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Posts tagged ‘Success’

Idea for reflection – 18


Many people are surprised to learn that in twenty-seven years at UCLA, I never once talked about winning. Instead, I would tell my players before the games, “When it’s over, I want your head up. There’s only one way for your head to be up, and that’s for you, not me, to know that you gave the best effort of which you are capable. If you do that, then the score really doesn’t matter, although I have a feeling that if you do that, the score will be to your liking.” I honestly, deeply believe that in not stressing winning as such, we won more than we would have if we had stressed outscoring opponents.
  – John Wooden 

Where are you investing?
Success … maybe
Idea for reflection – 17

Where are you investing?

This question is not about dollars. I’m asking about where you’re investing your time and energy? Do you set goals? Do you set the Jim Collin’s type of goals: Big Hairy Audacious Goals? I’m not opposed to goals and objectives, but I would argue that we too much time being invested in achieving the outcome.

We invest a lot of time and energy into desired outcomes – losing weight, exercising more, winning the promotion, building a great team, <you fill in the blank>. But when we invest our time and energy into a particular outcome, we set ourselves up for anxiety, loss, and even despair. Why? Much of the time we don’t reach the goals we set, either as individuals or organizations. Life doesn’t seem to obey our commands to turn out a certain way. The influence of innumerable variables most often produces unexpected outcomes.

I’ve been thinking about this and understand that we all need goals, hopes, and dreams for Life and well-being. But rather than investing in the outcome, I believe that we need to invest well and with intention in our actions and the process along the way. We can seize the day, enjoy the journey, befriend what comes along the road. Investing in good process and right action allows us to achieve success every day that we act with integrity and do our best.

It’s about how you got there. Not what you’ve accomplished.
  – Yvon Chouinard, CEO, Patagonia

Yellowstone Wild Flowers

Success … maybe

There are days when I have difficulty deciding whether a project or workshop is working or not. On other days, I can spend time worrying about whether a decision is good or bad. Or something happens that seems frustrating and upsetting. Often the this story that I encountered a few years ago from Wisdom Tales (p.35-36) comes to mind:

A farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbors gathered upon hearing the news and said sympathetically, “That’s such bad luck.”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The horse returned on his own the next morning, and brought seven wild horses with it. “Look how many more horses you have now,” the neighbors exclaimed. “How lucky!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. “How awful,” the neighbors said. “It looks like your luck has turned for the worse again.”

The farmer simply replied, “Maybe.”

The following day, military officers came to town to conscript young men into the service. Seeing the son’s broken leg, they rejected him. The neighbors gathered round the farmer to tell him how fortunate he was.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

Success is often judged by comparing it to the outcome we expected – which is subjective. Circumstances cannot always be judged good or bad. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

When things don’t seem to be going the way I hope for I often ask, “What is working well here? What do I need to keep? What do I need to let go? What lessons can I learn?”

Success? Failure? Maybe.

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