Posts Tagged ‘achievement’

What Will You Change in the New Year?

If you are like me you don’t go for the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. From what I’ve read about them not many people are successful with this process. The classic example is people who join a gym at the beginning of the year and within a month or two are no longer attending. But, resolutions are not the same as asking what will you change in the new year and there are real differences. Read the rest of this entry »

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Be Willing to Start Again

How often do we just throw up our hands and surrender, feeling defeated. Does this mean we’re done trying? Maybe all that is needed is a brief break. We must be willing to use past failure to build on to eventually succeed. To do that, we must be willing to start again. Just like Read the rest of this entry »

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When Is It Time to Give Up?

The question of when is it time to give up is one that we are all faced with at some point. Perhaps the real question is what do we mean by giving up? In my last post How Do You Define Failure? I discussed the importance of persevering and not letting our failures stop us too soon. Each apparent failure can really be a learning experience and a vital step on the way to success. But, what do you do when it seems as if success is going to permanently elude you?

Take a Time Out

Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a time out from what we are attempting. We need to be willing to allow ourselves the luxury of diverting our attention temporarily to something else that may even be unrelated. This is a little like the idea of sleeping on something for a few nights and just letting our mind subconsciously work on a problem. It is fairly common to suddenly have an answer pop into our head when we were not deliberately thinking about finding a solution. A temporary diversion is often one of the most productive things we can do. However, that diversion does not necessarily need to be play time or what seems like wasted time. We could move on to working on some other seemingly unrelated issues. Occasionally one of the other issues will prompt an answer to our original problem. So, while it may look like we have given up, what we are really doing is allowing our mind to work on its own.

Reframe the Problem

Perhaps we are so caught up in what we thought we were trying to accomplish that we miss the obvious. Consider the development of post-it notes at 3M. The scientist who developed the adhesive used on them was actually trying to develop a super strong adhesive. He continue to promote his adhesive for other possible uses, but it went unused for nearly six years until another individual had the idea to use the low-strength adhesive in the manner we now see with post-it notes. So, “when is it time to give up?” Well in this case it was not as soon as something did not work as hoped. Sometimes people just need to think and reframe the problem. With the development of this adhesive the solution came before the problem. All it took was someone to use their imagination to consider possibilities.

dreamer

Put It in the Idea Bank

How often do you have an idea and then just let it go without ever acting on it? If you don’t already do this, consider keeping a file where you record random ideas. Keep it handy and periodically review it. If you are working on an idea for which there seems to be no solution then the question of “when is it time to give up?” can become rhetorical if you put this issue aside by recording it in your idea file. Later something else you are working on may well jog your memory of the original idea filed away, while at the same time providing you with a solution.

Artists sometimes have several pictures they are working on. They may be struggling with one picture and divert their attention to it (kind of like taking a time out). Then when they return to it later they then see how to proceed and get the results they want. It is not unusual to occasionally let an idea for a painting sit for an extended time, almost like the idea bank concept. Later, after their mind has subconsciously worked on the idea they suddenly find they are ready to paint it. An author can do the same thing when writing a book. They may get stuck on where to go with a story line and take a diversion to another task. When they resume writing the story line has now developed in their mind.

So before you give up reframe the idea of what it means to give up. Yes, sometimes it may be that you never finalize something, but other times you will find that a temporary diversion helps or that an idea you put aside in your idea bank is now one that makes complete sense.

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Be Willing to Entertain What Seems Impossible

Sometimes we can find ourselves wondering if something is even possible. Well, try to be willing to entertain what seems impossible as a way to get unstuck. Read the rest of this entry »

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You Either Move Toward Your Goal or Away From It

Being deliberate in moving toward you goal is essential. Not doing so is actually moving away from it.

Life Moves On

When you set a goal it will not happen all by itself. You must have a game plan to make it happen and act on that plan. While it’s possible your goal could come to fruition without direct action, do you really think that is very likely? It is much more likely that Read the rest of this entry »

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Stay Focused and Move to the Goal

Most of us have had the experience of struggling to do something only to hear someone say, “Focus. You can do this.” This is common in sports and school, yet the idea applies just as aptly in the business arena.

What Does It Mean to Focus?

Basically focus is the main point of attention. In optics one definition is a clear and sharply defined image. Combining these two ideas we have a picture of what it means to stay focused in business. Read the rest of this entry »

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Getting Started

Everything we do has a starting point. Unfortunately many never get past this point. Why is that? Read the rest of this entry »

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Leave the Past Alone

Have you ever known someone who cannot get out of the past? Whether it is their failures or their successes, that’s where they live their life. In another posting, When Planning is a Roadblock, I talked about how people so often cannot move forward either because they cannot plan completely for the future or they cannot escape their past failures. Here I want to focus on getting beyond past failures in order to move forward. Essentially they have to learn to leave the past alone. Read the rest of this entry »

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