“The time men spend in trying to impress others, they could spend in doing the things by which others would be impressed.”
—Frank Romer, History Professor
Image from Social Media Today
If we were to apply the 80/20 rule to today’s quote, it might go something like this:
“80 percent of the effort we put into impressing others creates 20 percent of the value we hope to produce.”
Although it seems pretty wasteful, many people put far too much effort in dressing for success than they should. Perhaps it is because these surface-only pursuits take less time and effort to make us look good. Unfortunately, they rarely produce the deep and significant outcomes we desire.
Consider shopping for a major purchase such as a home or a vehicle as a metaphor. Without a doubt, you would surely get a complete home inspection, or definitely look under the hood before making this kind of investment.
How can and will you flip the 80/20 rule to your benefit by taking more substantive actions to provide the valuable outcomes you desire, and likely impress others as a side benefit?
“When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”
—Henry David Thoreau, 19th Century American essayist and historian
Image from Flickr by Andrew Blight
If you have ever swum in a river, rowed a boat, or hit a golf ball, you have experienced the concept of going with the flow, and the underlying phenomenon of momentum.
When we put forth our efforts in the same direction, we discover the synergy and compounding benefits of the forces of wind and current.
Where in either your personal or professional worlds are you in the flow of success, with the wind at your back, or going with the current?
What additional encouraging efforts can you apply to these situations to more fully realize extraordinary levels of achievement?
“In every triumph there’s a lot of Try.”
—Frank Tyger, late editorial cartoonist
One definition of the word triumph is, “being victorious in a noteworthy achievement, or a level of exultation and joy over generalized success.”
It is also associated with winning and prevailing in some significant challenge, gaining mastery, rejoicing, and celebration.
In 1965, there was an ad touting, “Put a tiger in your tank,” promising optimal acceleration and performance if you used Esso Gasoline. Trying is the proverbial tiger in your tank, to boost you to new levels of achievement.
Where and how can you take Frank Tyger’s coaching and put more “try” into your personal and professional efforts towards triumphs in your life?
“The future is purchased by the present.”
—Dr. Samuel Johnson, 18th Century English Poet
Image from specialneedsparenting.net
Evidence has shown that there is a high correlation between an individual’s ability to delay gratification, and their long-term level of achievement.
All one need do is examine masters in almost any endeavor to see the level of effort and amount of time it took for them to achieve what they desired. Some traded large pieces of their lives for a potential pot of gold at the end of the line. This can often be the case when people work tirelessly in vocations and careers they don’t enjoy.
Those who are attuned to their vision and value often find the courage to take bold actions. Their efforts in pursuing their dream becomes like compound interest on the daily investments they make.
How can you lead an even more fulfilling life by having your present professional and personal efforts be their own reward, and not just a means to a future you hope for some day?
“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.”
-W.B. Yeats, 20th Century Irish Poet
Image from Flickr by Hans Splinter
Life Below Zero is a TV series on the National Geographic Channel. It highlights individuals and families living fulfilling and successful lives near and north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska.
Throughout each episode the temperature is indicated in the lower left corner of the screen, which, as the show title indicates, is often well below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
One would guess that they would be bundled up every moment, but that is not the case. It is amazing to see how often they remove their hats, gloves, and layers of clothing, because they generate considerable body heat as they engage in daily activities such as gathering wood and securing food in this rugged part of the world.
Where in your personal or professional world is it time to make your own irons hot by striking out with even greater initiative and effort?
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
-A.A. Milne, Author of Winnie the Poo
image from Flickr by Giovanni Orlando
The dandelion is often considered a pesky weed popping up in our lawns each spring. We describe dandelions as “invasive,” as if they were an alien life form that must be eradicated from our lawns, parks, and ball fields.
When you learn a bit about dandelions, you discover their numerous health benefits, such as:
- A great source of beta carotene which our bodies convert to vitamin A. They are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
- They are a source of protein.
- Dandelion greens are have been used to treat anemia, scurvy, skin problems, blood disorders, and even depression.
- People around the world ferment and enjoy dandelion wine.
Instead of weeds, let’s talk about people. Who are the “weedy” folks you would like to remove or eradicate from your life? What might be possible if, instead, you made efforts to get to know them better?
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not in fighting the old, but on building the new.”
—Socrates, Classic Greek Philosopher
image from bigfishmedia.ca
When I consider the idea of fighting the old ways of doing things, I think of the phrase, whatever we resist persists. Notice how some of your own less-than-desirable habits or behaviors seem to stick around no matter how much you try to fight them off. The act of building things is much like a replacement strategy where we insert what we desire into our lives instead.
What would be the biggest difference in your personal or professional life if you stopped fighting the old and started building the new?
“Hustle and heart will set you apart.”
—Alisa Jacobs, Entertainment Marketing and PR Manager at Diageo
One of the things I enjoy about certain quotes is their catchiness and rhythm. That they also communicate a fundamental truth is critical. These factors generate a stickiness that allows us to carry them in our minds wherever we go.
Examine the levels of Heart and Hustle you currently bring to your personal and professional efforts. Notice that if your Heart is not in it, your level of Hustle will rarely be, either.
What adjustments can you make in your heartfelt attitudes and efforts to set you apart from your previous self and those around you?
“You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe your sweat.”
Image from getyourbridebody.com
When was the last time you had a really rigorous workout? You know, the kind that makes your muscles burn, makes you gasp for air, and drenches you in sweat?
Where do you, or have you, demonstrated similar efforts in your personal or professional life?
How often do you give things your all? With what frequency do you merely put in enough effort just to get by? How often do you throw in the towel and give up completely?
What are the key tasks or priorities in which you could dig deeper, make a stronger commitment, or break more of a sweat?
With whom can you partner to coach, encourage, and challenge you to give these goals your very best?