RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pillars of Success - Own Your Outcome

This Pillar of Success is about ownership and owning your outcome. Whatever outcome you experience, it is yours alone. Too often, we lay blame or excuse our circumstances on factors that are beyond our control. These external influences reassure us that things aren't our fault. They also suggest that we are not in control of our future because these external influences, whatever they are have more control over our lives than we do. Whether it is disappointment at the promotion of a colleague, despair at the lack of clients or frustration with the inertia in our lives, each outcome belongs only to us.

While this view may seem heartless and rigid, if you step back from emotion , y0ou can see the truth in it. We are all faced with external influences and events. The outcome is not the event, but our reaction to it. The old cliché, " If life gives you lemons, make lemonade" is very appropriate. Although it is true that we can not control the external events and circumstances that we encounter, we can control our response to them and in turn take ownership of the outcome. What could be more empowering?

Try these three simple steps to take charge of your outcomes and stop being trapped in a cycle of negative and self-limiting thoughts.

1) Stop Going Through The Motions! This is the crucial first step. You have to commit to your life and your success. Take note of your thoughts about your life as it is today, what you think about your prospects for the future and your general outlook on how things tend to work out for you. Now, step back from that perspective and tell yourself that each day is a clean slate, full of challenges, opportunities and most of all choices. If you stop going through the motions, you will discover that choices are made consciously and deliberately instead of by habit or assumption. The power of choice presents the power of control.

2) Start Paying Attention! Believe it or not, opportunities are all around you and sometimes in the most unexpected places. Unfortunately, our vision is sometimes clouded by bias or assumption and we risk missing all of the intriguing possibilities that are out there. Here is a personal example: early in my business I joined a professional association. Suddenly, I started getting a lot of unsolicited emails with the greeting, "Dear Fellow Member". Naturally, these emails were promoting the goods and services of other members. Initially, I was irritated that the only thing that I seemed to get from this membership was a lot of junk email. I got mad. I stopped reading all correspondence from the association and decided that the dues were a waste of money. Then, I started paying attention.

The first thing I discovered was that the information sharing was clearly stated in the association's Privacy Policy and all I had to do to opt-out was opt-out. Then, as luck would have it, I happened to glance at the email preview pane of one of these emails. Because I was paying attention, I read the email and found it immensely interesting. I discovered in these unsolicited messages new ideas, fresh perspectives and alternative approaches to marketing, customer service, product development and a wealth of other topics. Because I chose to pay attention instead of automatically hitting the delete button, I have found some great ideas from others and leveraged these ideas into other creative avenues of my own. Now, I am not endorsing an inbox full of spam, but I am saying that by paying attention, I found an inbox full of possibility. Where will you find your next opportunity?

3) Don't just sit there-do something! Taking action is what truly asserts your ownership of the outcome. Making the commitment to yourself and opening your eyes to the possibilities around you are important steps, but the final and most important step is to take one--you need to make some lemonade! The actions you take may be monumental or tiny or somewhere in between.

The action may even be to defer further action until you gather more information (an action on its own). Any action is okay and all will impact your outcome in some way. Most importantly, all are the result of making a choice. Regardless of the magnitude of the actions taken, they are conscious responses to situations and events that put you in control of the results.

If you follow these three steps, you will no longer abdicate control of your future to others. Stop going through the motions, pay attention and do something. If you do, you will truly own your outcome and find the "lemonade" of your success.