Here’s some back ground to our view of success, what it is and how to have fun achieving it. At the end of the post we share six success questions that we believe provide the ultimate test of your readiness to achieve what you have set out to achieve.
There are two elements we have seen operating in successful people
The first is their model of how the world works – their model of the world
The second is their performance or readiness to deliver revealed in their scores to the success dimensions that these six questions target.
See your score on these dimensions as an audit of your readiness to achieve
Later in this post we offer you the opportunity to complete an assessment manually or online
The results will tell you your current readiness levels and if they are below what is necessary for your success. It’s a great way to get
- your head round what the process or business of success means to you.
- some feedback on what you need to prioritise if you are serious
- a concrete score you can use to track your progress over the coming months and years
It’s free and just might give you something to think about that will save you wasted time and effort.
This post brings together much of what we have learnt about success. As a result at many points in this piece we refer out to the short stories we have written to illustrate the choices in your thinking required to construct your personal paradigm of how the world works. We provide the name of the short story written to provide the input on the various points raised. They are an extra – this post should give you all you need to understand what success requires and where you are with your success now.
You can find all our books and stories here
The business of success
Why do some people seem to work simply and easily towards the life they want and others jump from idea to idea or fashion to fashion?
We think the answer is about their relationship with the ‘art’ of being successful and understanding how it works.
‘Being Successful’ is one of those things many of us are attracted to.
Being successful is something that can be defined in many ways but what matters is your definition.
We met some people who defined success as about being on the road to the life they wanted, alternatively , for others success meant having this or that success today, this week, this month or this year.
Even this simple difference in how they thought about and set up there relationship to success had a profound impact on both their results and their state of mind.
In one small office we visited there was a desk that belonged to a secretary, on it there was a card that said, “This is the temporary resting place of a multi millionaire”.
Needless to say, the lady who owned the desk and the card was excited and vibrant and it was easy to believe that one day she would look back at this desk and this office as a necessary stepping stone on her journey to the life she wanted and always knew she would finally enjoy.
The difference between feeling successful when you are on the road to where you want to be and only feeling successful when you get there is a fundamental difference and has profound implications for how you feel today.
Just as we say you must have your own personal view of how the world works, your personal paradigm, you must put the effort in to define what success itself means to you.
Knowing that whatever your big picture vision for success is and whatever your current progress towards this desired future is, you can still consider
success lies here with you today. Thinking like this as you complete this step on your path, what ever it is, however menial it may seem, changes everything. delegates we met who thought like this differed from those who considered that they were not winning or not a success in terms of every dimension that mattered in delivering their ultimate success destination.
Simple changes in seeing where you are now as a valid or even necessary step on your way to your desired future boosts your mood, performance attitude energy and results.
Most of our delegates who considered themselves successful adopted the idea that they were on their road to the future they wanted. They understood that there might be diversions, deviations and unexpected results but they treated this as simple feedback that would help them progress faster and further if they treated it in this way.
They were ok that they might not have ‘arrived’ yet and relished the chance to test their approach and play along the way to determine the route.
Over the last twenty years this idea of being on a journey has gained much more general usage and has been applied to everything from diets to reality shows. we can get fed up with what seems like another example of mumbo jumbo or psycho babble but it’s important not to lose sight of the benefit this detached approach can bring.
Understanding our journey is our journey that your journey is your journey helps us realise what this means in terms of the choices we have a right or even duty to make our own choices about how to travel and where our journey might take us.
On one programme we had a successful 38 year old, female, sales manager who had a very good week. At one point she said
“I just didn’t think that saying ‘I want to be a mother’ was acceptable”
To who ? the group asked.
She didn’t know…….
Within 6 months she had some happy news that made her the happiest she had ever been.
It’s Your Success
- Who is your success for ?
- How does your Model of the world help you get there?
- Why would you believe anything that holds you back?
These fundamental questions about the life you want and how you want to live it are related to who you are and what you think you are.
Looking at our delegates’ experiences, it sometimes takes us humans time to realise we can change things and then subsequently sort all this out.
On most of our courses, most delegates were unsure of what they were doing with their lives or what they wanted their lives to be or even be like.
Many had not consciously realised there was a choice that was being made in every minute of every day and that these choices inevitably built to deliver the life they had.
A few of us seem to know almost from the moment we are born what we want to do, what we are lives here to be about but for a majority this type of clarity is missing.
Very few of our sales course delegates had grown up dreaming of a career in sales. Few of any of our delegates had grown up dreaming they would work for the company that currently employed them. For most of them it had happened almost by chance and they had taken the offer that sat in front of them. Only a very small minority had actively chased a career they had researched and understood in advance.
What this means is that most of us are being compelled by circumstances.
This can be an effective strategy if you are content and able to enjoy what comes your way. However if this is not you and you are not in Happy Paddock with regard to how you spend your time, or the fruits of your labours, then maybe its time to do some nudging in a direction you think will help.
We are exploring, moving along maybe searching or enjoying or beating ourselves up until we sort it all out. The relationship with your Monkey helps determine how you progress these things.
Take our survey here to see the real state of your relationship with your Monkey.
What does not successful mean?
Just as it helps us live easier if we define how we think things work and what success means to you it’s also worth challenging yourself to understand what you mean by ‘not successful’.
Like everything else we talk about this is your personal view. It must be your definition and just working through it can throw up some strange beliefs we have been harbouring. If it helps you tease out your versions here’s a few ideas that have come up over the years.
Not successful is when you:
- Struggle with getting your personal things done
- Start things and then lose interest or give up
- Work at the wrong things longer than you should
- Put your effort into things that don’t give you what you want
- Make New Years resolutions you don’t keep
- Set Goals you never do anything to achieve
- Achieve things you find out you didn’t actually want
- Have unnecesarily lost things, people and feelings that matter along the way
For many of our delegates ‘not success’ was finding out they had been working long and hard on things that were not important to them.
If your thing is being a mum and having a Porsche means you can’t have a baby it’s worth knowing the choice you are really making!
Over time we started crafting some questions that could help us manage our success from within the busy lives some of us lead.
Six Success Questions.
These six ‘success questions’ reflect the principles we must adhere to if we are to manage our own success.
These six questions :
- Stop us from getting lost
- Stop us wasting time on the wrong things
- Let us keep a detached eye on how we are doing
- Help us do and achieve rather than ‘try’
Asking the questions helps you stop. Breaking the immediate relationships between stimulus and our response is always a good place to start. Truthfully getting too the answers helps us understand
‘what’s really going on’.
The first question addresses the most common failure in all success attempts, vagueness on outcome:
Do I know Where am I going?
This is about defining what you want to be, have or do it can be stuff, situations or feelings whatever is right for you.
The second question addresses the next issue. That although the destination is clear there seems little point getting there or it is just not attractive enough to generate and sustain the efforts required to deliver it or too fragile to withstand questioning from well-meaning friends or Monkeys.
Particularly in the early days when progress may be limited or later when difficulties crop up, the destination may need nurturing and support and maybe even defence from others. Your destination can be overtaken by circumstance or the destinations of others if you are not clear regarding its value to you.
We need to understand why we want what we say we want and so the second question is:
Do I know Why I am doing this / why I want this?
Are we clear, truthfully and honestly what doing, being or having this destination will really give me.
Once I am clear what my dream looks like – what it actually is and what I think it will give me, I can use this to decide if it is really worth doing. To do this I need to understand what the change required will cost me. I might not know all that I will have to do yet but as a minus I need to understand this is something new and I will have to fathom out or learn what to do as well as do it. The answers to questions one and two need to be fit for purpose ie. providing the energy to pay the price. It’s necessary to go round the loop a few times as the final price emerges to check this is really something we still want to do. This is the process that also lets you give up on long term project start are taking you no where..
We only have so much energy time and we need to invest it where we either get what we want or we enjoy what we do
Short story reference The Fishermans seconds
The third question is:
Do I understand the price I will have to pay to get there ?
The price could be in terms of money, hours or effort and energy, maybe its the cost of changing or creating new habits and routines or just doing things outside your comfort zone
Things that that scare you or create uncertainty or have a high and public risk of failure.
“Once you know the price, you can stop and make a decision if this thing is really worth doing and if it really suits your purpose or not. At this stage you can actively disqualify ideas that don’t stack up.
This is particularly valuable if you have a tendency to run at every new idea. Often the result of this question is a pile of discarded projects or destinations.
If you find that getting the Porsche involves working every sunny Sunday then you might choose to have the Sundays in the sun rather than the Porsche and so the fourth question is:
Have I decided to Pay the Price?
Are you committed? Have you decided or will you decide to walk this path and to do what takes?
If a decision is not possible and you lack the data then your only option is a choice*. Are you decided that the work involved is worth the price you expect to have to pay. That requirement ( time / money / risk / embarassment ) that is costly to you*…..
*Haamids inn keeper
Once this decision is made is all sorted, then the foundations for success are in place and only then can you get on productively with the right jobs and tasks that are required to deliver the result.
so my fifth question is:
Am I paying the Right Price ?
Am I really doing the things that will give me the result I want?
Finally when you can positively answer all of these five questions, its time for the sixth question:
Am I keeping an eye on how I am doing ?
Losing site of what you do and how it links to what you want is a big risk in our modern and distraction and demand filled world. The questions provide a ready made review process and if you are stuck our questionnaire can help you work out which element is slowing you down.
Here’s a manual version You can take the diagnostic on line here
Think of something that’s not quite going how you want it to.
Work through the six success questions with your task or project in mind.
- Start at question one and complete the questions in order.
- Make sure you can answer each question to your own satisfaction with an honest yes.
- The first question that trips you up is the place to resolve first.
The six questions
1 Do I know where am I going?
2 Do I know why I am doing this?
3 Do I understand the price I will have to pay to get there ?
4 Have I decided to Pay the Price?
5 Am I paying the Right Price ?
6 Am I keeping an eye on how I am doing
You can do this online here
Being able to answer yes truthfully to all these questions covers all
the dimensions of success