Here is a quick but non-intuitive success tip. Do more of what works.
We spend way too much time struggling against our weaknesses. It seems to be the pain that brings people to personal development, but a simple thing to do is more of what is currently working. Stick around for practical ways to put this in action.
We are motivated by pain and fear. They are super powerful feelings that get us to do things. Or more often, stop our forward progress.
But there is an easy way to get wins quickly. More than likely you already know how to get some of the things you want. Right now you are recalling times you got those things you want. Doing that more, or again, will get you quickly on track to success.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
In Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, she gives some guidelines about how to get and give critiques. One of the tips she gives is to focus on telling people what works in their writing. If you do this, they will often lean into that and do more of it. A side effect of this is they do less of the stuff that isn’t working.
By the way, that’s got to be the fourth or fifth time I’ve referenced the Artist’s Way in a distinction. You really should read it if you haven’t. Or re-read it. I think I will.
So focusing on what you do well, will cause you to do more of that and less of what you suck at. Of course you need to define “do well” as something that give you the outcome you want. Don’t just do the things that are easy, comfortable or pleasurable, but don’t lead to what you want in life.
Here’s another story about doing more of what works. There is an internet marketing guru called Frank Kern. He charges hundreds of thousands of dollars to do one-on-one consulting with companies. I believe he guarantees the outcome of increased money for his clients or they don’t pay him. You know what the first question he asks is?
“What have you done in the past that worked?”
In general there is something they have done before that worked that they aren’t doing now.
Then he’ll ask “Why aren’t you doing it now?”
Very often the answer isn’t because it stopped working, or they can’t do it anymore. It is just because they’ve already done it.
Then he tells them, “Well do that again.”
And he makes them money.
We can learn a couple of things towards the principle of leaning in from this.
First is that when you ask, “what is working for you?” You need to include what HAS worked for you in the past. Are there things that you did in the past to get the outcome you want now? Are you still doing them? Can you start doing them again?
Second we can stop being so focused on the new thing. We are constantly looking for the next life hack, productivity tool, or secret that will solve all our problems, when often we’ve solved the problems before. If you just do what we did then, you’ll get the same results.
Third if something worked in the past, but stopped working we can ask when and how did that happen. For instance, say you lost 30 lbs in the past, but you plateaued and stopped eating right. Then you maintained for a few months and gain the weight back.
I totally just made that up and am not talking from personal experience.
Well you know how to lose 30 pounds. If you went back to that eating plan and did it again, you’d lose the weight again. While doing that, you can start planning for the point where it stopped working and do something different.
This may be the easiest success advice you will get all week. Do more of what works. No new things to learn. Skills to master or research needed.
Question of the Day: What success strategies do you need to lean into?