Success is as Simple as This

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

A major indicator of success anywhere is whether you really believe you will succeed.

The problem is that most of us have the subtle habit (that is, you might not be completely aware of it) of thinking that it won’t work out. And oddly, that’s what happens: we don’t succeed. Some of us have the subtle habit of thinking that it will work out. And it does. Most of us have experienced both. (Hint: if you are regretting the past or worrying about the future, chances are you are in the habit of thinking that it won’t work out.)

Success is as simple as this: you get what you subtly believe you will get.

This can seem too good to be true. Maybe you think it’s just hooey. Or maybe you think it works for some people but not for you. It’s too easy (not to mention incomplete) for me to dismiss your disbelief in this approach as proof that it is correct. Instead, look for examples in your life where you have been successful with little struggle. Chances are high that, at those times, you trusted, you knew that it would work out.

Tomorrow we’ll cover a common trap that prevents this approach from working and even convinces people that it does not work.

In your corner,


PS: What do you believe?

It’s Not Your Business Plan

Posted 4 CommentsPosted in Career, Money, Strategy, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 3 min.

Let’s say there is something in your business or career that is not working. And let’s say you have thought of or tried everything without seeing the results you want. It’s as if you’ve hit a wall and cannot find a way around or over it.

Five will get you twenty, it is not your business plan; it is not your career plan.

It is you.

Whenever you are struggling, it is how you see yourself and how you see the world that are at odds with the success you want. These ways of seeing things are so ingrained that you may not even notice them. And when you do notice them, you think they are part of who you are; you resist mightily any attempt to change them. These ways or beliefs were taught to you and were once useful to you. You may still see them as the secret sauce in your success recipe because they had helped you so well in the past. Holding on to them tightly–even after they have stopped working for you–you hit the wall.

What do you really need to do? You need to change who you think you are (which will lead you to change how you think the world is).

Not to worry, though. Odd as it may sound, a part of you already knows what you need to be. The rest of you thinks you are not ready and is in fear. The good news is that because you hit the wall, you are ready.

Exercise: Quietly ask yourself this question: “Who do I need to be in order to have the success I seek?” Be willing to be surprised by your answer. Write down your answer. Then ask, “If I were to become this, how might I do it? If my friend wanted to become this, what would advise?” Write down your answers to these questions. If you answered, “I don’t know,” to any of these questions, then try setting the exercise aside and coming back to it in a day or two. Or reach out to me or another friend.


In your corner,



PS: It is also not your marketing, sales, strategy, or operations. It is not your networking, resume, or interviewing skills. It’s not the economy, competition, …

PPS: Some common examples of these “wall hitting” beliefs include

  • “I am not a salesperson.”
  • “Life is harsh, chaotic.”
  • “Business is war.”
  • “I am not good at X.”
  • “I am not allowed to have what I want.”
  • “No one wants what I have to offer.”
  • “Money is scarce.”
  • “Money is bad.”
  • “Poverty is good. I want to be good.”
  • “I do not deserve.”
  • “Hard work is the only way.”
  • “With enough data or assurance from others, I can be secure then act.”
  • “I am lazy.”
  • “Life is a competition. Get before others get.”
  • “No one can tell me what to do.”
  • “I am not a leader.”
  • “You’ve gotta push to get what you want from others, from life.”
  • “I am threatened, alone, weak, ignorant, ugly, graceless, an impostor…”
  • “I cannot stand out. I am not special.”

PPPS: The very good news is that none of those things are true, really.

Broken Maps

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

Stephen Covey, in his famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said,

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are–or, as we are conditioned to see it.”

As this quote hints, we believe that what we see in the world and in ourselves are true. They are not. They are only our interpretations. They are the maps we’ve drawn with which to navigate our lives. In many ways, navigating with these maps works fine.

The problem is we cannot easily tell when our maps have stopped being good guidance for us.

The good news is that, with a little focus and a couple of good thinking tools, you can figure it out. You can notice when your map is broken then change your mind for better results.

More on this soon.


To your continued success,


Believe It More Than They Do

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Hiring, Leading, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

To lead, coach, teach, parent, influence, or sell, you can study lots of techniques. And I recommend you do.

To do these very well, cultivate your belief in others. Develop such a strong belief in each person’s abilities, potential, and future successes–even before you see any evidence–that they begin to believe it, too.


To your continued success,


P.S. If you have trouble imagining that this could work, consider this: What would happen if you believed the opposite? Also, you don’t have to believe something ridiculous. Just believe something that is even a little bit better than what they are now.


Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Good: Your Good Work, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

Credibility comes from credentials, references/referrals, marketing, and self.

Your honest belief about yourself is most important. Your marketing–done well with empathy–and references/referrals are next most important. Unless you are in a regulated profession (physician, for example), credentials matter only in rare circumstances and are over hyped.

Use the education that would grant you a credential to build both your belief in yourself and your marketing.

Blind To It

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

Show me any struggle–major or minor, personal or in your organization–and I’ll show you blindness.

The solutions, the road out, the way forward are simple, solid, and real. But blindness to them–an unintentional bias–maintains the struggle.

This blindness comes from adherence to beliefs about the world, others, and self that

  • may have worked or served you in the past,
  • have stopped working, and
  • have started obstructing.

Proving to yourself that you hold such beliefs and then changing these beliefs can be tough because they feel part of you, of your identity. Thus the blindness.

Note: neither I nor anyone else can tell you what to believe. Treat with high suspicion any belief I or others proffer. But we can help you unearth the often subtle beliefs that have stopped working and help you select ones that you can prove to yourself do work.

The blinding beliefs that cause one person’s or organization’s struggle are unique to them. And there are common themes. More about these themes soon.

Meanwhile, in what area are you or your organization struggling, a little or a lot? What might be a belief holding this struggle in place?

Believe anything

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 3 min.

Here’s a thought that can really help when you want results in business and life that have been thus far elusive:

You have the absolutely inalienable right to believe anything you choose.

You can choose to believe that the moon is made of cheese. You can choose to believe that this politician is better than that one. You can choose to believe that the economy is getting worse. You can choose to believe that the economy is getting better.

You can choose to believe that the Earth was created in seven days. Or that it wasn’t. You can choose to believe anything anyone has told you or not.

You can even choose to believe that you don’t have the choice to believe anything. 😉

Even if you have believed something for a very long time, you can always absolutely choose to believe its opposite.

Don’t believe me? Try it. Write down a belief you have. (e.g. “The moon is not made of cheese.”) Now write down its opposite. (“The moon is made of cheese.”) You should have two opposing statements on your paper. Then say out loud that you believe the second statement. (“VERILY I SAY, THE MOON IS MADE OF CHEESE.”) Then notice what happens.

What happened? Did the world end? Did the
Cheesy Moon Society call to welcome you? Did the Rocky Moon Association string TP through the trees outside your home?

If you’re like most, the most you may have noticed was a little odd feeling in your belly or chest.

So you do get to believe anything you choose. And if you’re worried about the bathroom-tissue-in-the-trees treatment, don’t tell anyone your new belief.


This reminder of your freedom to choose comes with a bonus: a way to make practical use of it.

Once you know it is true–that you can choose to believe whatever you want–you can use it to help be, do, or have something you want.

Let’s say you would like to buy a new house. And let’s say you currently believe–and have believed for a while– “I’d like to buy a new house but I can’t afford it.”

The opposite belief would be, “I can afford it.” Even if your bank account and mortgage broker are telling you otherwise, you can choose to believe that you can afford it.

Believing you can afford it may not magically deposit the needed funds in your bank account. If it does, great! 🙂 And you may say it’s silly to believe something where the evidence clearly proves the opposite belief is true.

But consider this question: which belief, if chosen, will get you closer to what you want?

And consider this: you don’t have to leap all the way to believing that you can afford to buy the house. You can get there in steps. You might, for instance, choose to believe, “I will be able to afford it sooner than I imagined.”

So? What are you waiting for? Go believe something new and useful.

Real change is fast, not slow.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Leading, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 4 min.
How Long Does it Take?

How long does it take…

  • …to turn around the culture of an organization?
  • …to find your ideal career?
  • …to reform a criminal, change the dynamics in your family, turnaround a business, change a habit? achieve peace in the land,or have balance and satisfaction in your life?

Months? Years? Lifetimes? Strings of attempts ending in failure or at least less-than-hoped for results?

Perhaps. Or perhaps there’s a way to speed things up. Let’s first look at what blocks real, lasting change.

Why change fails or lags

Most change fails because we act at the wrong level. We work the symptoms, not the causes.  We get trapped, for instance, in the drama about things or by the discomfort of looking too deep.  This is true for us as individuals or in organizations.

Getting trapped like that not only delays change and presents hard work, it reinforces the belief that long and difficult is the way of things and that the next change will be long and difficult, too.  More insidiously, we can believe that there’s something deeply, fundamentally wrong with us or our organization.  Look closely, and you’ll see this belief hiding and driving people and organizations everywhere.

Real change is just one thought away.

Here’s how to make real, sustained change quickly.  It starts with just one thought.  Find the right thought at the right level, investigate its truth, and choose a thought that supports your goals.

We tend to start looking at the symptoms; these are our “first thoughts” about the situation.  To go deeper ask two sets of questions:

  1. Where do you or your organization say, “That’s impossible.”?  These indicate you are bumping up against a too-limited view of the world and yourself/your organization in the world.
  2. What question is too painful or sensitive to ask or answer?  These indicate the thought that you or your organization can’t handle reality.  This type of thinking block has power when you don’t investigate them.  They lead to avoidance and stagnation for fear of the consequences.  Far better to jump into the jaws of these questions to realize they are toothless and timid.

Once you’ve found the thought, ask yourself, “Is it true, 100% true?”  Typically it’s not.  Acknowledge your tendency/habit to think like this.  Then decide, “What thought would better support me or us?”

Career Example

Situation: A friend wants to change careers, doesn’t know what he wants, it tired of not knowing (and not having any income) and isn’t taking any action. He’s been struggling for more than a year.

First thoughts: “I am a procrastinator.”  “This is hard.”  “Maybe it’s not meant to be.”

Underlying thought: “I don’t act so others won’t criticize.  I’m afraid of criticism; others will say I can’t have what I want or that I’ve screwed it up.”

Is this true? Pausing here for a moment, he sees it’s not true.  Those he fears would criticize merely express their own lack of direction and certainty.

Better thought: “I see my tendency to avoid possible criticism.  I act anyway to discover my SweetSpot and bring it life in my work.”

Organizational Example

Situation: A company that has enjoyed a large, protected market is now facing stiff competition from new and powerful entrants.

First thoughts: “We can’t change our stripes fast enough to react to these guys.  Our way of doing business is so ingrained and the politics amongst the players inside [think along the lines of management-union divisions] are so bitter that we can only make cosmetic changes; we fiddle while Rome burns.”

Underlying thought: “We cannot change anything because the other party is so unreasonable and so greedy that they rather let the whole thing go to hell rather than change.”

Is it true? Reflecting on the fact that both groups have the same thought about each other, they agree that it might not be true.

Better thought: “Though we’ve fought each other for years, we see there’s probably common grounds for cooperation AND even a possibility that our current organization gives us unique power in the marketplace.”

What’s your thinking?  How long will it take you or your company to change?