Baldwin hits the nail on the head with his quote on change, doesn’t he? He begs the question of the importance in knowing yourself. Knowing yourself is the key to undertaking life success lessons, isn’t it?
Not everything that is faced can be changed … but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
And often experiments are critical to knowing yourself, aren’t they?
An experiment gone wrong doesn’t have to mean someone goofed. In a culture of growth, it should say that you tried something new, measured the results, and learned that the change didn’t help you. If your tests are always successful, you’re probably not testing often enough or aggressively enough.
How you ever used checklists to improve your productivity … or perhaps your positive mental attitude? How well did they work for you? Do they refresh your thinking on important life success lessons?
We often use checklists to achieve our goal to create the attitude that can see opportunity in every difficulty.
After college, I spent almost two years training as a naval aviator. An essential element of that training was the use of checklists in the learning and refresher process. Checklist utilization remains an important part of my business life. It is always a good idea to have a helpful list for reminders of improvements for your business or your personal life.
I keep a stack of 10 or so checklists that I rotate and update occasionally. This is one of them, despite the fact that I am a retiree (at least part of the time J). I pull out one checklist to read and contemplate for five minutes as a way to start each day. I find it puts my thinking in the right frame of mind. Here is the checklist example on simple reminders to improve the odds of success in any task that my team or I may be doing:
Your career is not your life
This is probably the most difficult of the lessons, particularly early to mid-career. At least it was for me. To be successful in this lesson, you should develop breath to you list of activities and always put family and friends first. To do both well, think about activities that maximize your friends and relatives, like coaching your children’s sports teams.
Get to know who you are
Your life will be in constant change mode, and that is a good thing if you lead change in the direction of your success goals. To do that most successfully, you should have a good understanding of who you are and what direction you are going. Indeed, you must know your strengths and weaknesses pretty well.
Recently, I have started to listen to several playlists and podcasts with advice from “successful” people (“success” being used as a very personal term), and it has given me a lot to think about. One of the quotes that stuck with me was “use adversity to your advantage,” which is a powerful statement for many reasons. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,” he says the following:
“What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.”
It is a powerful statement on how our struggles if used correctly, can be used to our benefit. For that to happen, though, we have to own our struggles.
One of our most favorite quotations about aim and goals is one from Michelangelo:
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
Michelangelo knew a thing or two about great intention and goals didn’t he? Need we say anything more?
Be a change agent
I am a big believer in adaptation and change. You should always seek to be flexible and keep several alternative paths in front of you. Always be on the lookout for ways to reinvent ways for self-improvement. Our most favored quote on change and adaptation is from Charles Darwin:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Just remember to substitute success for survival, and you will have a treasured tip.
Build on your strengths
Again this tip starts with knowing yourself and honestly acknowledging your strengths and weakness. Focus your work on building on your strengths and making your weaknesses irrelevant.
All of these lessons on success get better when you have a strong foundation in knowing how to stay happy. One big part of being successful in happiness is learning how to share kindness. It costs you nothing and you’d be surprised how much in can do for your happiness.
Keep it simple in everything you do. And that is more challenging and significant than you probably believe. Our favorite quote on simplicity?
Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple … that’s creativity.
That says it all to us.
Life success lessons … listening
It doesn’t seem like a lesson that should be in the top ten to most of the younger generation, or that difficult to be an active listener. But most of us are wrong on both counts. Everyone needs to make listening their #1 core competency. (see our article on how to achieve this important goal.)
Wear your enthusiasm and passion
All of us can be enthusiastic and show love on our favorite topics and our best days. The secret sauce is to be as consistent as possible and make it contagious to friends and teammates. There is a strong correlation to an item on kindness and happiness.
Don’t fear failure
While we don’t want to put failure on a pedestal, all of us experience failures in our lives and our careers. The secret sauce is all about learning from them and moving on in or lives as quickly as possible. Realize that careers and lives won’t fall apart from them.
As I examine these lessons at the tail end of my career, it is easy to recognize how little I thought about most of them through at least the mid-career timeframe. And, of course, wish I had. From my personal perspective, I was most vulnerable to lessons 1, 2, 4, and 8. I should have spent a lot more time on these teachings. What about you?
Remember to work on all the lessons … it is another great way to show people a positive mental attitude.
Could this checklist help you start your day?
Do you have suggestions to add to the list?
Be sure and walk the talk on these!
May you be so fortunate …
To be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.
It’s up to you to keep improving your continuous learning performance.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that struggle gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy continually improving your continuous learning?
Do you have a lesson about making your learning better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
More reading on mentoring from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library: