While clearing out some files, I came across notes I had made for a motivational talk to a women’s group a few years ago. I have been thinking about New Year resolutions and reading many other blogs exhorting me to be a better person in 2012. Therefore the following six lessons are in lieu of New Year Resolutions and serve as a reminder to create a more positive 2102. I think they apply both personally and for business.
1. The Limitations of Can’t
There are lots of famous quotes that sum this up. For example: “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you will be right. Henry Ford”, “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Wayne Gretzky” I was brought up on a saying that was attributed to my Grandmother “Can’t is weak and cannot play, and does not run at all. But a strong I CAN, will make a man of a boy that’s very small.”
Personal experience tells me that there are limitations to things I can do. There are, however, many times I let myself down by limiting what I give a go- usually be saying “I can’t do that.”
Take a problem solving approach, and the sentence can be changed to “How can I do this?”Isn’t that much more empowering?
2. Being a woman is not an excuse
This one is from growing up in the 70’s. Society did impose gender based limits on us way back then. But my parents told me that there are many reasons in life why I won’t be able to do things, being a woman is not one of them.
But its not just “because I am a woman”. Many of us add a “because…” to “I can’t do that…” Whatever the reason is, make sure its not an excuse.
The human potential is not limited by gender, race, religion, age or physical ability.
3. There is always another way
Many years ago I came across this saying “When one door closes, look for a window to climb through”. This sums up the basis of strategic planning. We need to know and understand the changes that have occured in the environment we work or live in and adapt our tactics to achieve our goal.
Sometimes the goal may need tweaking, or a reality may need to be faced, but an obstacle is never the end of the journey.
4. Know your stuff
Substance is better than style everytime. Communication media are changing all the time and technology makes it easier for people to broadcast an opinion about anything they choose to. There is also an incredible amount of information available on every subject known to human-kind, but not everything we see or read is accurate.
“Knowing your stuff” means having the ability to ask questions, assimilate the answers and develop our own knowledge about the subjects that interest us.
5. Follow your gut
For me this is about having a strong moral compass and following it. In other words, “if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it” or “if it feels right, do it”. Popular culture can create many shades of gray when it comes to doing the right thing. There are examples everywhere of people doing things that just don’t seem right; in business, in the media, in advertising, on TV- everywhere.
In life or in business, if you have the courage to “do the right thing” you can’t go far wrong.
6. Be Happy
Perhaps the most important of all, and one which needs little explanation.
Find out what makes you happy and nurture it