Producing Extraordinary Life Results
If it's going to be, it's up to me.
Posted Dec 04, 2018
It has been my honor over the last six years to publish some fifty Psychology Today blogs under the heading Happiness On Purpose: Strategies To Create A Life You Love To Live. Perhaps you’ve read some of them. If so, I sincerely hope you found them useful in enriching your life.
Starting with this blog, I launch a whole new series titled Dream Big, Act Bold, Get Results: A Guide To Personal Effectiveness. It is my contention, and hence the foundation of these blogs, that what matters most in life is producing the results we most want and cherish – physically, emotionally, mentally, interpersonally, and vocationally.
To produce these results, it follows that one must absolutely do what’s necessary – whatever that may be. In that vein, let me describe a demonstration I often conduct in one of my personal empowerment workshops. With a volunteer from the audience, I hold out a pencil in my open palm and instruct him, “Try to take the pencil from my hand.”
Inevitably, the volunteer snatches the pencil, no doubt suspecting that I’m going to pull a last-minute trick on him. Typically the audience twitters, me included. Once quieted, I then ask, “Did he follow my instructions?”
Most everybody responds in the affirmative with nods and “yes’s.” Thankfully, though, one perceptive person will always pipe up and say: “No, he didn’t follow your instruction. You said try to take it, not take it. He took it.”
“Ah,” I say to the group, “so there’s a difference between trying and doing, isn’t there?” Then I turn back to the volunteer and this time make my instruction more explicit, “Now, try to take the pencil from my hand, but don’t take it.”
Almost always, the volunteer looks at me quizzically. But, with my encouragement, “Go ahead, just try,” he proceeds to grimace and circle my hand from every angle, fingers clenched claw-like, but never quite taking the pencil. For drama’s sake, while the volunteer continues this futile effort, I encourage the audience to send him with positive thoughts, verbal encouragement, even prayer to aid him in taking the pencil by merely trying.
After a few minutes of this, I stop the trying and ask everybody, “So, what’s the result of trying?” Not waiting for them to respond, I assert, “Nothing! Nothing happens with trying!” Then I give the volunteer a radically different instruction: "Now take the pencil from my hand.” When he does, I triumphantly exclaim, “Ta da!”
Having concluded the demonstration, I put on my lecture hat and share with the audience what I call The Three Absolutely Necessary and Irrefutable Rules for Producing Extraordinary Performance And Results. They are:
Rule 1. The only thing that will produce a result is doing what’s necessary. Trying won’t do it. Hoping won’t either. Neither will praying. Only doing will produce the result you want.
Rule 2. You must do the exact proper action to produce your intended result. Setting a goal without doing exactly what is necessary to realize the intended goal will be fruitless. Random action without a clear idea of the result you want is a recipe for failure.
Rule 3. To produce the result you want, you must:
- Have a clear understanding of your desired results, the importance of producing those results to you, and the exact action required to realize them;
- Possess the ability – emotionally, cognitively, and physically – to act in such a way to make those results a reality; and,
- Have the willingness to do what’s necessary – whatever that may be, within moral, ethical, and legal bounds – to produce the desired results.
So, dear reader, that is the thrust of these upcoming personal effectiveness blog posts. With the goal being to help you dream big, act bold, and get the results you want, I will proceed slowly but surely from sharpening your understanding of the results you most want to developing your ability to act to produce them and then onto honey your willingness to do whatever it takes. Armed with these three ingredients, your desired future can be your oyster.
I very much look forward to our ongoing conversation. Think of these as a banquet: I will bring the feast; but you must bring the utensils of drive, dedication, and determination. Although I don’t know you personally, I want to reassure you that I am totally committed to you producing the results you most cherish in your life. Know that I will do my best to teach you what I know to meet that lofty goal.
Now, before ending this introductory blog, I want to share with you something I believe to be important: Never leave a learning situation without a plan of action. With that in mind, I encourage you to give quality thought to and complete the following assignments in preparation for our next blog: What are the treasured results you’d like to produce in your life with regard to your…
- Physical Well-Being:
- Emotional Happiness and Satisfaction:
- Interpersonal Relationships:
- Leisure Life:
Lastly, I leave you with the following thought. It is absolutely possible for you to make the results you desire a reality. All you have to do is to do what is necessary to make them happen. That’s where we will go next, step-by-step.
Until then, live boldly and with passion.