After having been in sales, in marketing, and in management for over fifty-five years, I know the feeling of momentum, the feeling of success and of failure. You can be UP one day and DOWN flat the next. As the saying goes, “You can’t win ‘em all”, but with the proper motivation and attitude I believe you can win more than you lose.
As I used to tell my employees, “It’s easy to be great because there are so very few trying.” I have never known a truly successful person who was satisfied with being “average.” To be on-top you must have a plan. Without going into detail on each point, let me share with you some of the factors that I have witnessed over the years—things that have proven to emphasize the theory that indeed, success does come in CANS (not in can-nots):
If you want to be the best in whatever you’re doing, you’ve got to push yourself to the next level. You’ve got to break free from your comfort zone.
Are you in a comfort zone? Of course you are—we all are. Your comfort zone isn’t just within your job, family relationships, even small things like the route you take to work, your favorite seat on a plane or the exact hours you schedule yourself for work or relaxation. There’s nothing wrong with comfort zones—unless they hinder you from achieving what you CAN and want to do. Let me mention a perfect example: Roger Bannister knew from all that he read from the “experts” and their proof that nobody could run a mile in under four minutes. The body simply couldn’t take the stress. Bannister thought differently, and in 1954 he shattered the four minute mile barrier.
Just a decade ago, typewriters were an office staple. Today, they’re antiques. New industries and new products are emerging and soaring into prominence. Some of yesteryear’s giants are now dinosaurs. Reasons for challenging your personal comfort zone are staring you in the face. One writer put it this way. “There’s a lack of stimulation, too much sameness in our lives. When a comfort zone has become a rut, it’s time for a change.”
Tony Bennett, the famous singer says, “What truly distinguishes the great performers from the rest is that the great ones take risks in front of an audience. They try the unsafe, the unproven, the un-tested—that’s what adds zest.”
Try breaking big projects down into bite-sized chunks. Stand on the high dive and look down into the pool---yup, it’s scary. First jump into the pool from the edge then the low board, and you begin to build confidence and willingness to take the risk. Go ahead—jump in the deep end.
Usually it’s not failure but the anticipation of failure that paralyzes us—and we remain in that old comfort zone. Let’s face it, failures and mistakes are a real part of life. People that take a risk and lose tend to feel proud because they dared. The real regret came from those who hadn’t taken a chance that they wanted to take and now feel it’s too late. How many people just stay where they are, and fifteen or twenty years down the road say, “I wonder what my life would have been like if I’d tried this or that?”
P.S. One last thing—this is a fun quiz you can play with your friends and family: “Tell me ten, two letter words that lead to your success?” Let everyone guess and then give them the answer—“IF IT IS TO BE –IT IS UP TO ME”
Yes, success does come in CANS (not in CAN NOTS)