If there were no limitations keeping us from our best self, we would all want to be successful. I’m not talking about being famous or even extravagantly wealthy, just being able to do what we love, excelling at whatever that is, and then receiving acknowledgment in that achievement. We all want more and we all want to be better.
Now, let’s throw in real-life limitations. If we broke down what components keep many of us from that next level, I would bet that most would be described as external limitations, such as finances, family responsibilities and any other responsibilities requiring our time and resources. What we fail to recognize, apart from the external limitations each of us face, are the internal factors, the main one being our attitude. All doors of external opportunity could be open, but if seen from the wrong paradigm, or with the wrong attitude, could swiftly cause any of those doors to shut, or in some cases slam.
Years ago, I recall browsing across some news by a guy named Tim Ferriss (not knowing who this go-getter was). I quickly purchased his book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” It must have been the name, because who wouldn’t want to know how to be a successful entrepreneur by working only four hours a week? Yes perhaps I thought it was too good to be true, but reading a book was a simple risk I was willing to take.
As contractors, we hire our employees with high hopes that their enthusiasm in the interview will carry through their length of time in the field.
We have heard time and time again that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. There are five people I spend the most time with in this season of life, and then there are the five people on my “short list.” My short list is a list of contacts whose cell numbers are in my phone and at any given moment I can call them for mentorship, advice or support. They don’t live near me and some are in associations/organizations within our industry and others are simply go-getter entrepreneurs. Regardless of who and where, these five people share similar passions — they share my drive, they are self-help book junkies and they reach for the stars.
What do you want?
At age 12, Tim Ferriss understood that he didn’t want to be like the kids he’d been hanging around, so he asked his parents to send him to private school, which was one of the launching points into his later study abroad, Ivy League schooling and National Chinese Kickboxing Championship. So, what is it that you want? How can we get what we want?
- Reflect and direct: Begin forming relationships with people whom you want to reflect and that will direct you down the right path.
- Acknowledge your limitations: Limitations are real. Write them down and distinguish whether you can change them or whether you need to change with them.
- Say yes to opportunity: This is a mantra that I have said repeatedly over the years. You must be willing to be the beginner, which means, you must be okay being the person in the room that knows the least. If you can’t start, even if you’re insecure and unsure, you won’t go far. Risk is what gets you to the finish line.
- Find the anchors and motors: Robert Wyland, a famous mural painter says it best, “There are two types of people – anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they’re having more fun. The anchors will just drag you down.”
We reflect what we invest our time and energy in. Ferriss knew it at a young age. Vince Lombardi knew it when he was being criticized for not knowing enough about football yet rising to be one of the best coaches in NFL history. Attitude is especially reflective when it involves a team.
Attitude plants seeds
As contractors, we hire our employees with high hopes that their enthusiasm in the interview will carry through their length of time in the field. If this is what you want, it must start with you. And, it must be a part of the foundation of your company. You are what they reflect and the one that directs. You are either their anchor or their motor. And if for some reason you find you’ve hired someone who just can’t change their attitude, get rid of them. Attitude plants seeds. You will either have a forest full of trees that build your company or a forest full of trees that uproot all you’ve invested in.
Your attitudinal posture could very well be the one thing standing in the way of your success. Wade Boggs says it perfectly, “A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is the catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.”
Attitude will always be a choice. So, since life is great, and the opportunities are so widespread for those who keep their heads up and gaze positive, let’s choose our attitude every day.