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Entries in success (8)


The Scent Of Success Of Your Circus

One of the strangest looks I get when delivering a training program on Juggling Elephants is when I ask participants to describe a "smell" that would be associated with success with their new lineup. It's one of those perfect "aha" moments because all I have to do is say, "Don't believe in the power of smell? How about your grandparent's home? Fresh cut grass? A high school gym? (Hey, I didn't say they were all positive.)

Our sense of smell is the strongest emotional connection we have to a place or event. Read the article, The Nose, An Emotional Time Machine, to find out the science behind this fact. While the article focuses much of its time on how people can quickly connect with their past using their olfaction (our sense of smell), we can also use it as a motivating reminder of the value of doing something differently-and getting different results. Examples for me include:

  • Fresh cut grass. It reminds me that if I focus and get my tasks done, I'll be able to go leave work at a decent hour and enjoy time outside with my children, wife and yes, my Labrador retriever.
  • A plate of cheese fries from Outback. We use this delectable dish as a celebration of some accomplishment-personal or business. (Also works well for the sense of taste)
  • Fresh air first thing in the morning. It reminds me of the upcoming intermission I will have in the mountains of NC. Smelling the fresh air encourages me to buckle down this week and work hard on my lineup so that I can really savor the time in the mountains this weekend.

Yours may be very different for where you are in your particular situation. If you are in a small business, the smell of fresh paint or sheet rock may be your sensual trigger that if you focus on growing your business, you'll soon be able to move to a larger location. If you are in the market for a new job, the smell of a copier may be motivating to you. It helps you visualize copies of your wonderful resume being duplicated for dissemination to all those potential employers.

Still don't believe me? Try this test. The next time someone you know gets a new car-take a deep breath while sitting in it-I would be willing to wager that the smell motivates you to either freshen up your old vehicle-or work hard to eventually get a new(er) one yourself.


How could we help you experience the sweet smell of success with your work or life? Contact us!


I Double Dog Dare You

I often ask the question to groups that I speak to, “How many of you set New Year’s Resolutions or Goals?”  I am always amazed at how few people raise their hands.  I then follow up with the question, “Why?”  I almost always have someone reply with something like, “If you make a goal or resolution and don’t achieve it, you feel like a failure.” 

There are a couple of paths that you can take as you fail to achieve a goal.  You can make a resolution and then not do anything about it.  No execution.  Yes, that can be disheartening especially as you make the same resolution year after year (that goal of losing that extra 20 pounds comes to mind). 

You can also make a resolution, work hard at it and still not achieve it.  The first scenario is unfortunate but the second scenario has benefits to it.  You tried, you stretched, you worked, and you did so much better than you would have done had you not set the goal. I don’t even know if I would call this a failure. 

I love the quote by the famous philosopher “Anonymous”; “He who dares nothing need hope for nothing.”

Dare to do mighty things!  Set goals.  Work at them.  Don’t be afraid of failure.  Failure is the stuff that success is made out of.


The Past is But Ashes

I had a colleague that was in sales. He had a sales manager that each month would say to his team when they would hit their revenue goal, "The past is but ashes, what will you do next month?" Seems a little harsh but I guess from a sales manager's perspective you don't want your people to sit too long on their accomplishments and want to push them toward success in the next month, next quarter and next year.

Tied to this same concept is the statement, "Past performance is no guarantee of future success." In some cases, I am sure this is very true. There are some authors and musicians that are considered to be "one hit wonders." They achieve a measure of success one time and are then unable to replicate the success. Even worse, they become satisfied and lazy with their initial success and don't push themselves towards excellence a second time.

A key point in all of this is the fact that just because you were successful once doesn't mean that you are guaranteed automatic success. It will probably take just as much hard work, blood, sweat and tears as it did the first time. The nice thing about the second time is that you do have the past experience and the taste of success that drives you toward success again. Push yourself towards success again and again. Don't sit around in the ashes.


"Johnny, It is Time to Practice"

You rushed home after a long day of school. You were thinking about all the fun things that you were going to do or the TV show that you wanted to watch. You pulled open the door, threw your books on the couch and were headed for your room when you heard the voice of your Mother from the kitchen, "Johnny, it's time to practice the piano." Oh no, not the piano!

It is an interesting fact that the best way to learn to play the piano is practice, practice, practice. It takes repetition to learn and improve. It is the same with a number of other skills; it takes time, practice and repetition. The challenge becomes finding the time and that you no longer have Mom there to remind/force you to practice.

If you want to learn a new skill, try blocking out 15-30 minutes a day, at a specific time, to learn and practice. Actually schedule it in your planner or electronic device so that you are reminded that it is time to focus on that talent. Protect that time. When others ask you if you are available, tell them that you already have something scheduled at that time. Whether it is learning to play the piano, writing a book, learning a new language, starting a home business or learning how to create your own website - block out the time and get started.


Service In Your Lineup

Dr. Martin Luther King said, Everyone has the power of greatness; not for fame, but greatness. Because greatness is determined by service. Is it time to add a little service in your circus lineup? In your organization's lineup? It is easy to focus solely on making ends meet and dealing with the urgent. What about the greater good? Today, look for a simple way to be of service to someone-a small step towards greatness.