Some Succeed, Some Don’t… Where Is the Snag?
I was walking in the snow with my brother, a psychologist and ex-SWAT Team captain. We were wondering why some people recover from tragedies and why some don’t. What triggers a person to say, “Enough of this, I will heal.” What is the key to a person’s success?
Serendipity! The next day, I happened to read a chapter of The Worry Solution, by Dr. Martin Rossman, MD, the greatest mentor I ever had the privilege of working with. The chapter was about the very subject my brother and I had been debating.
It mentioned Dr. Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), an Italian psychiatrist, who was puzzled as well. Why did some people fail to manifest the changes they desired?
According to Assagioli, there is a chain of seven events which have to take place to move successfully from insight to action. The chain will only be as strong as the weakest link. If you can find the weak link, you can strengthen it, and thus move onto success.
Below is a very brief summary of the 7 components of the chain of success:
Clarify your goal
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you have arrived? In order to hit a target, you must have one. The idea here is to write ONE very concise and precise statement. Reflect on every word and make it count. There are different opinions as to whether you should include a timeline or not. I believe it depends on the target. Some need a date for its accomplishment, some don’t.
This is where you brainstorm. Set a timer for some 10-20 minutes and write down ideas, without interruption, without judgment, without questioning. Simply write down everything that comes to mind that is related to your goal.
Choose the best option
It is now time to become more critical. Are some options too far-fetched? Which ones are realistic? Easier to implement? Are there lots of obstacles? Can some ideas be combined?
A man wrote 52 ideas on the back of 3×5 cards. 52 things he enjoyed doing. He turned the cards over. Sight unseen, he selected 2 of them. “Partying” and “Dressing up in a gorilla costume” came up. He decided to sing birthday telegrams dressed as a gorilla… and made a fortune.
Affirm your choice
Write a statement that starts with “I am…”, “I can…”, or “I will…” Your statement should be clear and resonate with you. Does it motivate you? Does it strengthen your resolve? Does it speak to you? Is it convincing? Is it your voice? Does it come from your heart?
Repeat it several times. How does it make you feel? Change it until you can embody it; until every cell of your body-mind is behind it and supports your objective.
Make a plan
You now have a direction to move toward. Take the time to write down a detailed plan. What are the steps needed to accomplish that goal? What can you do today? Tomorrow? This week? This month? Some goals are very simple and only need a daily reminder… a note you can post on a mirror or the refrigerator, “I will remember to worry less and breathe deeply today.” Some goals are more elaborate and need time to develop.
Jim Fannin, a coach of champions, likes to set goals in 90-second increments. He spends 90-seconds to set a goal for the day, 90-seconds to set a goal for the week, 90-seconds to set a goal for the month, 90-seconds for the trimester, 90-seconds for the semester and 90-seconds for the year.
It does not have to be long in length to be effective. It has to be precise and resonate with you.
Rehearse your plan with imagery
Human beings have the faculty to imagine. It is a powerful way to rehearse your plan, to find out if resistance is present and to clean up potential obstacles.
Nicholas Tesla is said to have imagined an engine in his mind, to have let it run for a month, in his mind, to then have torn it apart to find the weaknesses, still in his mind, until the engine was “perfect.” He then built it in reality. A success!
Act on your plan
Realize that plans don’t necessarily work as imagined. Don’t worry, don’t give up. It’s part of life on planet Earth. Where would the challenge be if there were no surprises? Some say that happiness comes from overcoming obstacles. It builds self-esteem.
Simple? Yes. Easy? No, but well worth the effort. Know your desired outcome, take action while strengthening the weak link(s). That’s the Law of Success!
Having a mentor to guide you could be an invaluable option.