The extent to which we can grow our business can largely be guided by our thoughts, actions and behaviours. However, there are external factors often at play that we can’t control, many of which could impact on us progressing to what we want. All too often we end up spending time worrying about issues that with all the will in the world you cannot have any direct impact on making them go your way. These could range from global economic factors, through to political and social issues, down as far as the behaviour and actions of other people.
Spending time worrying about the big things we can’t control can result in energy being absorbed in non value added thought. Here is a great way to think about control:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference
Success comes from managing the things we can control. Embracing this principle will get you motivated to moving forward on those pressing issues that need sorting out. Focusing on factors outside your sphere of influence could create stress and reduce the effectiveness of your actions. Your mental toughness will become eroded by the enormity of the task associated with thinking about the things you can’t change. This habit becomes emotionally draining and will impact on your efficiency and effectiveness. Accept it!
Focus on the 10 things you can control:
- Attitude – believe you can, growth starts with believing you can
- Learning and knowledge – you must learn and acquire knowledge if you want success
- Friends – who you spend time with and who you share ideas with
- Motivation – the invisible force that comes from within
- Time – how you spend your time – who with and on what
- Capabilities and offer – what you are providing to others and how effectively you deliver it
- Financial matters – what you spend and your means
- Treat and deal with people – always with respect, honesty and integrity
- Deal with the environment – being aware of sustainability issues and how you treat your surroundings
- Reputation – what you stand for and your personal effectiveness
Successful business people tend to have a strong belief in their ability to take control of the circumstances, issues and factors that will give them their desired outcome, in particular they will:
- Actively take part in initiatives that improve their current situation
- Have a strong internal control orientation, this is hungry for goal achievement
- Actively pursue a policy of self development
- Inquire and actively commit to understanding why things turned out the way they did
- Embrace learning to ensure positive outcomes in the future
- Ignore people who drain their energy
When we master the art of controlling the controllable, additional energy will be made available for doing, consequently you will gain a better balance between activity and thinking. Success is well within your control!
Allocating time to thinking and doing, in the right proportions, will significantly increase your chances of achieving business and personal growth. However, you must give due consideration to the quality of your thoughts as crisp and clear thinking will drive your plans in the right direction. Spending time thinking how to achieve your goals in stressful conditions creates chaotic thought patterns. This frame of mind adds no value and delivers minimal contribution to business success. You must make provision for Quality Thinking Time (QTT) – space to ponder without interference or distraction. A hectic life style resulting from trying to balance work, family, relationships and career can make QTT a challenging task.
Remember, it is vital for you to avoid over thinking situations, circumstances and options as this will lead to inertia. It will stop you from taking action. A maximum of 20% of your time should be allocated to gaining clarity of thought. The remaining 80% should then be devoted to doing. Individuals that fail to realise their goals can be sometimes be guilty of spending too much time thinking about what they are going to do and never getting on with it. Avoid pontificating about your desires and needs, be sure to get on with it when you have decided just exactly what it is you are going to do. Positive progress is only made when doing follows thinking, Dreams and visions will remain at home in the mind if you don’t push ourselves towards implementation. Failure to move on in business is often down to not grasping the nettle, however when we do the right things a personal momentum builds which manifests into positive outcomes. Think less, do more!
Thoughts + Doing = Results
The difference between success and failure is often down to whether action has been taken or not. The final thoughts are from Christopher Columbus:-
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his or her chosen destination”
There are two groups of people that you will come across in your quest to grow your business – one group will provide inspiration, the other will drain you of energy and make you question your very being. These groups involve:
Energisers – These are the people that view life as one big opportunity. They are motivated individuals who set ambitious goals and constantly look out for the next big thing. They are people on a mission. Their positive outlook on life is built up on clarity of thought and a desire to genuinely make a difference. They are warm and welcoming to others and they refrain from judging what people do and don’t do. Energisers create a positive environment and their positive mindset is genuinely borne out of a sense to do good. These individuals have a sound reputation because they deliver on what they say they will do and their sense of direction is clear to everyone they come into contact with. Energisers can make the unthinkable a reality.
Sappers – These are the individuals who view life as one big problem. Such people have no sense of personal clarity and their lack of vision makes them quick to judge others that have. They are envious of other people’s success and in the worst case, organisational saboteurs. Sappers are to be avoided at all cost as they can quite easily suppress the desires and motivations of ambitious people. All too often in organisations we experience the work of “sappers” – their behaviour manifests itself as gossip, rumour mongering – they become the architects of bad feeling and their negativity brings an unhealthy atmosphere of discontent. Success is difficult enough without having to deal with such people
It is vital that your desire for success is only communicated to those with a genuine heart felt interest in your success. Energisers should form the most significant part of your own personal network. Whilst energisers are positive in their outlook, they are also pragmatic and can view situations and opportunities with ruthless simplicity. They will tell you how they see it, however this will be communicated with candour and respect – be sure to associate with these individuals.
Energisers are the mental stimulants we need to keep going, they become the booster we so dearly need in tough times. Energy sappers are the disease that eats away at our internal motivation and dreams.
You must become an energiser, because in turn you will attract others, this magnetic effect starts to create a group of people that think in the same way. With sufficient critical mass these individuals start to make massive change within our communities. The Impressionist movement in Paris in the early 1800’s and Motown in the 1950’s both came about by groups of Energisers – energetic individuals with a passion to do something big – Energisers spark off each other, they debate and enthuse. They are the pioneers that work out new possibilities that deliver ground breaking ideas – they help us grow our businesses!
Energisers can change the world, make sure that you are surrounded by them!