“Your attitude determines your altitude!” -Zig Ziglar
It’s not what happens to us that counts, it is how we respond to what happens to us, that makes a difference. Success will never be the absense of failure but the handling of failure. The people that we call successful today are not people who didn’t have their own fair share of set backs and mishaps, but they were people who decided to retain the right attitudes in the midst of the wrong events.
Is it possible to be in the wrong place at the right time? I think that sounds like a philosophical question, but take time out to ponder about it, and you might come to discover that it is an attitude question. How do you take it, when you find yourself in the wrong place, do you see anything good in it, or do you take it at face value. When things happen to you, do you win or whin? Do you think like a victor or like a victim? Are you optimistic or pessimistic.
An interesting survey done by the good to great team revealed some interesting findings. While the CEO’s of the good to great companies almost all attributed their success to being lucky. It was quite amazing that other CEO’s in the same industry faced the same situations with these, and did not see things the same way. Small wonder some made the transition to greatness and the others didn’t. I think it is quite in order to say that opportunity is in the eye of the beholder. Two of you can be staring at the same thing and only one of you see the opportunity in it.
Something strange happened to me yesterday morning. I had an all night business meeting with some friends, but was interrupted at around 5am by the security of the office, that the car I brought had been disfigured by another car that collided with it. What ensued from there is a long story (maybe I’ll publish someday), the rear of the car needs complete changing, the car needs to be sprayed, the silencer restored, e.t.c. The interesting thing in this whole scenario however, was the fact that we (together with the friends I had the meeting with) all discovered and agreed that if it had not been that I had parked the car at that spot (a wrong place as it was not where I normally park, just parked it there temporarily due to traffic), the guys/gals in the other car would have certainly died. The car was in the wrong place from my perspective, but for them, had it not been there, they would have been cheaply celebrated out of the game of life. It was a bitter occurence, but on the bright side, I had been instrumental in saving the lives of over four drunk young men and ladies who were in the offending vehicle. In another 2 weeks the car will be back to shape, but had they headed for the electric pole, they would have crossed on, never to return.
We all need to learn how to spring back from let downs, how to turn setbacks into comebacks, how to look at challenges with opportunity filled eyes. The road won’t always be smooth straight, but you can do the bends, miss the holes and keep focused to the end, these are some tips on how.
1. Know your sphere of control – There are two things in this life you should never worry about, what you can’t change and what you can. Just go ahead and change what you can change, and don’t worry about what you can’t change. Worrying won’t help it. Make a list of what you can control, and work on this. By conciously doing this, your sphere of control increases. And don’t be too hard on yourself, change what you can change.
2. Change your perspective – There is always a good way to look at a bad thing. Just a few days ago I was a bit angry that the diesel in our injector generator finished. This should never happen as it makes it difficult to start the generator without first bleeding it. I didn’t like the idea that nobody took note of that. After talking with the mechanic however, I discovered that had the fuel not finished the engine would have knocked as the engine oil had completely finished. Look for the way of gratitude in every misshap, it always exists if you look for it.
3. Don’t reside in the past – So you made a mistake in the past, so what? The past is past, learn the lessons and forget the details. Don’t dwell too much in a past mistake that you don’t see future opportunities. Failiure is a great experience in the learning process. Don’t anchor yourself to the past, nobody moves forward looking back.
“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence” – Willie Jolley
4. Don’t wear your given grade – Don’t let the fact that someone or some system told you that you are a failure affect your bounce. Nobody has the right to. I read that Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school team and was passed over by the first two teams in the NBA draft. He went on to make it as argueably the best basketballer of all times. Albert Einstein was labelled as a failure in his growing years, he was later accepted as argueably the best brain that ever lived before his time (I put the before his time). A lot of great names today were once misslabelled, they moved on to become great, because they did not let another’s opinion of them affect them. Leave it! 🙂
5. Keep searching for new opportunities – The day you failed is the day you stopped. Don’t stop, winners never quit, quitters never win. Don’t sit there licking your wounds, get out and look for another opportunity. Like Thomas Watson, increase your successes by increasing your failures. Some of the most successful business men today have failed so many times they don’t call it failure, the see it as experience. Whatever it is that went sour, a relationship, a deal, a job, whatever, don’t sit in it, move on, and keep moving.
When you fall on your back, look up, cos i hear if you can look up, then you can get up!