Success isn’t for everyone

Now that I have your attention, the real title to this blog is | The Secret of my Success!

 

I lecture and write a great deal on leadership, entrepreneurship and running businesses. I am often asked “what is the secret to your success?” My secret encompasses many different things but the foundations are embedded in three simple actions. Before I mention them, I must tell you that success is not for everyone. Well, let me preface that with not everyone will do what they need to do to be successful. The reality is that success is available to anyone, but not everyone will work at being successful. Success has many costs and those costs can be very high for some. It may appear that success is just too hard or just too far out of reach… well, if you believe that then who am I to tell you that what you believe is wrong. Only you can change the view you have of the world. Notice, I never said success is easy… Notice I also didn’t say you had to have a lot of money to be successful! I just said you have work hard. You might come across people who are successful at an early age and think that maybe they were handed success or just have some genetic predisposition to success. Well, in some ways you might be right – but what I know is this… success is first and foremost a mentality. Let me try to explain it this way. I am not much for playing Golf. Couldn’t even tell you the last time I went to the Greens.  But what I can tell you about the game of Golf is that it is first and foremost a mental game. I once watched a Golf Pro at work with a student. The student kept hitting the ball everywhere but where it needed to go. Finally the student said, I just can’t do this and the Pro said “yes you can, you’re just not ready to do it because you’re too busy telling yourself you can’t.”  The Pro finally said to the student “your focus is all wrong. You keep telling yourself you’re going to hit the ball in the rough and you do!” Then it happened. The student started to hit the ball right to the hole. Later I asked them what had changed. It was simple… the Pro told the student to start imagining the ball going to the cup… clear out the mind of everything else but the ball going to the cup!

So now that we know that success is a mental process what do we do? The secret to my success is locked up in these simple things. First you have to read! I mean read a lot. A successful person is a perpetual student. They read books and articles on business, leadership and success. You might say that they are a student of life. My office has two seven foot book shelves full of books on leadership, business, entrepreneurship, innovation, culture, and psychology just to name a few. I have amassed literally thousands of pdf articles on everything from popular press to scholarly journals on the subjects I’ve mentioned. To be successful, you’re going to have to become an avid reader and consumer of vast amounts of information. But reading alone is not enough, you have to become coach-able.

I am a professional coach and consultant. Some might believe that by nature I am an expert. While this might be true, even I need to continue to learn. Reading is a helpful part of that process, but I also am coached and mentored on a regular basis. While I may know my business and my clients very well, I still need to learn from others wisdom. The times that I have engaged a coach or consultant have been the most fruitful and successful times of my life. A coach or consultant is your eyes into a different perspective. A coach or consultant helps you get unstuck and to begin to imagine new possibilities and ways of doing things. The most valuable thing I’ve ever done on a consistent basis has been engaging in the coaching and consulting process. Here is where success may not be for everyone. Coaching and consulting requires honesty and transparency for success to occur. There is also a financial cost to growing. Investing in the coaching and consulting process is an investment in your long-term viability and growth. Investment in you yields dividends greater than any investment account. Coaching and consulting is not a get rich scheme for success – it is a long-term growth plan. Many will not engage in the coaching process because they think the financial costs are too great. While I agree that coaching and consulting can seem expensive, it is a lot cheaper than wasting time and money over many years attempting to find success. Coaching is an investment to help you reach your ultimate goals more quickly. Why wouldn’t you invest dollars today to create successful faster than otherwise possible? Again, perhaps success is not for you!

Finally, one of the secrets to my success is to never ever give up! I hear people often say things like “I can’t do that” and I say you’re right. If you say you can’t you’ve already decided you won’t! That is why I say that success is not for everyone because they’ve basically said that they can’t. You see when you plant the seeds of doubt within your head you have a hard time killing those seeds when they become weeds of doubt. These weeds of doubt will strangle out any beautiful thoughts of possibility you may have. Sometimes overcoming those weeds of doubt requires the help of a coach or consultant. All too often I watch people just give up because of their belief system. Never give up… Keep moving… keep striving… keep growing and above all, engage in the process of coaching and consulting. Success is for everyone. Will you be the one who chooses to be a winner or will you be nothing more than a whiner? The cool thing about success is that you get to choose!

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

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Majoring on the Minors | Perpetuating religious schisms of the past

Tickle (2008) argues religion is a social construct as well as an individual way of being and understanding (p 33). Language, customs, values, traditions, religion and laws are all part of what James Sires called cultural relativism. Cultural relativism relies on the ideal that culture will preserve itself when threatened (Sire, 1999, p 87). Perhaps this unto itself explains why we can observe thousands of years of societal and religious turmoil? Understanding people within a given culture requires familiarity with local conditions and the context from which people develop and express viewpoints and make decisions (Black et al., 1999, p 121-124).

 

Tickle (2008) states “any established or organized religion is the soul of the culture or society that, in turn, is the body in which and through which religion acts” (p 33). Black et al., (1999) use the imagery of a Kaleidoscope in dealing with paradigms and knowledge (p 61).  Black et al., (1999) note individuals encounter new paradigms, like the changing images in a kaleidoscope; they view these paradigms as actual maps, conveying entire histories of cultural bias (p 61).

 

If we are to consider Tickle’s (2008) assertion that schisms occurred because of such things as leavened bread, language of text or the methodology by which we connect with God; it is difficult to interpret these things on the surface as necessarily cultural in nature. If we are a product of our culture and our culture is a product of history, then why is it that churches do not invest time in unpacking the history of religion? Perhaps our reasoning is tied up in Sires argument of cultural relativism. In essence, I don’t think we really like to consider the messiness of our past as a platform for why we believe and do the things we do today. By ignoring our history, are we not perpetuating the schisms of the past and thereby putting man’s rules before God’s commands?

 

References:

 

Tickle, Phyllis (2008). The Great Emergence. How Christianity is Changing and Why. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

 

Sire, James W. (1997). The Universe Next Door. Third Edition. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press

 

Black, J.S., Morrison, A.J. and Gregersen, H.B. (1999). Global Explorers. The Next Generation of Leaders. New York, NY: Routledge.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667