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The Determinant of One’s Happiness

The Determinant of One's Happiness

One of the most empowering and sometimes simultaneously destructive truths is that you always find what you’re looking for.

If you look for the positive in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something positive.

If you look for the negative in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something negative.

Which suggests that it matters much less what is, and matters much more what you think about what is.

You then, are the author of your own life.

You are the creator of your own happiness or unhappiness.

Your positivity or negativity is completely your own fault.

What we need to train ourselves to do then is not to spend so much time looking for a better situation, thinking that there is an easier way, or wishing some person was different.

Instead, we need to train ourselves to see the positive in whatever it is we are looking at.

We need to focus on looking for the positive in each scenario.

We need to be intentional about finding the good in every circumstance.

And we need to be deliberate about seeing the best in other people.

We need to notice what is right with the world and what is right with the people in our world.

Because it is a peculiar truth of the human mind that we often care less about accuracy and more about just proving ourselves right.

So whatever we decide to be true about ourselves, our friends, our jobs, and our circumstances is what our brain will seek to validate as right.

Our brain typically searches for and recognizes only the information that supports its original premise.

So be careful.

Be careful what you choose.

Because whether you choose to see the positive or the negative is what is likely to actually become true for your life and be the determinant of your happiness.

THE BLACK DOOR – Dealing with Fear of the Unknown

the black door

The very first day I ever learned about Southwestern and began interviewing to work in the student program (way back when I was in college), they told me that the journey would require me to learn to master overcoming fear.

And they handed me a piece of paper to take home and read that night. From that day until this, I’ve never once forgotten about the unique lesson.

Here is what the paper said:

Several generations ago during one of the most turbulent of the desert wars in the Middle East, a spy was captured and sentenced to death by a general of the Persian army.

The general, a man of intelligence and compassion, had adopted a strange and unusual custom in such areas.

He permitted the condemned person to make a choice.

The prisoner could either face the firing squad or pass through the black door.

As the moment of the execution drew near, the general ordered the spy to be brought before him for a short, final interview.

The primary purpose was to receive the answer of the doomed man to the query: “What shall it be—the firing squad or the black door?”

This was not an easy decision and the prisoner hesitated, but he soon made it known that he much preferred the firing squad to the unknown horrors that might wait for him behind the ominous and mysterious door.

Not long thereafter, a volley of shots in the courtyard announced that the grim sentence had been fulfilled.

The general, staring at his boots, turned to his aide and said, “You see how it is with men: they will always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is a characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, I gave him his choice.”

“What lies beyond the black door?” asked the aide.

“Freedom,” replied the general, “and I’ve known only a few men brave enough to take it.”

Paraphrased from Don McCullough, Solana Beach, California, quoted in Leadership, Winter Quarter, 1992, p. 57.

Become Successful Faster

Become successful faster

“How do I become successful faster?”

It’s a common question people have. Especially if they’re just starting out in a new industry or pursuing a new dream.

The intention behind the question is usually very pure and humble and coachable.

But the answer is more simple than most people want to hear and so it sometimes gets overlooked.

For years I’ve wondered if this truth transcended across multiple industries and different professions.

Now via Southwestern Consulting having worked with more than 8,000 teams in 40 different countries, I’m convinced that it is.

The way to become successful faster is to master the fundamentals sooner.

That’s it.

That’s really all there is.

See, when we’re first learning something, we are enamored by the excitement of it all and we want to believe there is some secret.

We hope there is a magic trick that we need to discover.

Sometimes we even idolize industry legends thinking that they must have a set of strategies that are only shared among elite secret circles.

But that’s not how it is.

Really.

The reality is that almost every job, dream, business, or venture has a handful of fundamentals.

These fundamentals can usually be explained in a matter of minutes.

But they usually take a matter of years to master.

You have to master the fundamentals.

You have to be brilliant at the basics.

You have to be committed to the critical success factors.

Sometimes new people wish there was more to it and so they waste time looking for the shortcut.

And sometimes experienced people forget how critical the fundamentals are and they get lured by the “shininess” of chasing something new. Often only to lose valuable momentum and later end up having to be humbled back to the basics.

The shortest path to success is to master the fundamentals sooner.

Even if you’re not convinced that it is; do it anyways and then once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, then you can worry about innovating and experimenting.

But the longer you wait to embrace the fundamentals…

The more you spend time looking for the easy way…

The deeper you become convicted that there is a shortcut…

The longer it will ultimately take you to become successful.

As Zig Ziglar used to say, there is no shortcut to success; you have to take the stairs.

How to Never be Tired Again

tired

How often do you say “I’m so tired!”?

Or how often do you hear other people say it?

 

True legitimate fatigue can be dangerous and destructive to businesses, teams, relationships, and certainly our physical health.

So I’m a fan of and a big believer in sleep.

And I consider it an important matter of self-discipline to consistently pursue a full night’s rest.

With a newborn- that has been an especially fun challenge in recent times. 🙂

But there is a big difference between not getting enough sleep and being tired.

 

Discouragement and distraction can even masquerade in our lives as “being tired,” serving as a justifiable excuse for the self sabotaging behavior of us not taking action.

This past weekend, I was in Napa with my wife’s personal Southwestern Consulting coaching organization called Dream Team.

I was sitting next to one of our amazing coaches, Angie Moss ,who recently adopted her twin grandkids and moved into a new house.

Yet in spite of reliving the early parenting years that she’s already been through before, she continues to be one of our top coaches in terms of production, client satisfaction, and especially attitude.

I asked her how she does it and she said:

“I never allow myself to say ‘I’m tired.’ I’ve figured out that the amount of energy I have is more about what I decide to be true than it is the byproduct of anything else. I can say ‘I’m sleepy’ because that may be true. But I do not allow myself to ever say ‘I’m tired’ because usually that is just my brain trying to talk me out of doing work that needs to be done. I find that if I tell myself ‘I’m tired’ then I act tired. But if I tell myself ‘I’m energized’ then somehow the energy is always there.”

Powerful!

And such an important insight.

What Angie was commenting on is actually a natural part of the neuroscience of our brain.

The human brain isn’t programmed for success; it’s programmed for survival.

And survival is all about conserving energy.

So your brain is designed to govern you in a way that conserves your short term energy.

And delivering the signal throughout your body of ‘I’m tired’ is one of its primary mechanisms for doing that.

In that way, ‘I’m tired’ is much more often a defense mechanism for a lazy mind than it is a biological truth about the human body.

Which reminds me of something that Navy Seal Joe once said to me and AJ, “the human body can take damn near anything; it’s the mind that needs conditioning.”

He was explaining that in the context of how in BUDS training, the Navy Seals complete superhuman physical challenges despite operating on extraordinary sleep deprivation.

I remember Navy Seal Joe also mentioning something along the lines of “when your body says ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I quit’ or ‘I physically can’t take anymore’, it’s at that moment that you’ve reached about 10% of what your body is truly capable of.”

Why does your mind tell you to quit so long before you really are at your max?

Simple.

Because your mind is trained to do one thing: conserve energy.

But success requires expending energy, making difficult decisions and taking action.

Success requires the intention of new choices, new behaviors, and new habits.

Success requires re-establishing new mental boundaries for what we’re capable of that are far beyond our initial expectations.

Success requires us rising above challenges, overcoming obstacles and destroying our own self-limiting governors that are designed to simply keep us comfortable.

Perhaps one of the greatest self-limiters of all, is the quiet indulgence of “I’m tired.”

2 Part Universal Success Formula

success

Hard work is not the key to success; it’s merely the price of admission.

For the ultra successful, hard work is a given.

Hard work is the expectation.

Hard work is a mandatory pre requisite for success.

But hard work alone doesn’t guarantee success.

Because you can be working hard at the wrong things and it won’t produce the fruit you’re looking for.

For example, we meet many people who say “I don’t need coaching because I have 20 years of sales experience.”

But the unfortunate truth many times is not that the person has 20 years of sales experience.

Rather they have 1 year of sales experience that they’ve repeated 20 times.

Because they never took the time to get classically trained on the art of communication, the psychology of influence and the skills of helping other people make decisions.

Which is why learning and education matters.

You have to also learn the skills of your trade.

You have to also “sharpen your saw”

You have to also increase your knowledge base.

Which is all a part of working smart.

But working smart alone is also not the sole key to success.

Because if you only work smart but you don’t work hard then you’ll never reach all that is possible for you.

You’ll never become all that your capable of.

So some people say it’s all about hard work.

Others say it’s all about smart work.

But at Southwestern Consulting we believe that it’s not about hard work or smart work; it’s about both.

Don’t be the educated derelict who never takes action and doesn’t execute on doing the work it takes to be successful.

And also don’t be the person who takes one year of experience and repeats it over and over again making the same mistakes.

Be forward thinking.

Be continually learning.

Be pacesetting.

Be top achieving.

Be hard working and smart working.

5 Steps to Scaling Your Sales Revenue – Episode 201 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Scaling

In this episode of the Action Catalyst Podcast, Rory shares the steps every business needs to take in order to scale their sales revenue. Visit crm.roryvaden.com for a free training from Rory on this topic!

Show Highlights:

Most business are broken when it comes to sales.

Many businesses don’t have a systematic, repeatable way to generate sales.

A business will never outgrow the strength of its systems.

Technology isn’t a department, it is core to the strategy.

You have to create the sales pipeline.

What happens that is customer facing at each stage of the process?

The real magic is what happens internally.

You must have a way to track your leads and existing customers.

Data and technology are integral to your strategy.

You have to develop CSF’s (critical success factors).

Create a sales manual.

Create your lead generation strategy.

 

Visit crm.roryvaden.com for a free training from Rory on this topic – or if you are interested in becoming  a “sales doctor”, visit freecall.roryvaden.com to learn more!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!