Time to start hunting.
My inspiration; and my first plug
I was introduced to this book 10 years ago when I started going through management training. I was very skeptical at first. It’s plays quite heavily on religion and even though I was a Christian at the time (more on that paradigm shift later!) I found it quite heavy going. I was missing the point.
Move forward a decade and the pages of my copy are well thumbed, dog eared and colour coded.
I’ll try not to make this a War & Peace length post but here’s my interpretation of this bestseller
- Be proactive. (Get ahead)
Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen! One great excerpt from this chapter is “act or be acted upon.” There have been times in my life when I’ve procrastinated myself into a needless situation. No more. I now practice Flexible Planning.
- Begin with the end in mind
You need to know where you want to end up, but not necessarily how you’ll get there. Take those first tentative steps and you’ll be surprised at what doors open.
- Put the first things first
Estimate a timeframe. How long you think it should take to achieve. Then work backwards. If I want to be achieve X in 5 years time, where do I need to be in 2.5 years? I’ll need to have achieved Y. To achieve Y in 2.5 years where do I need to be in 1 year? Where do I need to be in 6 months etc, all the way until I have an idea of what I need to do next.
Taking those tentative first steps is a little easier when you know where to plant your feet. The importance here is to be flexible! Life tends to get in the way of plans but stay focused!
- Think win/win
This took me a while to fully understand. I used to think in a binary terms of win or lose. For me to win, someone had to lose and vice versa. Wrong. This ideology placed me in direct competition with everyone and anyone and is destined to fail. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, how knowledgeable you are, how fast or strong you are, someone will be that little bit better than you. Read my lesson in humility here..
I now aim for win/win, or no deal. What if we work together? Imagine what we can achieve? Find others to help you reach your goal and help them reach theirs. If someone is where you want to be or doing what you want to do, learn from them! Read what they read, do what they do and if possible, move in their circles.
Don’t ever compromise your values to achieve a deal. This will not sit right with you and will be unsustainable in the long term.
- Seek first to understand then be understood
Shift your focus a little. No one is obliged to understand you. Other viewpoints exist and just because they do not align directly to yours, it doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Senator John McCain defended his then opponent Senator Barack Obama at his own Republican rally, when one of his supporters began a personal attack. What amazing strength of character. I’m a Brit by the way but I’m interested in politics and great orators.
Look to understand someone else’s viewpoint and you will understand what drives them. This involves active listening.
Creative cooperation. Working together to achieve more. For example, I’m involved in a number of projects outside of what was the norm for me. It has taken a lot of learning and self discipline to get where I am (I’m not actually broke!) but there is still work to do. I planned this blog for 6 months before I began it but there was only so much I could do alone. I had to jump in and then the second part of my learning could begin. I now learn from you, my fellow bloggers. I read your blogs for information, entertainment and more importantly in order to improve mine.
- Sharpen the saw
The principle of renewal and the greatest invest of all; the investment in yourself.
- Physical (exercise, nutrition and stress management)
- Social/emotional (service, empathy, synergy and intrinsic security)
- Spiritual (value, clarification and commitment, study and meditation) and
- Mental (reading, visualising, planning and writing).
Balance and clarity in these areas can help you achieve balance in life. I have prioritised or neglected all four of these at one time or another and suffered the consequences. It’s a work in progress.
Time to go and get what you really want.
Sticking to this stuff takes discipline. Mine fluctuates! When I stick to it; life works!
Don’t just take my word for it; read it for yourself.