A Matter of Mind

There is only one primary determinant as to how you will do in life. How far you go in life and how well you do will typically depend more on your attitude and your drive. Much more than any other force that plays into your success. The person who has to believe in you more than any other has to be you.

If you don’t think you can. If you don’t believe you will. If you lack enough self-faith to try. You are facing some pretty significant hurdles. You need to start your journey by taking stock in yourself. Most people can do a lot more than they think they can. You just need to allow yourself a little faith. Trying to do something and not making it is always better than sitting on the sideline and just wondering if you could have.

You have to be able to sidestep the naysayers. Naysayers are the ones who will say NO and swear it can’t be done no matter what you say. These are the same people who later on will say, ‘Gee, who knew?’ When you do well and win the day.

Someone who just points out negatives or other things that need to change is different than a naysayer. You need to listen to those who are pointing things out, and you need to test to see if they are right or wrong in those needs. Somebody who is pointing out actual problems does you an excellent service. They are helping you to make your product better, which will eventually give it broader appeal. Just because something needs to be fixed or could be made better doesn’t mean you stop and start all over again. It just means you thank the person for their thoughts, and make needed fixes and adjustments as you move forward.

A lot of people will tell you how good you are doing your work. That is always good to hear, and it makes you feel good inside. The danger is, don’t let your head swell. Remember a lot of people will usually say positive things about someone. Also remember, it is those who are willing to point out the problems, who are the ones which help you to make your products better. Both kinds of people are needed to contribute to the success of the product.

The list of things that were impossible to do 100 years ago was appreciatively longer than the record of what is impossible today. That is because most things are not impossible, we just don’t know how to do them yet. A lot has been figured out over the last hundred years. And we are much better because of that.

Our goal should always be to try our best and do what we can to further knowledge in our profession. As we do, we help not only ourselves, we help everyone to take a step forward into our new future.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

No Is Not A Negative

I have begun to understand something new. If I need more time, I can put some things off. Okay, so that’s not the new part, I have done that for years. What I’m beginning to find out is that if I put things off, eventually they will come back, and I will have to do them anyway. And when I finally have to face them, I find myself under even more pressure to complete the items I have put off plus all the new demands that have come into my life.

So, what’s the trick? Sorry, no gimmicks. The only thing I have gained is the understanding that I need to do things as they are due and not put them off. Putting things off only asks for more grief. Instead of putting things off, use a two-letter word at the very beginning.

Everyone likes to be popular and to be so, we quite often feel we have to tell people what they want to hear. What do most people want to hear? Yes. Just think about that for a second. How many people come in and ask you a question hoping you’re going to say no and leave excitedly when you do tell them no? No may not be the most popular word, yet it could be the most honest.

To use the no word you have to understand what your time constraints are, what your job is, and what the positive and negative would be for taking on additional work which belongs to someone else. Quite often, with a person leaning over your desk and expecting a yes, it is hard to calculate the positives and negatives. That’s why they didn’t just send you an email. I think the best answer at that moment is, “Let me check my schedule to see if I can do you the best job I possibly can for you, and I will get back to you.”

Actually, take the time to see how busy you are with your work. Calculate the standing of the person who asked and what positives and negatives they could do for you. And then give them an honest answer.

I cannot tell you the right or wrong thing to say. I can only tell you that if you have time and can do a favor for someone you believe would repay that favor in the future, helping out could be a good move. If you have enough to do already and the person is just trying to put off their work onto you make sure you are able to do your best with your work. And no may be the most appropriate answer.

However you give the answer, be honest and genuine. No can be as good an answer as yes depending upon how you hand it back to the requester. In doing so, give them good suggestions. Offer to get back with them if your workload changes. Give ideas for others who may be able to help. Show interest in their work and check back in with them from time to time to see how things are going.

We are all a team. Dedication to the team starts with ensuring you can do your job to the best of your ability.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

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