What’s the Real Secret of Successful People?

Have you ever wondered how somepeople become successful? You know the ones I mean. Lacking all the expected attributes of winner, often with far more obstacles to overcome than you and I, they become rich and famous. Or at least, impressive.
And you sit there and wonder what’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you up there too? How come this individual seems to have it made? You seem to have more talent, more intelligence, more potential – and it’s just not happening.

Persistence is not enough
Motivational speakers often quote Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent…etc, etc.”
Calvin, I’m sorry. I’m afraid I have serious doubts about this. In my experience, persistence can often create nothing but sore head when you’re banging it up against the wrong wall – or just banging it against any wall, come to think of it.

The real barrier
If you have the same level of energy, skill, discipline and will as the other guy – and you’re not as successful – it isn’t persistence that is holding you back. It’s really your Glass CageTM.
People often use the term ‘glass ceiling’ to describe the limits or barriers that are imposed by others – if someone else is doing this to you, and they stop, you will be free. Hmm… true, in some cases. In other cases, the barrier in fact, is not just ceiling, it’s cage. It has four walls and floor, as well. It surrounds us and encloses us totally, for our entire lives. And it’s not put there by anyone else. It’s custom designed and developed by us.

What to do about it
If you don’t have the same level of energy, skill, discipline and will as the successful people, you can do something about it. Those bits are easy. Energy comes from body in motion, not body at rest. So, to create energy, just do something. Anything really – it doesn’t have to be brilliant or perfect. It just has to be activity that is directed towards the outcome you are seeking.
For instance, if you want more business in the door, pick up the phone and ring someone. (If you want to know what to say when they answer, call me.)

Delight in achievements
Energy is most effective when it’s focused, of course, and it feels best when it’s positive.
Someone reminded me recently to simply delight in the achievement of every moment; that certainly felt good and seemed to create whole lot more energy almost instantly. Try it, and let me know what happens for you!
Skill can be easily developed by acquiring new, how-to information and then doing some practice. So, there’s an idea – do some experiential learning and enhance your current abilities. Remembering that know-how is no good unless it becomes do-how. Information doesn’t actually become knowledge until we use it and discover the effects.

Discipline develops dreams
Discipline, is word which I’m little uncomfortable with, I must confess! But I do know that when I apply it, miracles happen.
For me it means making small commitments and requiring myself to keep them. Keeping commitments to others is not an issue – it’s essential. Keeping them to myself however, is the tough call. Will – the inner drive – is very often the missing link.
My mentor, John Nevin, used to say: “You gottawanna”. If the will isn’t there, all of the skill in the world is useless. Check in on your will to succeed. Do you really wanna?
I have theory that we always do actually get what we want; our real goals are shining back at us from our outcomes.
For instance – I want to be pencil slim, lean and lithe.
Really? If I really did, I would be. There’s part of me that likes the curves and the cappuccino ice cream, enough to want to keep them in my life. The pencil slim business is just vague notion of the ideal, not the outcome I actually choose – at least for now.
Want to be Numero Uno in your company? Really? Are you seriously willing to do what is required? Have you done it? Because that’s the only genuine proof of will, don’t you think?
Or is it time you found out what’s really in your Glass CageTM?

Catherine Palin-Brinkworth is an international presentr consultant and author on business and personal success strategies. Email:[email protected]

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