|Focusing your vision, achieving results|
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
by Michael Neill
The next morning, I stumbled into the producer’s office (a bit worse for wear) to find everyone on the phone and the whole staff in "high action" mode. When I asked what they were working on, it turned out to be the idea we had been joking about the night before!
This ability to balance inspiration with action is what has kept my client at the top of his game for many years, and I have come to recognize it as the "perfect formula" for long-term success:
Now over a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison famously said that "Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". But unlike Mr. Edison, when it comes to achieving long-term success I have found the perfect formula to be far closer to an equal balance between the two.
Here are the four most common combinations I experience in my work with clients:
1. The Great Idea Person – High Inspiration/Low Perspiration
"Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow." - Bill Moyers
"Great Idea" people tend to have exciting conversations and somewhat dull lives.
Their heads are filled with wonderful ideas and unfulfilled promises.
If this is you, you may be excited at the idea of a formula for success and thrilled to recognize yourself in this description, but the chances of your doing anything about it for more than a week are somewhat minimal.
2. The Hard Worker – High Perspiration/Low Inspiration
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." - from Stephen King’s "The Shining"
If you are a genuine hard worker, you may well have already achieved a degree of outer success in your life – but chances are you are not really feeling the inner feelings of happiness and fulfillment in your work that are available when you add some authentic inspiration into the mix.
Alternatively, it is possible for someone to show a tremendous amount of disciplined perspiration in one area (say, writing or mastering a musical instrument) while demonstrating almost none in another (like making and managing money).
3. The Bored Stiff – Low Inspiration/Low Perspiration
"People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them." - Anthony Robbins
If you’re stuck in the "bored stiff" category at the moment, congratulate yourself for having read this far into the tip! Know that your condition is not permanent – it’s usually the result of either learned helplessness (too many great ideas or too much hard work with too few tangible results) or a simple lack of information – not having any frame of reference for how much fun life can be or how good things can get.
4. The Happy Success – High Inspiration/High Perspiration
"I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at 9am sharp." - W. Somerset Maugham
One of the things I work towards with all my clients is balancing their inspiration with their perspiration – and as that balance is achieved the results can be startling. It is not at all unusual for people to double or triple their incomes, leave an old job (or start a new one), and even launch themselves into a whole new field of endeavor.
If this is you, you already know you’re capable of great things, though you may not have clearly recognized (until now) how it is you have been manifesting you’re capability.
Enjoy the ride, maintain your balance, and look for the special section just for you in Today’s Experiment! (NOTE FROM ANDREA: Look for Michael Neill's Experiment in the Coaching Call to Action section.)
(c)2006 Michael Neill, author of "You Can Have What You Want". All rights reserved - Read more tips at http://www.geniuscatalyst.com.
1. What would you say your current balance is between inspiration and discipline?
In other words, which of the four categories most accurately describes your approach to your work (and/or life)?
If you suspect you’re liable to be kidding yourself, ask three people who know you well and care enough about you to tell you the truth to throw their opinions into the pot!
2. Depending on how you scored yourself, try any or all of the following experiments:
A. For "Great Idea People"
1. Make a list of the various projects you are working on (or have thought about working on)
2. Pick the simplest one to complete and complete it. Ideally this will be something you can complete in less than an hour.
3. Repeat daily!
B. For "Hard Workers"
1. Devote at least 30 minutes a day to "inspirational input". Read, listen, or watch something that makes you come alive.
2. Imagine you had five lives to live in parallel. What would you do with each one of them?
3. Now, imagine you had five lives to live but you were going to live them one after another. What would you do with each?
C. For "Bored Stiffs"
1. Do the experiments in both A and B.
2. Make sure you succeed at something every day. Set yourself small goals (tiny, if necessary!) and reach them. The more you practice succeeding, the more your belief in the possibility of success will grow.
3. Learn more about learned helplessness. To receive a list of resources on this topic, reply to this e-mail with learned helplessness in the subject line.
D. For "Happy Successes"
1. Do any of the preceding experiments. If you don’t already, be sure to make some time each day for inspirational input.
2. Make a list of everything in your life you don’t enjoy doing.
3. One by one, find ways to stop doing them, either by delegating, outsourcing, systematizing, or wherever possible, dropping them altogether!
Last month a number of people completed projects that had been hanging around for a long time. Ah relief! What project would you like to get on top of and accomplish? Come to Pounce on a Project III -- 2006. Join Coach Andrea on Thursday, March 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Eastern. We will join as a group by phone and declare what you want to accomplish: spring cleaning your office, assessing the first quarter results of your business, preparing for that big presentation, finishing your taxes, making those cold calls, completing employee performance reviews or cleaning your basement.
morning, the group will gather by phone a few times
to check progress and get any support needed to
finish with a bang. At noon, the group will celebrate
their accomplishments. Who says projects have to be
boring and tedious? Bring your lightness and fun and
join us for the energization. To sign up or learn more,
Andrea is available for individual coaching.
If you are
serious about reaching your goals and living with
greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a
coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial
consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at
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