serve as a pitiful example.
As I’ve matured and acquired more insight, I modified my belief on goals. I now tell my audiences that “You don’t have to have any goals — unless you want to be a success.”
And I figure you’re one of those people who want to be a success because you’re reading this “Tuesday Tip”. Good for you!
So what does it take to be a success? I reveal the complete answer in my new book being released on December 5, 2014, entitled “The Payoff Principle: Discover The 3 Secrets For Getting What You Want Out Of Life And Work.” It includes 3 GREAT BIG secrets that will transform you and your work forever.
For the moment, however, let’s look at a few of the smaller but nonetheless important strategies you can use to move you along the path of becoming a success.
1. You’ve got to replace BIG TALK with consistent action.
I’m sure you know some people who are really good at talking about what they’re “gonna do someday”. But every time you see them, whether it was a week ago, yesterday, tomorrow, or a year from now, they’re pretty much in the same place they’ve always been. They’re all talk and no action.
They’re like the people that comedian Dave Gardner refers to in his story about two men who went to work for a construction company on the same day. They were each given a shovel and told to dig. The first man worked with fervor, tearing into the soil as if his future depended on the job he did that day. The second man was more of the big talker-little action kind of guy. He leaned heavily on his shovel, surveyed the construction site, and said, “Someday I’m gonna own me a company like this. I might even own this one. I’m gonna have about 400 people on my payroll. I’ll own 47 trucks, 14 tractors, and 3 Caterpillars. Gimme another drink of water.”
Twenty years passed. The first man, who diligently applied himself to his task, is now the President of the company, makes $200,000 a year, drives a Cadillac, and vacations in Europe.
The second man is still leaning on the shovel, telling anyone who will listen to him, that “Someday I’m gonna own this construction company. Gimme another drink of water.”
The difference is obvious. Success goes to the workhard person a great deal more often than it does to the blowhard person.
2. You’ve got to replace doubt with confidence.
For example, you might think there is no way you could learn the new procedures required at work, change your behavior so you could be a more loving husband or wife, and or run a marathon. But that’s your doubt speaking, not your true inner core filled with possibilities.
Take Pete Strudwick, for example. He could have thought there was no way he could run a marathon of 26 miles and 385 yards. After all, he had no feet. But this 47 year old man has run over 30 marathons, running on stumps. When someone asked him how he could run 26 miles with no feet, he replied, “You don’t lean backwards.”
What a marvelous metaphor for success. You don’t lean backwards with doubt but lean forward with confidence.
If you don’t have the confidence you need, try this. Before you leave your house each day, stand in front of your mirror, stand straight, pull your shoulders back, give yourself a big smile, and tell yourself, “Friend, you look terrific. You’re a winner. There’s greatness in you and something good is going to happen to you today!”
Of course you’ll feel silly the first few times you try this. But if you force yourself to do it every day for 21 days, you will be amazed at the results you get. You’ve programmed yourself with confidence and pushed your doubts aside.
3. You’ve got to replace behavior that is “good enough” with behavior that is purpose filled.
The football coach for Georgetown University, Lou Little, witnessed this as he watched one of his mediocre players transform himself. This particular player never played more than a few minutes in a game even though he was on the team for four years. Even as a senior, he only got in a game the last few minutes, and only on those occasions when Georgetown was ahead by 20 or 30 points.
One week before the last game of the season, the final game in this young man’s football career, the young man’s father died. He went home to be with his mother and bury his father.
Coach Little called the young man at home and said, “Son, you don’t need to come back for the game this weekend. You stay with your mother; that’s where you belong. We’ll get along without you on Saturday.”
On the day of the game, as the team dressed in the locker room, Coach Little looked up to see this mediocre player walk in The coach said, “Son, I don’t understand. I told you we’d handle things. You didn’t need to come back.”
His player replied, “Coach, this is the big game of the year. If you need me, I want to be here.”
Coach little was impressed by the young man’s attitude. When the team went on the field to warm up, the young man went up to his coach and said, “I want to ask a special favor. I want to start the game today.”
Coach Little was surprised. This player had never started a college football game, but he was impressed by the young man’s spirit. There seemed to be something different about him today. So he said, “All right son, I’ll let you start your final game, but I might have to take you out after a few minutes.”
With the kick of the first ball, the young man played like a man possessed. For 60 minutes he never came out of the game. He was driving, slashing, hitting and tackling like an All-American football player.
After the game, Coach Little went to him and asked, “Son, how did you do that? I never saw anyone play football like that before. You were outstanding. How did you do it?”
The young man replied, “Coach, you never met my daddy, did you?” “No son, I never had that pleasure.” said Little.
The young man asked, “Did you ever see me walking arm in arm with my daddy across the campus?” Little replied, “Yes I saw that a number of times.”
“Not many people knew my daddy was blind. Today was the first game my daddy every saw me play. I played for my daddy today!”
A mediocre football player rushed past mediocrity and into extraordinary behavior once he identified a pur
pose for giving it his all. And a change in your purpose or attitude can do the same thing for you. In fact your whole life can be changed if you’ve got a purpose and the right attitude.
You may be facing some intimidating situations or have to deal with some difficult people. But you can handle those situations and those people with the personal power these three strategies will give you. Indeed, the more personal power you have, the less intimidated you ever have to be.