“The formula for disaster is: Could + Should + Won’t.”
~ Jim Rohn
… When Life Throws Curve Balls!
Do you like it when everything runs smoothly and you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself what a great job you did and celebrate your achievement?
I do… But that doesn’t always play out for me.
Frequently, just as I’m gearing up for a challenge something happens that makes me wonder what I should do. I could give you lots of examples (some of them are funny in hindsight) like the time where:
- My computer crashed just before an important presentation and I had to present without any slides or visuals. I thought about rescheduling, but my colleague told me to go ahead any way and I closed the deal. In fact, the client said that is was my determination and readiness to innovate that was the clincher.
- I was on a plane headed up to Sydney for the day to speak at a conference without a change of clothes and my seat mate spilled her meal tray over me. I was able to hide clean most of it up and borrow a shawl to hide the rest and I learned to always pack something to change into for emergencies.
- My internet cut out part way through a webinar – everything just died and the platform I was using wouldn’t let me restart using the same link so I knew that even if I got back online with my phone I wouldn’t able to restart it in the same room. That was the time that I received a flood of emails telling me how valuable my teaching had been and asking how they could work with me.
Last year threw most of us a number of curve balls… and I’m willing to bet that this year will probably be eventful, too.
Are you prepared for that?
The Formula for Success is…
Could + Should + Will!
In the examples above, something went wrong that I couldn’t control so I asked myself three questions:
- How could I approach this situation?
- What should I do in response to this situation?
- What will I do now to resolve the situation, make things right, or get things moving?
This formula for success, achievement, and happiness is available to everyone. Many people are good at finding answers to the first two questions, but a lot of them stumble when they’re asked if they’re willing to do what it takes next.
Well, it’s like people’s answer to the question: “Do you want to be rich?” Around 90% of people will say yes, but there is only a small percentage of those who will do what it takes to achieve their desire ethically.
How could I approach this situation?
This is about exploring options and it is deliberately a ‘how’ question.
There is rarely only one way to solve a problem, so as you consider this question be prepared for objections and energetic discussion. In fact, if you can only find one viable solution then you are almost certainly kidding yourself.
If you have the opportunity to discuss your situation with other people, you should be looking for several possibilities and taking as much time as you need to pick holes and find advantages of each different path.
Whether you’re thinking about business problem or a personal one, it’s wise to remember that if you can only think of one solution, then you need to ask others for help because when you broaden your thinking you increase the chance of finding a solution that you are willing to implement. Many Victorians faced this last year during the lockdown – most came up with innovative solutions with potential to kept them afloat.
What should I do in response to this situation?
This is the time to come up with your preferred approach and to think about your strategy… the steps and actions you’ll take, people to talk to, and so on.
Your goal here is plan a ‘best approach’ that will take you from your current position to your desired goal. You don’t want to over-complicate your approach, but neither do you want to over-simplify things to the point where you can’t actually arrive at your destination, or to the point where you create massive headaches for your colleagues.
Once you get to this stage, you really need to commit to a single approach – you will get in trouble if you keep zigging and zagging around. Of course, if new information comes to light and you realise that you need to change course that is one thing, but that is all the more reason to consider a variety of possibilities at the start.
What will I do now to resolve the situation, make things right, or get things moving?
This is the step that divides failure from success.
You thought about your options.
You chose your path and developed a plan.
Now it’s time to execute: will you? Or won’t you?
There’s a catchy saying: “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” It has a certain amount of truth in it, but and even more potent saying would be: “If you fail to act, then failure is certain!” It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but it is 100% true.
Plans without action aren’t worth anything at all and decisive action simply doesn’t happen unless you choose to say, “Yes, I will execute this plan.”
Are You Ready to Create Your Own Success?
If I asked you whether you had the support and information you need to make this year incredible no matter what curve balls are thrown, would your response be, “ABSOLUTELY!”
If not, I’d like to invite you to make this the year you stick your neck out and ‘go for gold’?
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